Finding good international food in Rhode Island hasn’t always been easy. As a child growing up in North Kingstown, Chinese food was considered exotic. Southern Rhode Island has been especially slow in embracing foods from different cultures, but at last, the long overdue change is coming. I love Indian food, and it was time for Westerly to get its own Indian restaurant.
Adrak 2 opened on Canal Street in Westerly last November. The name is slightly confusing because the original Adrak Restaurant in South County Commons has yet to open. Nevertheless, Adrak 2 is located right in the heart of Westerly’s bustling downtown and has its own parking lot, which is a rarity in that part of town. The upscale restaurant is large and open with well-spaced tables, and the comfortable bar seats twelve. There is also an outdoor patio if you wish to dine alfresco. On a recent Saturday night, my brother, a friend, and I settled into a table by the window overlooking Canal Street.
The cocktail list at Adrak 2 is extensive. Although they seem to be known for their jumbo 28-ounce margaritas, I went with a cocktail called the Indian Gold Rush, a blend of Maker’s Mark Bourbon, honey syrup, cardamom bitters, and lemon juice. My friend chose a Whalers Rise from the impressive beer menu.
I love Samosas and Gobi 65, so if they are on the menu, it is hard for me to not to order them. The Vegetable Samosas were excellent: the pastry dough on the outside was flaky and crisp, while the inside was filled with well seasoned potato and peas. They provided both a tamarind sauce and a mint sauce for dipping. Gobi 65 is deep-fried cauliflower topped with sauce. Most versions I’ve tried of Gobi 65 have a sweet sauce, but theirs was more on the spicy side, which we really enjoyed. The cauliflower was double-fried to give it an extra crispness. Since there were three of us, we went all out and got the Bread Basket. Naan is a leavened bread that is a staple of Indian cuisine. In the Bread Basket, there were pieces of butter naan, garlic naan, and onion kulcha.
Among the three of us, my brother definitely has the more adventurous palate; he goes out of his way to order the strangest thing on every menu, so he tried the Goat Shukha. Goat can sometimes be stringy or tough, but in this case, the Shukha was marinated in spices before grilling to keep it nice and tender. Most dishes on the menu can be prepared to your preferred spice level; my brother asked for the spiciest possible. Still, the meat wasn’t so spicy that it ripped the taste buds off of your tongue. My friend is the least adventurous in our group and went with the safe Chicken Tikka Masala.
I went with the middle of the road on the adventure scale and tried the Chicken Vindaloo. I asked for it spicy, and it was just right – hot without being dangerous. The chicken was tender, the potato chunks perfectly cooked, and there was plenty of sauce to dip my naan into. All of the entrees were served with their own separate dishes of basmati rice.
For people with dietary restrictions, Adrak 2 offers many vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. If you are unsure what you want to order or you have never sampled Indian food before, Adrak 2 offers a lunch buffet on Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30am-2:30pm for only $10.99. They have a separate bar menu (though you can also order from the regular menu at the bar) with several varieties of chicken wings and even naan tacos. At the bar, a Happy Hour menu offers $6 martinis, margaritas, or house wine, plus half-off appetizers, making it a great place to watch a Patriots game while enjoying a drink and some appetizers.
12 Canal Street, Westerly • 315-0843