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“Wow - dishes from all four cooking regions” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Passage to India Restaurant

Passage to India Restaurant
4931 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814-2508
301-656-3373
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Ranked #35 of 305 Restaurants in Bethesda
Price range: $11 - $23
Cuisines: Indian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Special occasions
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Old Georgetown Road (Route 187)
Naples, Florida
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
92 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Wow - dishes from all four cooking regions”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

Wow. Nice upscale decor, not your cheap decor. Services was super, flexible and helpful.

I had the sampler special with lamb and chicken. Its four of the chef's selections comes with an appetizer, rice, naan and desert. A good size three course meal.

All dishes were delicious. The menu provides several dishes from the four cooking regions, north, south, east and west. So you can try the different styles. I'll be back to try a dish in each style.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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37 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    13
    16
    2
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Peasmoldtown
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“dry, oversalted, flavours muted and served in a rush”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

The division of the menu into sepearte sections for the different geographical quadrants of India is a nice idea, but doesn't quite work in practice. I also chose badly, meaning that my meal was much less satisfying than it might have been. However, the restaurant is not entirely blameless - the waiters were 'attentive' to the point of being pushy. They hurried me to order, made no comments or suggestions on what was obviously a poor selection, then served the food in a rush, the main course arriving when I was only half way through eating my starter. Another touch I disliked was the fact that bottles of mineral water were placed already on all tables. Although I was asked whether I would be happy to have one, I had to ask for tap water instead. When delivered, it came with a large amount of ice, without anyone asking if that was what I wished. I was also served pappadams (and was charged for them) without ordering. They were, however, the best part of the meal. As a starter I ordered Sev-Murmura-Chaat. It was just about passable, cutely served on a yet another (folded) pappadam, but vastly over-salted, and quite dry. As a main course I ordered further dry and starchy dishes without realizing my mistake. The corn, bell peppers, cumin and coconut dish (Makai Usal), from the West Indian 'fusion' part of the menu, was much less interesting than it sounds. About 90% of the mass was corn. The spice was muted and the dish was again over-salted. It was served along with a salad garnish plus acceptably cooked rice, but the combination was mismatched, and my addition of a missi-soya-roti (bread prepared with chickpea flour) was equally inappropriate, because it too was bone dry and its herb unrecognizable/undetectable (the menu suggested it was dill). On balance I felt quite disappointed by this restaurant. It had offered much promise, backed by obviously honest positive recommendatioons by many TA reviewers. If readers of this review are not too put off, I do suggest they ask their waiter for proper advice on what menu items belong together and why, and inisst on being served at a pace that meets their expectations.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Imaginative and Delicious Indian Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012 via mobile

Passage to India is distinguished by a varied menu that combines regional dishes from diverse parts of India. There are many intriguing choices here that are not encountered elsewhere. Lamb and shrimp dishes are especially delicious, and interesting vegetarian options are also available. If you don't see something on the menu, ask. As an example, we enjoy palak paneer (spinach with cheese), which does not appear on the standard menu. The kitchen was kind enough to supply us a delicious version. Appetizers are imaginative.

Service at Passage to India is excellent and the dining room is attractively decorated. Tables are quite close together, so you might prefer to visit off peak. Prices are on the higher end, but the food and service are worth it.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“One of the Best Authentic Indian Food I've had”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012 via mobile

Went to Passage for the 3rd time, food is always good and consistent, staff are nice and attentive..We didn't have our reservation so we had to wait for at least 25 mins. But it's all worth the wait :) Lesson learned esp on a Saturday night...Highly recommended :)

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Limited Menu - Flavors Just Okay”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We visited this restaurant to celebrate a birthday and were disappointed with the pretty limited menu and the flavors of the food we ordered. The portions were a bit small, too. I understand the desire to have regional cuisine from the four quadrants of India, but the lack of depth in the menu and the seeming repetitive flavors in the four dishes we ordered left me disappointed with the restaurant.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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