Nasha Lounge and Bar, an Indian restaurant serving gourmet, fusion food, has newly opened doors at Warner and Dobson in Chandler. Though the restaurant borrows a part of its name “Nasha” from a previous restaurant at the same site, it is a brand new restaurant with new furnishings, a new owner cum chef and an invigorating new menu. Recently I had the chance to sample their dinner menu and here is what I found.
The interior is simply but tastefully decorated in shades of red, brown and gold. Contemporary Indian décor and paintings adorn the walls. Even the bathroom is furnished with shades of red and has pleasant furnishings. This is a big change from most Indian restaurants in the valley where the restrooms are an afterthought. Most of the dining is in comfortable tables and chairs with gold and white tableware. A part of the seating arrangements also include low tables and floor cushions for a more traditional Indian dining experience. The glassware and plates are clean, the cutlery arranged on either side in the correct order and the servers are polite and knowledgeable about the menu. Nothing spoils a dining experience as rude servers and this place has trained its staff well.
Now for the food. The drink orders arrive with a complimentary plate of pappadums arranged on a platter like mini hats. It is hard not to ruin one’s appetite just by eating them with the two chutneys on the side; green cilantro and mint and tangy tamarind. This place has a full bar so all kinds of beverages are available with the food. We ordered the coal char-grilled Bhatti ka murg (aka Tandoori Chicken), Bengali prawn curry, Nasha Tikka masala and a bread basket (2 each of baby naan, laccha paratha and tandoori roti). The menu, though not extensive, has interesting notes about the origin of the food item in the description accompanying it. The menu can be perused online at http://www.nashaloungeandbar.co/menu.php . The food is a fusion from all parts of the Indian subcontinent with interesting combinations of ingredients. We first tasted the tikka masala with the naan. The curry was good but it was a little too sweet for my taste. The medium spice level was just right for the kids, so no complaints. The Bengali prawn curry was absolutely first rate. Though the prawn curry is not how my Mom would prepare it back home, but it is what I would expect from a five star restaurant back in India. The combination of spices was just right and the result was scrumptious. The Bhatti ka murg arrived with an interesting display. The grilled chicken pieces were arranged on a bed of round potato fries and salad vegetables. Very French!!!! Needless to say the kids polished off the fries before we could dig into the chicken. The bread basket was also first rate with all the breads soft and yummy. All the entrees arrive with a side of rice, so a bread basket is more than enough for a family of four.
The restaurant also serves a buffet menu for lunch. The lunch buffet is priced at $10.99 and includes an assortment of meats, rice, bread, vegetables and dessert. I haven’t had a chance to sample the lunch buffet but have a friend’s recommendations to go for it. I haven’t tasted any vegetarian entrees either, but the restaurant does serve a lot of vegetarian food for most people. Most of the entrees are in the $10-14 range.
Now a little bit about the chef cum owner. Chef Dominic Sarkar is an expatriate from Bengal in eastern part of India and is an award winning chef having worked in many restaurants on Indian, French, Mediterranean and other cuisines. He has held many notable positions in India, Bahrain, U.A.E and most recently with the Crowne Plaza group in California and the Raga Restaurant in Orlando, Florida. Chef Dominic blends a harmony with different cuisines; hence the fusion with his native Indian cuisine and other styles is very much visible in his food presentation at Nasha.
Overall, we had a very pleasant culinary experience at the Nasha lounge and Bar. I would recommend my readers to give it a try. It is a gourmet food experience, more like a visit to an upscale Scottsdale place, right at our door steps in the East Valley.
Nasha Lounge and Bar
2051 W Warner Rd. # 7
Chandler, AZ 85224