My wife and I were picking up our nephew from Dulles Airport and wanted to treat him to a nice Indian dinner. We researched it and found "Indian Ocean" well rated and decided to try for a first time. It turned out that we found a long-lost owner/friend from a previous "favorite" Indian restaurant some 15 years ago ! What a wonderful restaurant Raj Kapoor has put together in Centreville, VA. His card says "...warm and elegant setting." That really describes this place! My wife would add "cozy" in that it is not a particularly large restaurant, but you might say "Just right." Seating is spaced comfortably. If you are into decor, again, as my wife particularly is, she pointed out the soothing colors, comfortable seating, and comfortable lighting (soft, but bright enough that I could easily read my menu). The owner, Raj Kapoor is an ever-present figure in the restaurant. We have found that this is critical to a well-run restaurant. He oversees all aspects of the restaurant, and loves a good conversation if you indicate that you appreciate such. He aims to serve you so that you are a pleased customer and leave, really, as a valued friend that had dinner at his personal home. I think this would be a GREAT date night dinner for two.
OK, fine you say, but what about why we REALLY came here !??? For the food! I can only agree with so many other satisfied advisors on here. This is a very wonderful Indian restaurant that will bring you back for dish after dish. From the appetizer list (these are our FAVORITE samosas- not hard and crunchy/greasy, but rather moist, perfect shell with our perfect level of spicing). Entrees ? Wonderful menu to pour over (take your time, this is gonna be special !) I like everything they have- I know because Raj told me he has his same chefs from many years ago, and I have tried most items on the menu. The sauce dishes are all great, but the biryanis are better than most Indian restaurants because they do NOT skimp on the items, i.e. lamb, chicken, shrimp, etc. that you order to go in the rice.
Food items are always fresh, BTW. We ordered a pumpkin soup that was out-of-this-world. Kinda different from any we have had before, but again, GREAT.
Well, to finish our dinner from last night off, we ordered the kheer (sort of like rice pudding, but better). Again, I will go out on a limb and say that after all of the Indian restaurants we have eaten in around the world, I like his kheer THEE best. It s the perfect finish to a great Indian meal, and this is not too sweet, nor too bland.
Going to "Indian Ocean" will take quite a drive for us, but I think that we just have to do it ! And you should too. If you like Indian, prepare to enjoy!
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