Cardamom Hill closed toward the end of 2014… sadness!!!
A while back Adam had to leave the country on a business trip, and we decided to grab a nice dinner together before he left. I’d heard a lot about Cardamom Hill and Asha Gomez, so what better excuse to go try out Cardamom Hill?
I was actually pretty surprised to learn exactly where Cardamom Hill is, partly because it’s located in my old college stomping grounds and I didn’t realize it, and partly because my impression of that shopping center at the corner of Northside Drive and Bellmeade Avenue doesn’t line up with my prior impression of the restaurant, based on what I’d heard. But the inside is actually very, very nice, so once I got inside it all made sense.
Once Adam and I got settled in, we got started with Hayward 5000, an indian beer, and a cocktail, respectively. I ordered Lord Brown’s Estate, a lovely cocktail with coconut spice, bourbon, amaretto, coconut milk, allspice, and cinnamon. It was very tasty, which caused me to drink it way to fast, ha! Adam’s beer was large and he enjoyed it.
We ordered the curry chicken puffs ($9) for an appetizer. These delicious little empanadas were delightful savory pockets. While both they and the sauce provided were tasty, I preferred the curry chicken puffs just as they were.
The vegetable biryani came with a gigantic spoon, and with a hot sauce (my best guess is a mango salsa) and a yogurt sauce (likely raita) as well. These were simply great mixed in with the biryani. The portion size was incredibly huge, and the flavors of the of the vegetables, rice, and sauces all meshed incredibly well.
We’re not typically the type of people to order vegetarian dishes – in fact, I was a bit unconvinced about ordering the vegetable version instead of the chicken or goat. But Adam’s instincts were spot-on, and the price was right for the vegetable biryani, so we went with it and Adam and I very much enjoyed this dish! They really knocked this one out of the park.
It’s probably safe to say that the Kerala-style fried chicken is one of Cardamom Hill’s signature dishes, as it has been receiving a lot of attention and acclaim. This is certainly justified! Honestly, we don’t eat a ton of fried chicken, so take our adoration of this dish as you will.
First, let me say how glorious it was to have boneless fried chicken – not boneless chicken part amalgamated into a pre-formed shape, of of course, but real chicken sans bones – delightfully carefree knife and fork eating. I suppose the restaurant wouldn’t feel nearly as fancy if people were getting all greasy and sucking on bones, but nevertheless, it was quite convenient.
As for the chicken itself, the crispiness of the outside and the moistness of the interior of the chicken was absolutely sublime. Surprisingly the “indian-ness” of the dish was more understated than I had expected. The spice blend was fairly subtle (at least compared to the respective “korean-ness” of the korean fried chicken from Sobban) and the chicken was topped with a little “spicy mango sauce spiked with chili and garlic.” Simple, understated, but incredibly delicious.
This was a great date night. The pricing definitely puts it in the special events category, but wasn’t too bad or unfair. The ability to get lunch there on the slightly cheaper side would probably be a great bet for people, but alas, they are only open for dinner.
The service was friendly, attentive and good. Just as we observed about Horseradish Grill, Cardamom Hill is helping to fill in the large gap between pretty good dining and fine dining, which is very much appreciated. A great experience all around. 4 stars.
1700 Northside Drive NW
Atlanta, GA 30318