In my never-ending quest to introduce you, dear reader, to the diverse tastes of Fort Bend County, I've reviewed restaurants featuring cuisine hailing from such places as China, Indonesia, Japan, Italy, the Mediterranean, and even the far-flung locales of Louisiana and the Texas Hill Country. The options here are so many that so far I've rarely had to "return" to the same region twice.
This week, however, I'm making another trip to the cuisine of India, which as I noted in my review of Mahesh's Kitchen in Sugar Land Town Square a while back, has not been a regular staple of my dining repertoire. Part of that has to do with the fact that I have been known to have adverse reactions to very spicy food (the less said about that, the better).
That being said, I like to think of myself as somewhat adventurous, so this past weekend a friend and I made our way to Nirmanz Food Boutique, an Indian restaurant tucked away in a smallish strip center in Sugar Land. I'd come across it during a walk after having a hamburger at the nearby Beck's Prime location off of Highway 6, and it looked intriguing. (According to the website, there is another location in Richmond.)
I'm not entirely sure what is meant by a "food boutique," but if you're going by the menu, it might refer to the variety of foods offered. Nirmanz delivers on that promise, with numerous selections from the categories of chicken, lamp and goal, shrimp, Bombay wok , biryani, "street foo", dosa masti, aunde ka funda, thanda garam, and vegetable plates. I don't pretend to know what many of those names mean, but the fact they are all gathered in place speaks volumes.
About the décor: It's what you might call subcontinental hip. The walls and a latticework scrim that separates two dining areas are lined with art pieces that draw from Indian pop culture, including movie posters. Along one wall is a large mural of a reclining man who I was told is a famous Bollywood actor (I didn't quite catch the name). Another wall has the front ends of various motor vehicles that are widely in use in India, including one of those motorcycle-like taxicabs. From the ceiling hang upside-down multicolored umbrellas that I was told are custom-designed and shipped from India. The whole effect is enhanced by the Indian-infused pop music that wafts from the sound system.
Since I'm still somewhat unversed in Indian cuisine, I decided to go with something more on the traditional side: chicken curry with rice and a side of naan, a white flour dough bread baked in a clay oven. (A word to the wise: when visiting Nirmanz, remember that you place your order at the counter, something me and my friend had to be told.)
Our meals arrived fairly quickly, and weren't disappointing in the least. I had opted for the "mild" spicy curry, and aside from a little sweat from my scalp, suffered no ill effects. Which made the meal all the more satisfying, as it was just spicy enough and more than filling, especially with the bread. The servers were very attentive, so we weren't lacking for anything we needed (including extra water).
Since I'd had no preconceptions, I can't say I was pleasantly surprised by Nirmanz, but I was glad I went, and likely will go back again in the not-too-distant future. I think if you do, too, you won't be disappointed.
Nirmanz Food Boutique
Address: 16338 Kensington Drive, #160
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 4-9:30 pm. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday
Entrée prices: $12-17
Senior discount: No
Healthy options: Yes
Star of the show: Chicken Curry
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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