To be perfectly honest, this review could be very short: go to bindaas. Order everything. Eat. Go home happy. But, in a effort to be a good food writer I’ll try to provide more details. Ashok Bajaj has turned Bardeo into bindaas, an Indian street snacks dining venue, with the assistance of his famed James Beard award winning Chef, Vikrum Sunderam.
The menu is small, but studded with gems: golguppas are a personal favorite, little hollow crispy puri cups that usually come filled with potatoes and chickpeas and chutneys. Sunderam fills them with avocado and yogurt and a tamarind chutney, making for a super creamy filling to contrast with the crunchy shell. Bhel puri is a rice puff concoction, tossed with mango and cilantro, providing an awesome sweet and salty and crunchy experience. These items, like most of the dishes, are designed to be shared.
Pakoras are another essential dish. These battered fried veggies are popular in every Indian household. Sunderam uses shisito peppers and serves them with a vinegar and beet sauce, making for a unique twist on a national favorite. Pav bhaji, which features a buttery roll with a spicy chickpea curry, is fantastic, as is the uttapam, savory South Indian pancakes infused with ingredients like corn, tomatoes, and peppers. There are also several different kinds of stuffed naan, and tandoori grilled vegetables served on a bed of basmati rice. What is great is that Sunderam has incorporated street snacks from all over India, which is important because each region has something distinctive to offer. The golgappas are a typical North Indian favorite, pav bhaji hails from Mumbai, uttapam are from the South, and kathi rolls come from Kolkata.
The desserts weren’t my favorite, but then everyone knows I am more of an American desserts aficionado. The savory dishes are so great you may not need dessert; in fact I would get a cocktail instead. But if you are craving a sweet ending there is a chocolate samosa, kulfi, and and caramel custard.
The venue is small, and of course, packed with diners who are eager to sample Sunderam’s new creations, which are served at a considerably lower price than the dishes at Rasika. Be sure to make a reservation.