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Tuesday
Mar082011

All Spice

There are quite a few culinary gems in San Mateo. Case in point: I recently got a chance to venture outside of San Francisco and was invited to check out All Spice, a cute little restaurant featuring Chef Sachin Chopra's modern Indian cuisine.

Tucked along the busy El Camino Real, it's pretty easy to miss this place. The building itself is actually a modest Victorian house, lending it a nostalgic charm. The cozy interior is decorated in rich jewel and golden tones. I imagine this is date night central for locals. It feels very welcoming and intimate.

Chopra's menu did a good job of balancing out East Indian spices with a Californian twist. I started with the hearty Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup, which was presented with minted spaghetti squash "noodles" and fresh herb butter. It's a satisfying starter for a cold winter evening.

The Lavender and Scallops with Bacon and Black Cardamom potato sauce was also well done, but I think the bacon and cardamom overshadowed the delicate lavender. I much preferred the refreshing Ahi Tuna with Pickled Watermelon.

I can handle a little bit of heat but was surprised to see that none of the dishes were super spicy. The buttery and soft Mustard-Dill Seabass with Curried Tomato Sauce had a comforting warmth, and the rich Shortrib Vindaloo was very tender. The portions are quite generous as I was pretty stuffed by this point.

But, we made room for dessert. The rich and velvety Dark Chocolate "Kulfi" with Tandoori-spiced Macadamia Nut Brittle was finished with a dramatic wash of edible silver. The delicious Warm Date and Walnut Cake with Lemon-Ginger Glaze was accompanied with homemade bergamot-clove ice cream. All the desserts were large enough to share, so be generous with your dining companions!

For more info and to make reservations, go to www.allspicerestaurant.com.

For editorial consideration, a press visit was arranged by a PR representative for this post.

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Reader Comments (3)

Oh, what a fun dinner that was. And yes, the ahi was not only wonderful to taste, but to look at. Such a creative presentation.

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 9:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn Jung

It was a fun night! :)
I love the taste of sweet watermelon with ahi. Yummy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 10:48 PM | Registered CommenterTami

The food looks great and I love the turquoise walls and atmosphere. On my to go lists!

Friday, March 11, 2011 at 7:52 AM | Unregistered Commenterdenise

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