Jalsa

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - BUSI­NESS -

can have more than In­dian food. So kids can come here and have what they want, and the par­ents can still have In­dian, or Ital­ian or Mex­i­can food. We want to be a melt­ing pot in every as­pect. It’s not just an In­dian restau­rant, Ital­ian restau­rant or Mex­i­can restau­rant.”

A Chi­nese wed­ding and 15th birth­day quincean­era are booked for the ball­room, which re­cently hosted 300 guests for a Mother’s Day brunch.

“We want to do lots of dif­fer­ent cul­tural things here,” Doshi said. “The im­por­tant thing is that any­body with a badge — EMT, fire, po­lice of­fi­cers — we au­to­mat­i­cally give them 15 per­cent dis­count. We want to honor them for their ser­vice.”

In keep­ing with the “jalsa” sen­si­bil­ity, the el­e­gant but re­laxed con­tem­po­rary mo­tifs in the main and pri­vate din­ing rooms en­cour­age lin­ger­ing over a glass of wine or a re­fresh­ing cu­cum­ber mint cooler, a sea­sonal al­co­holic spe­cialty of the bar made with fresh cu­cum­ber juice.

“Every sin­gle drink from the bar, we want peo­ple to taste the fresh­ness. We are much dif­fer­ent than other In­dian restaurants, which don’t nor­mally have a bar or the kind of am­bi­ence that we cre­ated. We didn’t make it feel like you’re sit­ting in an In­dian restau­rant. We built this as a place where peo­ple can have a nice two hour din­ner, with whiskey, wine or what­ever you like,” ex­plained Doshi, who said he hand­picked every dé­cor de­tail him­self.

Reser­va­tions are re­quired for the pri­vate din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, which fea­tures seven-, nine- or eleven-course meals.

“Each course is paired to go with a red or white wine,” Doshi said.

“The other unique thing is that we make our own masala, grind­ing the spices here.”

Although buf­fets are a pop­u­lar lunchtime op­tion at many In­dian restaurants, in lieu of an all-you-can-eat buf­fet, Jalsa of­fers the more per­sonal, freshly made Thali, a quin­tes­sen­tial as­sort­ment of In­dian fa­vorites el­e­gantly pre­sented on a round plat­ter on freshly baked naan.

“You get two dif­fer­ent veg­eta­bles, rice, naan, a sweet and meat, un­less you get the veg­e­tar­ian ver­sion,” ex­plained Doshi, who said that din­ing guests will al­ways be ac­knowl­edged by a Jalsa owner at some point dur­ing their stay.

“We have a rule that every ta­ble has to be vis­ited by one owner, lunch and din­ner,” Doshi said. “One of us is al­ways here to make sure every guest is taken care of. Every­body says it’s a com­pli­cated busi­ness,” he added, “but it’s only com­pli­cated if the owner never shows up. When you get in­volved in every as­pect of a restau­rant, it’s eas­ier for you to see what works and what doesn’t work. And, from what our guests tell us, we know this is work­ing.” Jalsa In­dian Cui­sine, 2522 W. Main St., Jef­fer­son­ville, is open for lunch and din­ner Mon­day through Thurs­day, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Fri­day, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Satur­day, noon to 11 p.m.; and Sun­day, noon to 9:30 p.m. The phone num­ber is 484681-4885.

GARY PULEO — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

A pop­u­lar lunchtime op­tion at Jalsa In­dian Cui­sine, Thali, fea­tures an as­sort­ment of In­dian fla­vors in meat or veg­e­tar­ian ver­sions.

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