UPDATE (April 2018): Monsoon in Cherry Hill is permanently closed.
As I wrote about a couple of months ago, there are more choices for Indian cuisine in South Jersey than ever before.
Early last month, Monsoon Fine Indian Cuisine held their grand opening at 190 Barclay Farms Shopping Center on Route 70 in Cherry Hill.
Late last month, I dropped by again to try some dishes that I didn’t have during the grand opening celebration. I wanted the sit-down experience this time and invited my friend Cassie Hepler of Explore NJ.
Whenever I see chai tea on a menu, I go for it. There’s just something so aromatic and intoxicating about the spices in chai. I think it is a great way to awaken the senses before an Indian food feast.
If you’re not sure where to start, I recommend getting the Monsoon Mixed Kebab Platter. It contains chicken tikka, seekh kebab, shrimp, sautéed with onions and capsicum (bell peppers). If you’re worried about spice and heat level, this is a nice introduction. It’s flavorful and full of fragrant spice but very mild.
If fried delights are up your alley, you’ll want to try the Vegetable Platter. It includes a vegetable samosa, onion bhajia, onion pakora, aloo tikki, gobhi pakora, and aloo pakora — essentially fried vegetables such as onions, cauliflower, and spinach! Even the pickiest eater won’t be able to turn this down. Very accessible to the American palate and quite tasty.
A Mango Lassi is a must at any Indian restaurant. This one was thick, creamy, and thoroughly mango-licious! A great way to cool down if you do choose a dish that is a bit on the hotter side. But certainly delicious anytime. All lassis are made in-house.
The showstopper of the night was the Monsoon Mixed Platter. It comes out on a hot, sizzling plate — a feast for ALL of the senses! Your mouth will be watering before it gets to the table. But once it does, you won’t resist digging into the platter of shrimp, lamb chops, tandoori chicken, and mixed kebabs. This is a pungent dish full of authentic Indian character. The seasonings are heady and provocative to be sure, but it won’t blow your head off.
Vegetarians will love the Vegetable Korma. Creamy, tangy, with just a hint of sweetness, it is sheer perfection when dipped with their savory Rosemary Naan bread! Naan bread is one of my favorite things ever; this chewy bread was absolutely scrumptious. It was hard to refrain from eating the whole basket myself. 😉
And yes, they have a few desserts, too. My favorite was the Galub Jamun — spongy milky balls soaked in rose scented syrup. I love anything rose-flavored! These were the perfect ending to a great meal at Monsoon.
If you’re looking for a different, sit-down Indian food experience, you’ll want to check out Monsoon Fine Indian Cuisine in Cherry Hill. While the dishes are predominantly traditional and classically executed, they’re showcasing Indian flavors in a unique way. You won’t find pedestrian buffet fare here, just exuberant modern cuisine for people with adventurous palates.
Tell them Philly Grub sent ya!
*Special thanks to Parsons PR for arranging our visit. Our opinions are our own.
The Doyenne of Dining in Philadelphia and South Jersey.