By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
Off the buffet table, fried foods didn't do what fried foods nearly always do with near unstoppable inertia: spit grease. Pakora (vegetables and potato wrapped in tumeric-stained batter), samosa (deep-fried triangular pillows stuffed with mildly spiced vegetables) and a vegetable egg roll (tightly rolled greens and carrot shavings perked with Indian spices) were all deep gold, piping-hot and supple. Ramekins of yogurt--one with cucumber and a spice scorch, the other mild with a distinct cumin footprint--were there for dipping. But these tasty appetizers needed no prodding.
Even rice, plain or adulterated, had its 15 minutes. Undulating basmati grains were firm, distinct and separate. In the matar polao, bright green peas (the menu says fresh, but I'd bet a creamy mango lassi they're frozen) stud the grayish waves of grains. Screw pine leaves and whole clove gave the rice an intense floral breath.
Hamid has installed a pair of chefs at Dawat hailing from the best hotels in Pakistan and Bombay. And he might be onto something here: Cooking and noshing might succeed where diplomacy has failed. Any effort that makes a buffet table sing is sure to mute decades of border fighting.
1210 E. Belt Line Road, Richardson, 972-889-8000. Open for lunch 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday; open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. for Sunday brunch. Open for dinner 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 6:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday & Saturday. $-$$