Chutny Restaurant, 7081 Brookfield Plaza, Springfield, VA, 703-569-7700 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | zabihah | Yelp]
I went here on a Ramadan evening, with Mike Munger and Chug Roberts. Everything started at about quarter to eight, the place was packed, and the atmosphere and people-watching rated an A+. What about the food? It was buffet style and the concentrated arrival of everyone meant that it was quite fresh. The haleem and the spicy, folded beef were both first-rate I thought, among the best around or perhaps the best.
The tandoori, spinach, egg curry, and chick peas were pretty good, if not quite the best they were “good enough to enjoy.” The rice was tasty, the samosa was for me too doughy, the desserts I did not try. Overall I had a very positive experience here, though perhaps Ramadan was weighing in my favor. The regular menu also serves up brains, though they were not on the buffet table to be had.
Note that Brookfield Plaza has become a Pakistani center of sorts. It has numerous Pakistani restaurants and garment shops, and it even has a halal Chinese restaurant, owned and run by a Pakistani. This is a place that demands further exploration.
It was a great time. Very interesting to see Ramadan break-fast festivities. And a very family atmosphere, with little kids climbing around and playing. Like being at grandma’s, if grandma could really, really cook.
On the samosas: Yes, they were doughy and rustic. But the filling was tremendous. I don’t usually like samosas, so having filling that outstanding was enough to win my endorsement.
The next morning, I could still smell the spices on my hands. Memorable.