D.C. empire builder Ashok Bajaj interprets iconic Indian dishes into takeout-welcoming fare with the expected debut of Penn Quarter’s Bindaas Rolls and Bowls.
Bajaj and his James Beard Award-winning chef Vikram Sunderam unveil the 35-seat offshoot of their sit-down Bindaas model on Monday, April 18 (415 7th Avenue NW).
Located appropriate all over the corner from their good-dining Indian flagship Rasika, Bindaas Bowls Rolls and Bowls marks Knightsbridge Restaurant Group’s to start with foray into the rapid-casual sector. In excess of the past 30 several years, Bajaj has primarily opened extravagant fixtures that cater to large-profile regulars and exclusive instances by means of impeccable plating and provider. That incorporates La Bise and Bombay Club in close proximity to the White Household, Modena in the vicinity of CityCenter DC, and Annabelle in Dupont.
“Having a great deal of upscale dining places, it’s a lot of anxiety. Obtaining a little something everyday and fun will balance matters out,” he tells Eater.
The “bowls” aspect of the equation at Bindaas Rolls and Bowls allows diners get started with a grain like basmati rice, curried quinoa, lemon rice noodles, or coconut brown rice. From there, they can choose a protein like salmon, chicken tikka, lamb meatballs or a vegetarian paneer-sweet potato kofta. Sauce finishers incorporate choices like ginger and coconut-based mostly moilee, creamy tomato tikka masala, mellow cashew korma, or a spicy pink chile vindaloo.
Customers can also mix and match proteins and sauces, with staff educated to offer suggestions on combos. Bowls arrive with a facet of kachumber — a very simple and new chopped salad with onions, tomato and cucumber. The cafe also delivers 4 bowl creations of its very own that will modify up based on seasonality and desire.
The “rolls” section of the menu centers around kathi rolls, a quintessential street food beloved in Calcutta. In Penn Quarter, fillings like rooster tikka, paneer and peppers, or lamb roast are wrapped in flatbread and travel perfectly out the doorway. A great deal of the menu is $12 and under.
Bajaj toyed with breaking into D.C.’s very hot quickly-casual sector for yrs, but the reality “everyone was pivoting to takeout and delivery” throughout the pandemic — on best of an perfect place that fell into his lap — pushed him to do it.
“A prospect assembly with the landlord outside the house the vacant room acquired this shifting. He mentioned that if I wanted the space it was mine,” he claims. “It seemed ideal for a casual thought.”
The new offshoot also introduces diners to treats like curry puffs, a common product in avenue-facet bakeries in India. At Bindaas, the flaky puff pastry surrounds rooster or chili-cheese fillings. Growing up in India, he employed to get the puffs by the dozen as an afternoon snack with a cup of masala chai. For sandwiches, buttery buns home Parsi-style fried rooster or a spiced, 10-vegetable patty — a twist on Mumbai’s well-known potato-based mostly vada pav.
His hit gunpowder fries, one more crossover from Bindaas, be part of samosas and masala popcorn on the snacks entrance. Masala chai, chilly beers, seasonal cocktails, wines, and mango lassi are also out there.
For all those in a hurry to get back again to do the job, a get-and-go area allows shoppers pick up pre-packaged bowls, rolls, and snacks and fork out by means of an specific checkout line.
Following mulling in excess of many cuisines for his rapidly-relaxed debut, Bajaj made the decision to lean into his attempted-and-legitimate Bindaas model. The primary opened in Cleveland Park in 2016, adopted by a further a 12 months later on in Foggy Base. He doesn’t want diners to review the Bindaas offshoot to his fancier Indian mainstays Bombay Club or Rasika.
“The aim on high-quality and consistent recipes throughout our principles will not be compromised. Appear in, have fun, and test some thing new,” claims Bajaj.
All proceeds from its 1st 100 shoppers in the course of opening week will go to José Andrés’s nonprofit Environment Central Kitchen area to assist Ukrainians in need to have.