This Spring we enjoyed dinner at Veda Modern Indian Bistro and learned more about their special celebrations for Holi, an ancient Hindu festival of colors. We always enjoy Indian food, but were particularly interested to learn that their menu’s focus is traditional North Indian cuisine served to share in an edgy and modern dining room, accompanied by a full bar offering wine, draft beer, and a unique craft cocktail program.
Veda is an authentic Indian restaurant in Philadelphia offering North-Indian Dishes. The restaurant’s mission is to value customers and their satisfaction. At Veda the chef himself gets the ingredients that go into everyday food directly from the farmer’s market, assuring that each item selected is of premium quality. Indian Spices that are used in food preparation are authentic and ethically sourced, imported straight from India. Additionally the ambiance at Veda is comfortable and great for you to dine with your co-workers, friends and even in groups. Reservations are recommended for larger parties.
Veteran Chef Vipul Bhasin boasts more than 25 years of experience and also runs Coriander and Indiya in Collingswood, NJ. While his partner is owner Inder Singh, a former engineer-turned-restaurateur, they have a great space in Veda.
“I wanted to represent my generation and give a cool new face to Indian cuisine,” said Singh, 32, a South Jersey-raised native of Mumbai. “Something different from the mom-and-pop shops with buffet-style service that everyone already knows.”
We enjoyed starting our meal on the lighter options of the menu including the Masala Hummus Platter offering dips of Curried Hummus, Grilled Eggplant with Peri-Peri Drizzle, and Roasted Chick Peas with Garlic Naan. The Crispy Spinach Chaat is a staple at many Indian restaurants and gluten free. It’s made with crispy baby spinach, shallots, fresh diced tomatoes, a drizzle of spiced yogurt and a sweet Tamarind and Date Chutney.
You’re sure to enjoy the sauces at Veda, with their full loads of earthy, nutty, sharp, bright, hot, sweet Indian spices. “We keep everything at the lowest spice level,” says Singh – they’ve sacrificed the bold flavors and character that help make Indian cooking so thrilling to begin with. The rich and creamy texture that can be found in the sauces can be found derived from pureed nuts, onions, and other thickeners.
For dinner we enjoyed sharing the Lamb Chops seasoned with ginger, cardamom, and garam masala. The Calcutta Pork Ribs are always a favorite and also included on the happy hour menu. For the main course we can’t skip over a classic like Chicken Makhani with Fenugreek Greens in a rich and sweet tomato sauce seasoned with burnt ginger and honey. We also enjoyed the East India Lamb Shank which is slow braised and falling off the bone with caramelized onions, green cardamom, mace, and saffron. Don’t forget an order of Roti bread for soaking up all your sauces. Veda offers traditional Naan, Garlic Naan with herbs, Onion & Sage Naan, Goat Cheese Naan, and even Chili Cilantro Naan.
Veda offers guests a full bar selection including wine, draft beer, and a unique cocktail program. While wines are selected from many different regions and are carefully chosen to complement our cuisine, they also provide an extensive selection of whiskies and expertly crafted signature cocktails that feature fine spirits and techniques. When it comes to cocktails, Veda has you covered with favorites such as the Jadoo made with Maker Marks, and comforting autumn accents like toasted cinnamon stick, spiced pear syrup, and lemon juice. We also enjoy the aesthetically pleasing Majnu made with Knob Creek Rye, mango pulp, egg white, angostura bitters and topped with chilli powder.
Check out the Happy Hour specials Monday to Friday 5 – 7 PM and Saturday – Sunday 6 – 8 pm. During happy hour enjoy $7 classic cocktails such as an Old Fashioned made with Jim Beam Black, or a Mumbai Mule made with Belvedere Unfiltered Vodka. One of our personal favorites is the Laila made with Cucumber Infused Effen Vodka, St. Germain, mint syrup, lime juice, and Peychauds Bitters or the Rani made with Gin, elder-flower liquor, and sweet vermouth. Wines are offered for $5 and Beer for $4. Discounted Snacks offered during happy hour for $6 include The Calcutta Pork Ribs, tender and tasty in their sweet mango glaze, or Paneer Masala Taco made with cottage cheese, tumeric, ginger, roasted red peppers, pickled onions, and drizzled with achari mayo.