Aarzu (Indian) Freehold

Popped in to this new restaurant the other night. I have virtually no experience with Indian cuisine, and thus have no point of comparison, but the entire experience was quite good. The space was previously Main Street Bistro; the upstairs is Courtyard on Main (catering hall). I don’t know whether the restaurant has taken over the catering business or not. I believe the group running the restaurant is involved in various operations in Edison (Mohgul catering, Mohgul express, and others).

The interior of the restaurant is very attractive. Banquets lining the walls, nice lighting, and a modern vibe. There were only a few tables occupied, so noise was no issue even though music was being piped in at a decent volume (more than just background noise). The meal started with an amuse, but the runner who brought it out spoke at such a low volume that I didn’t fully catch what it was. Believe it was a chickpea cracker with some seasoned meat. Tasty. We started with an appetizer of beetroot tiki, which was a lightly fried beetroot disc topped with goat cheese and tamarind. This was different and quite good, especially with the green chutney served on the side. Nice spice level, but not overpowering (we were not asked as to our preferred spice level). For entrees we shared off the appetizer menu tandoori lamb chops and off the entrees butter chicken, with an order of garlic naan. At $26, I expected a nice sized portion of lamb chops and was not disappointed. There were 5 very meaty chops spiced in a mixture of mint, ginger and mustard, with more green chutney. The chops could have been cooked a tad rarer (was not asked how I’d like them cooked), but were overall quite good and filling. The butter chicken was also good, and we sopped the left over sauce in the bowl of rice served with it. The garlic nann…how could you go wrong?

I could see myself returning to try more of the otherwise unfamiliar (to me) menu. The lambshank and fish curry in particular sounded like good choices. With all the recent chatter of Indian restaurants on HO, would be interested in hearing from others more experienced with the cuisine.

I started getting “into” Indian food a few years ago, and I truly enjoyed much of the food. During my time(s) enjoying it, Masala on Rt. 9 Manalapan became my favorite restaurant for it. (although still open I think they moved locations and are focused on take out rather than dine in) Over time though I realized I was having some gastroenterology distress shortly after eating Indian food, not from any one location but randomly after eating Indian. I don’t know if it was curry or another spice that just didn’t agree with me, and the trial and error process of trying to figure out what food or dishes I was reacting to just wasn’t worth the reward, so I gave up on Indian.

There is such a wide variety, I actually started getting into it because a co-worker is vegetarian / vegan and apparently Indian food is very friendly to both those diets. So while I’m having beef/chicken/lamb they are having their diet specific meals as well.

Enjoy your endeavors!! Hope they turn out better than my experiences!!

We stumbled on this restaurant on Friday as we were intending to check out a sushi spot that was recommended somewhere else on this board (still on the hunt for GOOD sushi!). I really love Indian food and this place was awesome. Just like the OP mentioned, the space is well decorated and service is on point. I found the prices reasonable (75 pre tax for 2 but we really over ordered and I had a big lunch portion the next day). The owner (I suspect) chatted with us for a while, they will be changing the menu every 6 months or so. The kitchen looked SPOTLESS when I peeked in.

Appetizer, fried spiced potato balls with a curry. YUM. I can’t remember the name.
I had chicken curry, husband had goat, we split black dal and garlic naan. And then split dessert…

Our go to for years has been Neelam in Middletown. We know the family and I feel bad about saying this but I found this place better. I will need at least few more visits to really complete my final assessment :slight_smile:

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

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