Located in one of the main shopping districts of Riyadh, Indian Summer in Hai Ul Murooj is the easiest to reach from our workplace and a good place to go to for those who crave Indian food.
My work friends and I have been frequenting Indian Summer since 2014 but it is only now that I decided to feature it on the blog. After all, it has been almost a year since I published a food blog post. On the 1st of June, Randy, Joel, and I rushed to said Indian Summer Restaurant branch to make the most of the few remaining non-fasting days. That was practically three days before Ramadan started.
We arrived there a few minutes before the Dhuhr prayer finishes. We were the only customers when we entered. Randy asked me and Joel about our preferred food then we let him placed our orders (Chicken Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken, Seafood Fried Rice, Naan Bread, and Gulab Jamum for dessert). He is our trusted connoisseur and the most familiar with the place. He explicitly requested to make the ordered viands extra spicy, as in Indian spicy, which I loved. The wait staff easily obliged. I became very eager to take photos while we were waiting for the food.
The single section, which is on the ground floor, only has eight tables. There is only one part that has a huge over head lamp but the comfortable atmosphere is undeniable. The interior gives that combination of Indian and Saudi vibes though squeezed in a neat space.
After just about four minutes, I went back to our table. Randy suggested the idea of taking photos at the family section, which according to him is a lot nicer. I and Joel immediately asked the receptionist cum cashier if we could get in. He asked the manager first and upon learning that there are no customers anyway, he enthusiastically signaled us to go check it–with a warning that we should leave the premises in the event that family customers start coming in. It is always polite to ask for permission especially when it comes to taking photographs here in Saudi Arabia.
The family section is up a steep flight of stairs. This part of the restaurant shows a more lavish Middle Eastern, Indian feel. Proper air conditioning vents are visible and most of the tables have huge over head lamps. The tables are segregated with partitions and curtains to conform to local customs. We finished our photo op after five minutes and there was still not one customer when we left.
By the time we got back in the single section, the wait staff already started delivering the food. I have a thing with a chili aroma of anything edible so upon noticing the smell, I literally salivated. That was my fifth time visiting the restaurant but my palate still adores it.
All of the dishes looked well-cooked and the presentation was nice. It was an opportune moment to devour the food. As we were mincing the butter chicken, Randy commented that the spice was a bit stronger than what he expected. Nonetheless, it was perfect for my already acquired Bicolano palate. I turned out to be the happiest among us three, especially during desserts’ time.
Whenever I asked an Indian colleague to comment on the restaurant, I usually get this: It is a good one but the dishes do not really fall under authentic Indian cuisine. The flavors are intentionally softened to suit Asian and Western tastes. Indian Summer main courses leave something to be desired because of their weak spicy flavor.
Overall, the restaurant gave me a decent run for my money. I had a delicious dive into the food and into the fraction of Indian history and culture. The only challenge here is finding a parking lot. The first time I was brought here, we ended up parking at the back of a building, which is on the other side, attached to it. We had to walk past three blocks to get back to the entrance.
Visit indiansummer.com for more information about the restaurant and its branches in the city.
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