If you’ve looked through my earlier blog entries, you’ll notice I loved Akash India (http://wp.me/p3jVIR-u), which is my favorite Indian restaurant I’ve ever been to or gotten takeout from. However, reading the local reviews on Urbanspoon.com, I noticed that another restaurant has edged Akash overall as the king of Indian food. My wife and I were obviously very interested in checking it out, and went when we got the chance.
Dusmesh is located close to Cincinnati State, this restaurant is in what looks like a large house on the way down to Ludlow in Clifton. As we were pulling in, a patron pulling out backed into a parked car…not a great start, but glad it wasn’t us. We made sure to park in a spot that had little chance of an errant driver hitting us. Once parked, we walked up to the door and noticed it was BYOB…ok, that means a quick trip to a convenience store for the B. Once in the restaurant, a very excited hostess greeted us and sat us in the back corner. It’s a colorful place, and much smaller than Akash. We had to wait a few minutes for service to come for whatever reason, but they were very nice once they came. The menu was pretty expansive, differing in some areas than Akash. The main differences were that Dusmesh had more Tandoori choices, some mango based options, and some seafood options.
We decided we’d have our favorite dishes that we typically get at Akash, so we could directly compare. My wife ordered the Chicken Makhani (marinated chicken pieces smothered with onions, tomatoes, butter and cream sauce with nuts and raisins), I went with the Chicken Tikka Saag (spinach, cream, tomato sauce, and tandoori prepped chicken pieces marinated with yogurt and spices cooked in a clay oven) and we shared the Coconut and Raisin Naan. The portions of the dishes were not as large as Akash’s, but the prices were about the same. The look and color of the Tikka Saag was a bit different than Akash’s…less green, more sauce. It was really good, but the chicken was not as good as Akash’s. The chicken (especially the tikka) is just so much more juicy and flavorful at Akash…more so than I’ve had at any other Indian restaurant. Dusmesh’s was good in its own right, but just not at that level. The Makhani looked very similar to what Akash offers. However, like the saag, the chicken wasn’t at the same level as Akash. It was still very good, however. The naan was very different. While Akash’s is fluffy, Dusmesh’s was thin and a bit crispier. The coconut gave it a very nice taste, and it was fantastic dipping in the sauces. They have a few different choices for naan…I’d love to try them all.
The service was decent. Very friendly with lots of smiles, the hostess and servers seemed happy to be there. However, as I previously stated, it was a bit slow. The place wasn’t full by any means, but it did take a few minutes to get a bottle opener and water. That said, it didn’t kill the enjoyment of the meal, so it wasn’t a big deal. Plus, in a very funny moment they started vacuuming for no good reason while people were eating. Not sure why that didn’t bug us, but we both thought that was just so random.
Overall, Dusmesh is a great option for Indian food. Not quite as good as Akash, but probably the second best in Cincinnati. And it’s another reason NOT to go to the very disappointing Mantra on the Hill (http://wp.me/p3jVIR-o). The BYOB is also great…nothing like being able to drink premium imports for $2.00!