938 110th Avenue NE
Bellevue WA 98004
Indian food with a hint of style and class
By: Steve G
It took us awhile to find parking for Chutneys in downtown Bellevue until we found out the apartment complex offers free garage parking for those going to Chutneys. Chutney's has been in the Bellevue area for almost 4 years and has recently expanded to add one of the first nightclubs in Bellevue, Vertigo Bar and Grill. We had heard a lot of great things about this place and had some very high expectation as we came through the door. Does Chutney's live up to the hype?
As we finally found a parking spot, we came through the front door and were impressed with the dcor. Nice oak wood floors and large pane windows adds a very nice view of the street, but suddenly took a back seat when we waited to get a table. Standing around for 15 min with no hostess we began to wonder if Chutneys was a self seating type of establishment. As each minute passed by, another point on our service rating was lost.
Finally after a very long wait, we were ushered to our table that had lovely tablecloths, but were covered in a thick butcher paper. Maybe this is to cut down on the time needed to wash them, but usually places that we've been that require butcher paper also give us a set of crayons to use as well.
The adventure continued when we got to the buffet table. It was one of the smallest buffets we've ever seen. With only about 8 items and a sparse salad bar, we were not particular impressed with the selection. On the buffet table, they service Chicken Tikka Masala, Tandoori Chicken, Paneer Curry, Bombay Potatoes, and Kofta.
The chicken tiki masala had some recent strong spices. Most of the time, Indian restaurants tone down the spices to make it more palatable to Western stomachs but Chutneys didn't let up one bit. While it wasn't as creamy as we would have liked, it really made up for it with the spice. The chunks of chicken were cut into small tender pieces and made for a decent meal.
The Tandoori chicken ranks at about average at best. Some pieces were a little dry and tough but the spice and marinade seemed to be just right. The strong peppery flavor seemed to turn me off a little, but really impressed everyone else.
Short on quantity was the Bombay potatoes, though they didn't seem like anything more than roasted potatoes. Maybe there was a little salt and garlic added in for some extra flavor but it wasn't too impressive.
The Kofta is also known as the Turkish meatball and are made from lamb, though you wouldn't know that simply from eating them at Chutneys. Each piece tasted like it had a little bit of onions, masala, and even some garlic which made them very delectable.
Overall, we were a little disappointed in terms of service and variety. It shouldn't have taken so long to be noticed by the staff and get seated. On top of that the variety and selection of food seemed very scarce. The spices and taste were decent at best, but Chutneys didn't do much to warrant the type of reputation that people made it out to be. If you're in the area, Chutney's is a decent choice, but not a true destination stop for Indian food.