Wednesday, May 22, 2024 May 22, 2024
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Restaurant Review: Sutra

Chef Vijay Sadhu should give up on the experimentation.
photography by Kevin Marple

I know Chef/Owner Vijay Sadhu has worked hard to make Sutra work. He started out with a rebellious vision of serving modern Portuguese-Indian fusion cuisine. Some of the dishes were so highbrow that even his Indian friends didn’t understand the food. Sadhu quickly changed the menu and added a few customer-friendly dishes but maintained his independent nature by not slinging too many familiar curry and tandoori items. Well, he should quit the experiment and get back to basics. I wanted to love this restaurant, but I did not. From the second I sat down to the time I paid the bill two hours later, I was disenchanted by the food, service, uncomfortable seating, and one murky, cloying tamarind margarita. Short-staffed on a Saturday night, the restaurant had one server and Sadhu working the almost-full dining room. Three cold croquettes of paneer cheese, potatoes, and peas were light, but lacking in flavor. The delightful-sounding butter chicken masala was in reality a bowl of thickened tomato cream sauce without a hint of one of the hundreds of pungent Indian spices, and we located only five small bites of chicken. Lucknowi dum biryani would have been nice if the garlic-, clove-, and ginger-scented rice wasn’t marred by gristly pieces of lamb. We would have left hungry if not for the delicious garlic and basil and fruity Peshawari naan. But even the hot, oven-baked flatbread couldn’t save the palak paneer. It’s unfathomable to find nothing redeeming in a bowl of melted spinach and cheese. I say bring on the curry!

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