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Food & Dining: Vegetarian Fine Dining at Kailash Parbat

By Sucheta Rawal Email By Sucheta Rawal
April 2023
Food & Dining: Vegetarian Fine Dining at Kailash Parbat

The Atlanta debut of an international chain with 70 locations that has been around since 1952 provides for an exciting new destination at the Patel Plaza in Decatur.

Walking into Kailash Parbat, I am reminded of those carefully decorated, modern Indian restaurants I grew up with in big cities like New Delhi and Mumbai. Dark velvet green booths, Arabic-style lanterns, and shiny gold mosaic floors contrasting against the playful, colorful wall murals are attention-grabbing. As my eyes wander, I notice shelves adorned with eclectic cultural artifacts such as rotary phones, gas lanterns, and painted woks. On the table, stainless steel water glasses, ceramic plates, and golden cutlery offer an upscale feeling.

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“Khao, Piyo, Aishj Karo” (“Eat, drink, and have fun”): the vibes of the restaurant are true to its motto.

This, the Atlanta outlet of the Mumbai-based franchise, opened in October 2022, and is the newest addition to the iconic Patel Plaza in Decatur. For decades, the Plaza has been the go-to spot for desi immigrants looking to savor flavors from home and for Americans looking for a culinary experience that is an explosion of the senses.

FD_3_04_23.jpgMy young, male Gujarati server, dressed in a green and black T-shirt with the writing “Khao, Piyo, Aish Karo” (“Eat, drink, and have fun”) approaches with a friendly smile. He offers to describe the menu and tempts me with the selection of fruity cocktails (or mocktails if I don’t drink), reflecting a serviceoriented attitude.

 [Right] Pani puri comes deconstructed with a side of tangy mint water and sweet tamarind chutney.

An extensive menu of Punjabi and Sindhi specialties, Mumbai Street food, and Indo- Chinese fare

From biryanis to North Indian curries, and from chaats and Mumbai sandwiches to idlis and dosas, there is no shortage of dining options at Kailash Parbat. Where it differs from most of the other fast food and take-out-oriented establishments in the area is in its more indulgent sit-down setting as well as a full bar, even as it exudes casual vibes. There is also a roll of paper towels to wipe off those curry stains.

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 [Left]  Aamchi Mumbai Sandwich is one of my favorites, reminiscent of an Indian grilled cheese sandwich made with toasted white bread stuffed with mashed masala potatoes, spicy chutney, sliced cucumbers tomatoes, and shredded Amul cheese.

For starters, I try pani puri, which comes deconstructed with a side of tangy mint water and sweet tamarind chutney. The overly doughy samosa ragda is served similarly with a side of curried chickpeas, chopped onions, yogurt, and mint chutney. If you want to sample a few of the starters, get a Chaat Platter of dahi wada, bhel puri, sev puri, and crispy corn basket to share. Although, there is better street food available at the shops in the Plaza. 

I would skip to some of the more exciting items on the menu. Aamchi Mumbai Sandwich is one of my favorites, reminiscent of an Indian grilled cheese made with toasted white bread stuffed with mashed masala potatoes, spicy chutney, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and shredded Amul cheese. It comes with a side of ketchup and potato chips, and reminded me of my school tiffin.

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 [Right] Paneer Tikka Lababdar offers delicate, soft grilled cubes of paneer in a spicy tomato and cashew sauce.

In North Indian entrées, Paneer Tikka Lababdar offers delicate soft grilled cubes of paneer in a spicy tomato and cashew sauce. It is just the right amount of creaminess and pairs perfectly with hot, buttered naan. Stir-fried pieces of potatoes are seasoned with fried cumin seeds in Jeera Aloo, another light and delicious dish. Kailash Parbat Special Biryani is also unique. Long grain aromatic basmati rice is perfectly cooked and tossed with chopped bell peppers, onions, and assorted vegetables as well as fried paneer cubes and crispy caramelized onions.

One of the most unique dishes on the menu is Cheese Butter Masala, a thick spicy tomato and cashew paste gravy with cubes of Amul cheese (in place of paneer). “It is a dish that is often cooked at Gujarati households,” my server informs. Deewani Handi is also a flavorful and healthy gravy made of spinach with chopped cauliflower, carrots, and green beans.

FD_7_04_23.jpg​With such a large menu, I wonder about the quality of cooking and ingredients, but the execution of even the Indo-Chinese section is pleasantly surprising. The Chinese Bhel is similar to an American Chop Suey, with sweet and spicy fried noodles in a Szechuan sauce. Balls of soft, mashed vegetables in a hot, sweet pepper sauce are served as Vegetable Manchurian, and triangles of fresh, fried paneer are delicately coated with soy sauce, sliced onions, and bell peppers in Paneer Chilly.

[Left] One of the most unique dishes on the menu is Cheese Butter Masala, a thick spicy tomato and cashew paste gravy with cubes of Amul cheese (in place of paneer).

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A fine selection of cocktails and mocktails with a desi touch

Kailash Parbat offers a full alcoholic bar with a variety of innovative cocktails that would entice experimental diners. For instance, the sour, sweet, and peppery Kala Khatta instantly transports me to my time at Chowpatty (the famous beach in Mumbai) where I would devour the icy balls with thick, dark, sour syrup. This one is a grown-up version, spiked with a shot of tequila, and served in a Mexican-style cocktail glass. It reminds me of a tamarind margarita. The Spicy Mango Mojito with peach purée and spicy guava margarita with Tito’s vodka are also great fruit-forward options with a kick. And for those who want to stick to the more traditional, there’s Indian beer and select wines.

[Right] Balls of soft, mashed vegetables in a hot, sweet peppersauce are served as Vegetable Manchurian. 

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Given the vegetarian and Jain-friendly nature of the restaurant, many of the regulars don’t drink and prefer a non-alcoholic mocktail. Kailash Parbat is probably the only restaurant in metro Atlanta that offers a wide selection of zeroalcohol cocktails. In fact, all of the cocktails can be made with or without alcohol. Make sure to try the Guava purée in a red chili-rimmed margarita glass to get your taste buds activated. A thick, sweet yogurt Lassi, topped with rose syrup and chopped pistachio, and served in a copper mug, is also refreshing. And a comforting homestyle hot chai is served in a beautiful earthen pot.

[Left]Spicy guava margarita comes in a red chili-rimmed glass to get your taste buds activated.

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[Bottom] Jamun-E-Jannat is a warm, soft gulab jamun with a surprising pistachio filling, served in a bowl of cold, fragrant, and creamy rabdi. 

Wide variety of desserts: from Jamun-EJannat to Pan Shots

For dessert, you’ll have to try the signature Jamun-E-Jannat. It is a warm, soft gulab jamun with a surprising pistachio filling, served in a bowl of cold, fragrant, and creamy rabdi. Made with the original recipe which comes down from 1952, Kulfi Falooda is an ice cream sundae  with icy malai kulfi, a dollop of pistachio ice cream, sweet falooda (vermicelli) noodles, and homemade rose syrup. But if you truly want to venture outside your comfort zone, get the Pan Shots. Served as a thandai, the cold vanilla milk with pan masala looks adorable served in a tiny stainless milkman jug and tastes like a refreshing mouth freshener.

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Overall, Kailash Parbat is a family-friendly dining option for those who want a wholesome vegetarian menu that satisfies a variety of palates in a sit-down ambiance. The modern interior offers an inviting space for date nights and groups who want to have a leisurely dinner and drinks and receive friendly and attentive service.

[Left] Made with the original recipe which comes down from 1952, Kulfi Falooda is an ice cream sundae with icy malai kulfi, a dollop of pistachio ice cream, sweet falooda (vermicelli) noodles, and homemade rose syrup.

Kailash Parbat’s origins date back to Karachi in 1940s. The first establishment opened in 1952 in Mumbai. Still operated by the Mulchandani Brothers, it has become an iconic Indian restaurant brand. Because of its franchise style of ownership, the recipes are curated in Mumbai and implemented all over the world. In Atlanta area, they have recently opened a second Express location in Alpharetta.

Kailash Parbat is a muchneeded addition to Atlanta’s growing culinary scene that offers the right balance of good quality food, a fun atmosphere, table service, and affordable prices.


Sucheta Rawal is an awardwinning food and travel writer who has traveled to over 100 countries across seven continents, experiencing the world through her palate. She has been named one of the most influential cultural bloggers in the world for her blog Go Eat Give. Find her on social @SuchetaRawal.

 

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