Shrimp Balchao.

Shrimp Balchao.

Back in August, our actual first meal for Restaurant Week meal was a restaurant I’d been looking forward to trying for months. Rasika is lauded as one of the best restaurants in DC and one of the best Indian restaurants in the country.  Unlike some restaurants,  you can order from the Restaurant Week menu or from the regular menu, so James and I decided he would order off the regular menu while I ordered from the RW menu to give us a little more variety.

I started with an appetizer of the shrimp balchao with peri peri masala, onions and tomato. If I had known balchao was an Indian form of ‘pickling’ I may not have ordered the dish, but I didn’t regret the choice.  It tasted more like spicy barbecued shrimp  with a strong tomato flavor. For my main entree I decided to try something I wouldn’t normally order- the Tamarind Black Cod with star anise, black pepper, roasted chili on a bed of upma (Indian polenta). Black cod is not a very fishy fish so it’s a good choice for more apprehensive fish-eaters. It was one of the flakiest pieces of fish I’ve ever tasted. The different spices gave each bite a different flavor. The upma was the perfect contrast in texture  to the main dish. My final bites of the cod were a little fishier than most of the fish but still tasty mixed with the other components of the dish.

Tamarind Black Cod.

Tamarind Black Cod.

After some thought, James decided on the chicken green masala, a basic but reliable dish.  The masala was tasty and properly spicy, a slow growing degree of heat that saturated the tongue.

While James was looking at the beer menu, trying to find something to balance out the meal, our server mentioned a brand of beer on the list called Kingfisher. An Indian ale, it was a smooth mixture of a pale ale and a light lager that complimented the meal perfectly. If you are a connoisseur of beer, we recommend this brand.

I’ll admit I’m not a fan of Asian desserts. Luckily Rasika offered a couple of options more to my taste. I chose the chocolate and mint ice cream, and I was not disappointed. It had a thicker consistency than your everyday frozen treat and tasted more like a rich chocolate brownie. It was the perfect cooling end to a spicy meal.

Chicken Green Masala.

Chicken Green Masala.

A couple of other notes about Rasika: The service was superb. Our server never slacked, giving us the right amount of attention and small talk against the time we needed to make our decisions and enjoy each others company.

He even surprised us when we told him we were celebrating our anniversary, bringing us two glasses of champagne and even a dessert for James to enjoy since he didn’t order one of his own.

Rasika is a great option when you’re looking for that special place for an anniversary, birthday or other important occasion.

Interested? Try Rasika over at 633 D Street Northwest, Washington, DC. To make a reservation, call them at (202) 637-1222.


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