Staying in the northern suburbs of Indianapolis on a recent trip to the "Circle City", I was sort of hungry for something warm and comforting. Since Indian food is my now "go-to" comfort food, I decided to seek out a place that I hadn't tried before. I found a place during an online search that had a unique name - India Sizzling Indian Restaurant - and it wasn't far from my hotel. I decided that would be my eating destination for the evening.
Owner Basil Vaz has been involved with ownership and management of other Indian restaurants in the Central Indiana area. He was the involved with the popular Passage to India restaurants in northwest Indianapolis and in Columbus, Indiana, just south of Indianapolis. He opened India Sizzling in 2010 in a strip mall off of Allisonville Road in Fishers. In 2013, the Passage to India location on Lafayette Road in Indianapolis became India Sizzling II.
Main Street in Fishers, IN is 116th Street and just south of the corner of 116th and Allisonville Road is the Village at Main Street shopping complex. India Sizzling is on Village Square Lane just east of Allisonville Road. (see map) It's back off the street and tough to see from Allisonville, so don't expect to be driving by and being able to see it if you head that direction. Parking is available in front of the restaurant.
I was greeted at the stand up front by a young man who introduced himself as Basil. It turns out it was Basil Vaz, himself. The dining area was less than half full - their lunch buffet is evidently a huge draw during the day - and I pretty much got to pick out where I wanted to sit. I took a table back in the corner. Basil asked me what I wanted to drink and I told him that I'd take a large Kingfisher beer.
The dining room at India Sizzling features a silk canopy hanging from the ceiling. Not only does it help with the acoustics in the place, but it gives the impression that you're dining in a somewhat opulent tent. The tables all have glass tops with table cloths underneath. It's a welcoming and somewhat cozy atmosphere at India Sizzling.
The menu at India Sizzling is not unlike your typical Indian restaurant - tandoori entrees, curry dishes, vindaloo, and more. They also have a number of vegetarian entrees at India Sizzling. But that evening I decided that I'd get lamb saag - made with a creamy spinach and mustard leave sauce - along with some garlic naan.
Basil brought out some of the papadum bread - the thin, brittle bread that I used to call Indian chips until I found out what the name of it was. Two different chutneys - a mint chutney and a tamarind chutney (once again, I recently found out the name of that type of chutney that I'd been eating over the past couple three years, but never knew the name of) - were included along with the papadum. The mint chutney had a little spicy bite, but a very fresh and flavorful overall taste. The tamarind chutney was a little more bold in spiciness and in overall taste. They were both very good.
The lamb saag was delivered in a rectangular ceramic bowl on a matching ceramic plate with a mound of steamed rice included. Now, 30 years ago, I would have run away screaming if I saw this set down in front of me. This is a color not of the earth. It had sort of an olive green tint to the saag and looked rather drab. But from the first bite, any misconceptions of the look versus the taste went out the window.
The lamb chunks were moist and easy to chew. The saag was a bit spicy, but very flavorful. The chopped mustard leaves and spinach sauce was hearty and savory. The rice was steamed perfectly, easily separating from each morsel. This was a fine comfort-style meal.
The garlic naan was similar to other garlic naans I've had. It had a forward garlic flavor with a hint of cilantro. Along with dipping it in the saag sauce or adding some of the tamarind or mint chutney, it was a perfect compliment to the meal.
During many of my experiences at Indian restaurants early on, I found that service was spotty to downright horrible at times. I heard a couple guys at a table near me complain about their service before they got up to leave and when I was finished with my meal, I was the only one in the dining room (it was around 8:30 p.m.). Basil was nowhere in sight and I was ready to get my bill and pay it. There were a couple other guys that were back near the bar area talking, but I couldn't get their attention. I finally had to go over near them and announce that I was ready for my bill. It took Basil another three or four minutes before he showed up with my tab.
So, other than the service hiccup at the end of the meal, I thought my meal and experience at India Sizzling was fine to very good. I thoroughly enjoyed the lamb saag, the garlic naan and the chutneys. It was a very elegant setting for an Indian restaurant and I felt comfortable eating by myself. Basil's service was quick and efficient up to the time he served me the meal, but then he forgot about me after that. I've eaten at a couple three good Indian restaurants on the north side of Indianapolis and I was pleased enough with my experience at India Sizzling.