Portland >Food & Dining > India Oven
3450 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR | Directions 9721445.516363 -122.628332
5pm-9pm 7 nights a week
Neighborhoods: Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program, Sunnyside
This food belongs in my tummy NOW! – The Saag Paneer is about the only thing I have ever tried here but its fabulous. I order Garlic Naan with it and its a great combination. Just the right amount of food for me. And you can have it delivered to your door through DELIVERED DISH. Yummers!
Best Indian in SE... – I agree that finding quality Indian food can be a bit of a challenge in this town- aside from the super upscale, there really isn't much.
But here's what I have come to find- that if you are in the sweet South-easy, like me, India Oven will do the job nicely.
No, you won't find GREAT service... this is an area that these folks could use a sit- down on... but then, half the spots in this town are filled with entitled servers who have no serving skills. That said, yes, India Oven is on the slow side... We often go earlier or later, when they aren't so swamped, and things are generally fine.
(I also feel the need to point out that we Westerners want what we want when we want it, and if that is our cultural predisposition, it perhaps isn't our most attractive feature, collectively speaking. )
I would also like to make a point about "blandness". Tell me if this sounds familiar- You get a craving for Indian, and you order it hot... only to find it coming out with no spice at all...
Well, this was the story of my life, but I couldn't figure out why it kept happening... Well, I finally started asking some questions, and a picture began to emerge...
Look at it from a small restaurant owner's perspective...
Someone comes in and orders a dish "hot", only to have it sent back because it is, to the person that ordered it, unbearably hot. In the garbage goes the dish, and food costs soar.
The problem isn't laziness or rudeness on the part of the restaurant owner- it's just a matter of perspective... what is hot to one person may be unacceptably tepid to the next. Thai food has solved this problem to some degree by using "stars", but then one still doesn't know...
So, I talked to the lovely folks at IO, and when I got a dish back that wasn't flavorful and spicy enough, I politely got her attention and ASKED her...
She was surprized when I told her that it wasn't spicy enough at all. When I asked her what I could do to remedy the situation next time, she said, Oh, just order it "Indian hot". Finally!
After talking with various servers on repeat visits, it became clear to me that "Oregon hot", or what is somewhat spicy to some, isn't even a blip on my radar.
I think they have it right in London. Go to an Indian restaurant on Brick Lane, and just try and order anything above medium- the chefs in the kitchen will help you understand what spice really is.
Here's my impression: folks that own and work at places like IO might be worried about not getting it too hot- with the result that there is no communication between patron and server.
Which is why between the two, I would rather have it like it is in London, personally. (Somebody's gotta set the vibe, you know what I mean? )
All in all, I think India Oven is decent, and I gave them 3 stars. Not the best, but definitely not the worst, either...
We almost always order chicken tikka masala- Indian hot, please!, with Garlic naan, which is just fine... oh, and lot's of Raita... cuz if you do order it Indian hot, it's not gonna be bland, that is for sure! Also like the rogan josh a bunch too!
I think this place has promise, and I will keep rooting for them to work out the quirks. Definitely recommend, and definitely be going back.. in fact, all this writing about Indian is making me HUNGRY!!!! I gotta go make a phone call- it's take out tonight!
Bad Food & Service – The food was poorly prepared and very bland. Chicken Tikka was like Mcnuggets from McDonalds. The Naan was tastless & our server was slow & clueless.
Do yourself a big favor & do not eat here
bad service – The food is good, but the service is not so good.
I ordered naan, chicken tikka masala, chai. The server did not check back at all, would not refill my chai and when I asked for mint sauce for the naan, you would have thought it was some horrible insult. The server said "that only comes when you order appetizers, but I'll bring some".
I will not go back.
What a disappointment!! – Indian food is among my favorite cuisine, and it has been so disappointing living in Portland where we have very little options as far as Indian food is concerned. I passed by India Oven and decided to give it a try. I friend and I came and shared a few dishes: nan, a lamb curry dish, veggie samosa, and tandori chicken. The nan and the veggie samosa were good, but the meat dishes were horrible! So so bland!! The tandori chicken packed a small amount of heat, but carried no other flavor. Indian food is known for its bold flavor and spices and should NEVER require the use of salt, but I had to use salt with this meal. Quite a disappointment.
This is the place for great indian food in Portland – The food here was excellent. Just like the previous posting, the tikka masala has a great spice and flavor. We tried this place out on a wimm and it was well worth it. We ordered rogan josh lamb, tikka masala chicken, and the vegetable korma. Each was great and had a nice flavor. We will definitely be back.
Excellent Indian – I've tirelessly searched for quality Indian food in Portland and I am happy to report that India Oven has filled my void. I've been for both lunch and dinner. For lunch, I particularly enjoy the naan curry wrap specials. For dinner, I'm a big fan of the muttar paneer and chicken tikka masala. In addition to the good food, the atmosphere is nice and clean and the service is super friendly.
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