Aarzu Modern Indian Bistro Freehold

Perhaps I was born a cynic but their statement has the usual weasel words. Sounds to me like they had no lunch traffic except the weekend and insufficient character to admit it.

6 Likes

@The_Happy_Wizard

Bingo

“More time to innovate” :roll_eyes:

2 Likes

I don’t know if it’s weasel language, but I read the same thing. And quite frankly, I think they are one of the most innovative high-end Indian restaurants I’ve ever eaten at-and they’ve been doing a lot of collaborating with other local chefs, so none of it (including the lack of lunch crowd) surprises me.

1 Like

I think they lost their lunch crowd (admittedly small to begin with) when they raised the price of the buffet. I had gone several times before but stopped after being presented with the surprise (to me) price increase. I don’t think opening for lunch is ever that profitable but maybe it offsets some of the operating expenses so they had to be really dead to stop serving lunch.

Their food is very good, but prices are a bit steep for ‘what you get’. I would excuse it but the portions are also quite small. Went for dinner once and it was very good, but.

Is there an actual lunch menu any more (on Fri, Sat Sun) or is it now dinner menu only during lunch hours? Menu doesn’t list buffet or ‘lunch’.

Also wanted to quote a recent Yelp review (I know many of you don’t like Yelp but I find some usefulness there). I had mentioned a reservation time limit that was posted on Open Table and some were wondering if they were serious.

From Yelp: “Once we were done with our entrees, it was about 2 h in…
A man in the suit approached us to say that he has
Another reservation now and we only get 2 hours total time… basically kicking us out… wow…”

From Open Table: “Your table will be reserved for 1 hour for parties of up to 2; 1 hour 30 minutes for parties of up to 4; and 1 hour 45 minutes for parties of 5+.”

I think this is becoming more popular. Someone mentioned it in the Semolina thread I believe.

That was me :smiley:

Well I finally got here after several years! Better late than never I suppose.

1 line summation: Creative and flavorful Indian food from various regions, artfully plated in smaller portions.

We arrived at 845 and it was hopping but I snagged a spot right out front. After about a 15 minute or so wait, we were seated in the far corner (from the entrance) closest to the street. I had a good street view to check out any cool cars cruising by. :sunglasses:

This spot is byob but they sell wine (yes only in this backwards state can you operate a restaurant and have a winery selling on the premises.) I believe we still have that whacky law where you get two separate checks (food and wine) since each business operates individually.

I will keep this short. The food varied and I honestly left on the fence about whether to quickly make it back to try other items. I see potential here but Aarzu didn’t quite lure me in yet. The bottom line was we had 2 apps and 2 mains and I left hungry. Here is the kicker, I ate 2 dinners and more than my share of the apps.

My friend had me order for us. I ordered her the lamb shank special (available on weekends) and I got a chicken tandoori dish. For starters we got chicken65 and fried fish masala (mahi)

Maybe I will go more into depth in a little bit but the chicken 65 was the star dish with flavors bouncing off the rev limiter! The special lamb shank was a big let down in the flavor and size department (keep it PG-13 now cj :laughing:) but obviously came through with the tenderness you get from braising. My friend had a bite and it wasn’t for her. So I proceeded to hammer down her dish, my dish and prob 2/3 of the apps as I was starvin marvin when I arrived.

The lamb was like a new castle beer. You can’t wait to taste it from the awesome looks and smell, but it just doesn’t go above average overall and leaves you craving more. You first lays eyes on it and it immediately grabs your attention as something unique, foreign, interesting. You dive in waiting for a magic carpet ride to flavor country and after 3 bites you realize you didnt pick a winning dish. Sadly your next bite won’t be any better. It wasn’t bad, but for their premier dish I left scratching my head.

I could ramble on, but for 69.xx before tip, I left hungry after 2 meals. For the record, I didn’t eat any rice or naan since I’m on a low carb diet.

I get out bigger pieces of meat out when I floss my teeth! Look at that shank. Am I wrong?

3 of these pics are taken with my samsung galaxy s10+ and she has the 11pro iphone. Which ones are better?

3 Likes

Lol! Great minds…

We have 6 pm reservations tonight with some friends. I was looking at the menu yesterday and it looked like they don’t have the lamb chops on the menu anymore. Is that true? I was going to get the lamb shank until I read your review @corvette_johnny

Well, either way, I’ll report back tomorrow.

1 Like

I agree about portion size as mentioned in my earlier post. Just too small for the price. We got rice, naan, two entrees, and two apps. Food was just enough but I went in not too hungry. I think we spent near $100 after tax and tip.

I really liked the buffet during lunch but not sure if it’s still offered or what the price is. After the lunch price increase I figured I may as well go for dinner. Then when we paid that much for small portions at dinner we just stopped going.

Hey Dave, the lamb is still on there. I was going to get that based on your recommendations and Curlz. However, I was hungry and wanted something a little more substantial.

Angela, yes I didn’t think it was the greatest bang for your buck, but I can see the attraction here. We had to wait for a reason, so it is great to see them thriving. I will eventually try more dishes but I’m not breaking speed limits to get there.

1 Like

WHAAAAAT? I seriously hope you’re wrong about those lamb chops!

Posted before I read Johnny’s follow-up.

I’ll also say that my reaction to you ordering the lamb shank was “Why?“ If you had ordered another more traditional entree, you might have seen that they’re doing very creative versions of classics. (When in Mumbai, and all that…)
I haven’t been in a while, but I love their take on dishes like Rogan Josh, and their eggplant chaat is a must-have every time. It’s too bad you weren’t there when they were doing the brunch buffet because you get to try a much wider variety for a whole lot less money.

1 Like

Just back from a huge Indian feast. The four of us had:
2 different naan
Gobi
Chicken65
Arrowroot
Eggplant
Lamb Biryani
Butter Chicken
Pepper Duck
2 orders Lamb Chops

All of it was wonderful and I am completely stuffed. As for the price, well $50 pp all in is fairly steep for Indian food, but look at all we ate. So, yes they are a bit pricey, but this is definitely gourmet Indian food.

3 Likes

Enjoyed birthday dinner this evening via DoorDash home delivery from Aarzu. I had the chicken tikka masala and my wife had chicken biriyani. We split some hot garlic naan as well as a side of cool raita —- also included some extra cumin rice in the order along with a few samosas filled with potato/peas, mint & tamarind. For a special ‘new experience beyond the familiar’ treat I also tried a food I had never eaten before: several paneer papad rolls. Personally, I really enjoy spicy cooking while my wife prefers mildly spiced items…mentioned this in space provided on the DoorDash order webpage form —- told the chef in the note that I then trusted his interpretation of those spice levels when preparing a flavorful meal. Needless to say, we were both very pleased with the resulting more than amply sized portions😀.

Delivery to our door was quite prompt, 100% correct, and as forecast via text messaging and the app. The driver was friendly and took care handling the various items; everything was nicely packaged with warm foods arriving hot and the cool raita nicely chilled. We had some lemon sorbet in freezer so we opted for that as a refreshing dessert which IMHO “paired” perfectly with everything. (the restaurant also offers several dessert choices which I’m sure we’ll try in the future. Prices for everything seemed appropriate and a fair value for a splendid meal beyond average. Looking forward to sampling the properly refrigerated leftovers at mealtimes for the next few days!

3 Likes

Yum… I love Aarzu and it’s been far too long since I’ve had a meal there!

1 Like

Got takeout from Aarzu last night. It was easy to order online and pay (there was a small ‘processing fee’ and a place to add tip). Pickup was easy. It was ready by the time we got there (ahead of the promised time) and pickup was outside. It was well packaged (even the papads were nicely crisp and unbroken) and very good.

3 Likes

Ok, so we did takeout from Aarzu tonight and here’s the lowdown on the lamb chops. When Aarzu first opened, the lamp chops were an appetizer and 5 of them cost $25. Now they are a main and 4 of them cost $32. For you math geeks, that’s a 60% increase in price.

On the plus side they are still yummy.

1 Like

By ‘now they are a main’ does it mean it comes with rice? Same size? Even more than when I saw them at $30. I wonder why they are so much.

1 Like

I’m not sure what main means. Just less chops for more money. :frowning:

2 Likes

They started out as an appetizer on the menu… When you say they’re now a ‘main,’ do you mean that they’re an entrée? Do they come with anything else?

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

― Jonathan Gold