Blue Royal Indian Cuisine is a treasure trove for culinary explorers – Ashland Tidings
Vegetable pakora are coated with chickpeas, deep-fried and served with mint and tamarind chutneys at Blue Royal Indian Cuisine in Medford. Photo by Sarah Citron.
Garlic naan is one of nine types of freshly baked or fried breads at Blue Royal Indian Cuisine in Medford. Photo by Sarah Citron.
Lamb “saag gosht” (left) and fish “koliwada” are served with rice at the Blue Royal Indian Cuisine in Medford. Photo by Sarah Citron.
Samosas, turnovers stuffed with potatoes and peas, are served with mint and tamarind chutneys at the Blue Royal Indian Cuisine in Medford. Photo by Sarah Citron.
Tandoori chicken is a sizzling specialty of Blue Royal Indian cuisine in Medford. Photo by Sarah Citron.
India’s vast culinary canon could not be represented in one restaurant. The new Blue Royal Indian Cuisine, however, makes an impressive effort with an almost encyclopedic menu and an equally expansive dining area in East Medford.
Open since April 30, Blue Royal occupies the former India’s Kitchen site at Larson Creek Center on North Phoenix Road. Owner Rick Bagri has been in Rogue Valley for about eight years, but this is his first restaurant, conceptualized with both a restaurant consultant and an award-winning chef.
Chef Deepak Bhardwaj brings nearly 100 menu items to the Blue Royal from the Sonoma, California area. The chef is a double gold medalist at the 2007 Sonoma County Harvest Fair, according to the Blue Royal website. His two winning recipes – herbed marinated shrimp, seared and a lamb chop cooked with pomegranate – are served at the Blue Royal.
Months had passed since I had enjoyed Indian restaurant food and craved classics. I also wanted a spread to attract my 6 and 8 year old sons. So we ordered vegetable pakora ($ 6) and samosa ($ 5) entrees, a tandoori chicken dish ($ 17), and a freshly baked garlic naan ($ 4).
Because my youngest son also asked for lamb, I added “saag gosht” ($ 17), one of nine dishes under the menu item “mutton” which can also be made with goat. . I appreciate the efforts of Blue Royal to expose diners to this alternative meat that is as ecological as it is delicious. It goes without saying that there is no beef at Blue Royal.
A paradise for vegetarians, Blue Royal offers no less than 25 plant-based dishes, not to mention the selection of breads, which also claim to be gluten-free. Curious to compare the regular bread to the alternative, we asked for an order of gluten-free garlic naan ($ 5), only to learn that it wasn’t available that night. So I opted for the variety with “parantha”, whole wheat bread cooked in a pan ($ 3).
For our third course, I consulted my sister, another seafood enthusiast, and she approved the fish “koliwada” ($ 16), described as coming from a fishing center in Mubai and pairing with “green sauce. freshly mashed ‘with grilled fish. The menu also offers plenty of shrimp and chicken preparations, as well as homemade paneer cheese, soups, salads and rice dishes – known as “biryani” – steamed in clay pots. sealed with delicate spices.
The traditional Indian clay oven – “tandoor” – gives its name to a genre of yoghurt-marinated meats, including the ever popular tandoori chicken. Ours arrived in a whirlwind of steam and ceremony, crammed onto a sizzling metal tray above a wooden tray. Made up of almost all of the chicken, the dish is great value, offering a piece for each of the four diners, plus a side dish of rice. My boys eagerly claimed their portions, juggling the bird between bites in the hope that it would cool down.
Enthusiasm also greeted the garlic naan, which comes in three wedges that have only whetted our appetites. Glad we tried the parantha, which is not that widely featured in other Indian restaurants in the area. But next time we would stay with naan and ask for a dual order.
We had a lot of veggie pakora, and the boys both said the breaded and fried chickpea veg range was “so good”. They didn’t need the mint and tamarind chutneys, which I loved so much, that we kept the gravy dishes after the appetizers were finished.
Chutneys are also standard accompaniments to potato and pea stuffed samosas, a consolation as the lamb filling was not available. I was surprised that neither of the boys wanted more than a bite to eat, but agreed that the iconic Indian slipper was my favorite among the plates at our table.
An unexpected star, the “koliwada” fish was probably the best dish I have eaten at any Indian restaurant locally and among the most conscientiously cooked fish I have encountered as a demanding coastal native on my travels. Seafood. Swimming in a vibrant and intensely fragrant sauce, the delicate white-fleshed tenderloin was just firm enough to hold its shape before melting in the mouth. While not the most visually appealing dish, it is the one I would order over and over again if I wasn’t convinced that Chef Bhardwaj’s repertoire deserves more exploration.
The creamy spinach-based saag was a fine example of its kind but less distinctive when judged against the rest of the meal. My youngest son only took a bite, believing he had medium rare cooked lamb on the bone as he is used to eating at home. Such refined tastes at such a tender age may inspire indulgence next time around in Bhardwaj’s Pomegranate Lamb Chop.
Stuffed almost to the gills, we skipped dessert but couldn’t leave without a few sips of mango lassi ($ 3.50), a drink to share between the boys and me. Now that they’ve tried this rose syrup flavored yogurt drink, I have no doubt they’ll be clamoring to come back to Blue Royal.
Open for on-site dining, take-out and delivery at 970 N. Phoenix Road, Blue Royal does not have outdoor seating. The hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Order online at blueroyalindiancuisine.com. Call 541-773-6800.
A “Survivor Kitchen” is preparing the next dinner hosted by Harry and David.
The owners of Downtown Market Co. have been touting their new pandemic-inspired character, including for an event on June 17, starting at 6:30 p.m., in downtown Medford. The dinner is in line with social distancing linked to the pandemic, said Rhonda Klug, manager of experiential marketing and community relations at Harry & David.
Tickets cost $ 65 per person. Book at harryanddavid.com/hosted-dinners/medford-or/downtown-market
Resuming indoor dining in May, the market underwent a renovation to host special events on the second floor, starting in July, and also laid the groundwork for the resurrection of its Wednesday night dinner series, according to its website.
Organized dinners have been available to the public for about three years, but have been redesigned as virtual and outdoor events since 2020. Multi-course menus typically incorporate foods prepared by Harry & David including spreads, mustards , preserves, relish and Moose Munch.
Premium tea is one of the latest restaurant concepts to join Ashland’s ranks.
Lovejoy’s Tea Room opened in May at 96 N. Main St., the former location of the Liquid Assets Wine Bar. The establishment is the latest to join Lovejoy’s, which also operates teahouses in Portland, Redwood City and Pacifica, California. The owners recently closed their 16-year-old flagship store in San Francisco since serving take-out tea amid pandemic restrictions.
Offering a ‘great afternoon tea service’ by reservation only, Lovejoy’s revel in its ambiance of ‘cozy and quirky place filled with porcelain and mismatched furniture – where handcrafted teapots, porcelain mosaics broken pieces and an eclectic assortment of collectibles will delight your eyes. “
Priced at $ 35 per person, “Queen’s Tea” can be booked between 11 am and 4 pm Thursday through Sunday. For guests under 10, the “princess” and “prince” portions cost $ 25 each.
See lovejoystearoom-ashland.com. Call 541-708-6718.
In March, Jackson County Environmental Public Health inspectors resumed the on-site assessment of dining facilities offering indoor dining. In April, the following restaurants received perfect marks of 100 in their biannual inspections:
B & D’s Eatery & Deli, Prospect; Barbwire Grill, Eagle Point; Limit your appetite, Eagle Point; Domaine Colibri, Point Central; Lucky’s II, Shady Cove; Mac’s Diner, Shady Cove; Pizza at the Cove, Shady Cove; Osprey nest, Eagle Point; Other Guy’s Cascade Gorge Lounge, Prospect; Bonbons-N-Mange, Jacksonville; The Talon Grill, Eagle Point; Upper Rogue Community Center, Shady Cove; Whiskey river cafe and lounge, focal point.
The county’s searchable restaurant and food service inspection database can be found at healthspace.com/Clients/Oregon/jackson/Web.nsf/home.xsp
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Sarah Lemon has relished the Rogue Valley food scene for nearly two decades as one of the first contributors to Tempo’s food column. His palace has helped judge some of the region’s culinary competitions and festivals. Former editor-in-chief of A la Carte, the weekly gastronomic column of the Mail Tribune, she writes a bi-weekly column, The Whole Dish, as well as blogs and podcasts under the same name. Listen to mailtribune.com/podcasts and read more at mailtribune.com/lifestyle/the-whole-dish. Follow @ the.whole. dish on Instagram, @thewholedish on Twitter or see facebook.com/thewholedish.