Regular readers know that I am very much an Indian food lover and I try to visit every new Indian restaurant that opens in our area, yet sadly, most do not manage to stick around for too long and to be honest, many don’t deserve to.
Swad is not a new Indian restaurant, of course. They have been in Lafayette for over 10 years. What prompted a visit by Sylvia and me recently was the fact that they re-located from premises on Mount Diablo Boulevard to a small strip mall on Moraga Road.
We always liked the food at the old place, more than we liked the restaurant, mostly because it had two doors, one at either end, that caused a wind-tunnel effect. Eating in a cold draft is not really to be recommended no matter how good the food is.
Now the new location does not have such a problem and it there is an added benefit of having parking spaces right outside so depending on how busy it is, parking is easier too.
Located where I seem to remember there was previously a burger restaurant and right next door to Reve Bistro, one of the best French restaurants in the area, Swad is highly visible. The interior décor is fairly unimpressive but pleasant enough, if a little on the dark side but what immediately sets it apart from many restaurants, regardless of level or ethnicity, is the friendly service. All of the workers seem genuinely pleased to see you and really feel welcomed as soon as you walk in. I am also very pleased to be able to say that the food is outstanding and the portions are generous.
On this occasion, Sylvia and I began our meal with a shared appetizer – Kashmiri Lamb Tikki – two patties of minced lamb, potatoes and spices – quite a spicy dish although I have to admit that I really prefer the Meat Samosa, an appetizer I have also tasted there, which I think is even more tasty.
For our entrees, Sylvia had Butter Chicken and I had Lamb Korma. I love the fact that this is one of the few Indian restaurants that do not ask me if I want my meal served mild, medium or hot. Some Indian dishes are meant to be mild and others are meant to be medium or hot! Both dishes were superb, perfectly spiced with plenty of sauce. We accompanied them with basmati rice, which is really aromatic and a paratha (flaky Indian bread) which was also pretty good.
On another occasion here I had Chicken Tikka Masala. This was possibly the best Indian meal I have ever had in California. Just outstanding. I also enjoyed a pint of good Indian beer – Kingfisher – that they serve on tap.
If you like Indian food it is definitely worth a trip to Lafayette. Swad really is the best in the area. See more on the website at theswadindia.com.