It's been over a year since the Kumar family brought their native cuisine to Rehoboth Beach, and they have been consistently busy ever since. So it seemed like an update was in order. Indigo is the sister restaurant to the new Indigo restaurant in Columbia, Maryland. The mothership used to be the popular India restaurant in Annapolis (presently closed). The Rehoboth Indigo offers all the traditional favorites we've been craving here at the beach.
Suraj Kumar came to Washington, D.C. from Punjab, India, first working in restaurants in New York, Austin, and Denver. Mr. Kumar and his wife Sudesh have been in the restaurant business for over 20 years, 12 of the most recent in Maryland. The Kumar family came to the Annapolis area in 1992 taking over the Indian restaurant on Main Street. Mr. Kumar's son, Raghu, is the prime mover Indigo to ensure that the food and service is up to their stellar Annapolis reputation. However, DO engage Suraj Kumar if he is not too busy. He is an absolutely delightful person who will have you smiling instantly.
Indigo Indian Cuisine1/12 Indigo Indian Cuisine2/12 Indigo Indian Cuisine3/12 Indigo Indian Cuisine4/12 Indigo Indian Cuisine5/12 the lamb vindaloo6/12 garlic on the left, onion on the right.7/12 Chicken biryani entree8/12 chicken jalfrazie entree9/12 fish tikka salmon10/12 Coconut shrimp!11/12 Indigo Indian Cuisine12/12
We've been to Indigo several times, and each and every time the food and service has been spot on. Mr. Kumar's son, Raghu is supervising the kitchen and Mr. Kumar glides quietly from table to table, adjusting plates, asking if all is OK and being generally charming. In fact, if you engage him you will discover that he's a pretty funny guy!
They have an authentic tandoori oven where they bake the naan (stuck to the sides of the oven – see the gallery). They have a large selection of naan – I suggest the onion kulcha and the garlic naan (see the gallery) – they are delicious. We started with a colorful combination appetizer with lamb, tandoori chicken and veggies. Then we did a family style combo of plates with a tikka masala-style preparation of chicken, beef and lamb. All served with savory basmati rice, of course. And don't miss the warm and soothing dessert!
Last night I tried the Lamb Vindaloo (an Indian restaurant go-to for me). The flavors were deep and rich. I asked for it extra spicy, and though it didn't take my head off, it did certainly get my attention. The lamb pieces were lean and tender without a trace of fat or silver. We also got another go-to, the Chicken Tikka Masala (it's amusing to watch Mr. Kumar frown when you order that… it's sort of like ordering a burger at Ruth's Chris – he wants you to order something more exotic). And there are a number of more exotic items on the menu there for the ordering. I do really like the basmati rice that comes with most of the dishes.
After several visits, we now leave the ordering up to Mr. Kumar. I think if we try to order chicken tikka masala one more time he's going to smack us. (Yes, the tikka is absolutely delicious, but you need to branch out!) This decision has turned out to be an excellent one. A few nights ago Suraj introduced us to chicken jalfrazie. This complex, spiced dish consists of tandoor-broiled boneless chicken cooked in garlic, tomatoes, onions and green peppers. The sides of basmati rice and garbanzos are cooked baked-bean style (with an Indian accent, of course) and match perfectly with this chunky, satisfying dish.
The second course marched out of the kitchen standing tall and proud on the plate. The chicken biryani is built around rice and formed in to a rectangular shape with fresh lemon and a bit of cilantro. Yet again, the spices are perfectly balanced. Rice lovers will go crazy for this one. We even departed from our onion kulcha/garlic naan rut when Mr. Kumar introduced us to Paneer Kulcha. Basically their signature fresh naan with homemade cheese inside. The cheese is not the gooey style – it is more like a grated halloumi-type cheese that stays chunky and unmelted. We will definitely order it again.
DO NOT MISS the carrot salad dessert. Yes, it might sound scary. But it is delicious, with pistachios and golden raisins.
As you might expect, they have an authentic tandoori oven on the premises. Ask Rhagu to show it to you (unless they are really busy, then curb your enthusiasm). It also doubles as a 747 jet engine.
Keep an eye on RehobothFoodie.com for more details. Follow Indigo on Facebook HERE.
You can call them at 302-212-5220