Monday, June 28, 2010

Ruchi India - Jackson (New Location)

Back in February, I wrote about Ruchi India and my various dining experiences there. While the food was spicy, I found it to be lacking especially in comparison to their neighbor down the road, Spice Avenue. Fast forward to June and things have changed. Ruchi India has moved from their original and quite frankly sketchy looking location, and just where has Ruchi moved?


Well, Avery Boulevard and the Pan Asia’s former location is the new home of Ruchi India. It seems that the east end of County Line Road is becoming quite the little collection of ethnic restaurants. With Alvin and Kate meeting me there, it was time to see if anything had changed at Ruchi besides the location.


A little complimentary bread and sauces to start the meal.


The vegetable samosas were the first appetizer to the table.

I didn’t have a chance to try these at the previous location but they were a welcome start to the meal here. Inside the well fried exterior was a filling of creamy potato and quite a spicy kick. It seems that Ruchi hasn’t lost their touch when it comes to spiciness.


An order of chicken pakoras was the second appetizer.


It may sound odd, but these almost seem like a chicken hush puppy. With a doughy exterior but perfectly juicy chicken, these pakoras were a real treat.


Due to the number of entrees were ordered, we were given the choice of soup or salad. I immediately went with mulligatawny soup but was dejected to find that wasn’t an option, not even as an extra cost substitution.


Instead we all received a bowl of this tomato soup. I realize the soup is included with the entrée but do I really have to pay for a bowl of sweetened Campbell’s condensed soup?


After the reconstituted bowl of soup, the first entrée was an order of the combination biryani.

When trying to explain biryani to Alvin and Kate, my best answer was “think of it as an Indian take on fried rice.” I don’t know how accurate that is, but it seemed to convey the concept.

Like my previous visits to Ruchi, this biryani is all rice and no meat. There also isn’t the diversity of spices and flavors as in the same dish from Spice Avenue. All negatives aside, when I did have a piece of meat it was tender and quite spicy.


I was looking to give Alvin and Kate a very basic introduction to Indian cuisine, so I also ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala, the Glaswegian favorite.


With this dish, we encountered one of those annoying setbacks, overcooked meat.

Well, there was still a very pronounced tomato flavor and that Ruchi kick.


Knowing there was an abundance of chicken on the table, I tried to add a little variety with an order of lamb vindaloo.

Initially I was disappointed. For a vindaloo there was no real spiciness.

However I realized it was a cumulative effect, but in the end it was still a pretty mundane vindaloo.


Hoping to finish the round of entrées with a bang, I ordered the Chicken Tandoori. While I was expecting the big sizzling platter of piping hot chicken like at Spice Avenue, we instead received a platter that seemed like it had been set aside for a short while.

Don’t get my wrong, the chicken was quite juicy and very well roasted. The coating was also quite thick and had more than a little spice to it.


It was just a little less than what I was expecting in both presentation and flavor.


There’s no doubt in my mind that things have improved at Ruchi India. No longer are they surrounded by derelict buildings and they appear to have a decently full parking lot. The interior is no longer cavernous and empty, a slightly smaller but much more welcoming décor in its stead. However a few things haven’t changed. I’ll still give Ruchi the nod for sheer spiciness and heat to their dishes, but for more well rounded dishes and better cooked meats, Spice Avenue is still my venue of choice.


For my first review of Ruchi India, please click here



Ruchi India on Urbanspoon

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rucchi moved about the same time someone got shot in the parking lot (and this happened during the day). Rucchi has been a big disappointment to me. It was a great restaurant when it was on its own on Ridgewood. It then combined forces with Jackson's first Indian restaurant at the I-55 location and everything went downhill. On one of my last visits, years ago, when we were finding it impossible to get a glass of water even though there were only four people there for the noon buffet, I asked the waiter if the restaurant was a front for money laundering since it was pretty clear no one cared about its being a restaurant. I love Indian food. Thank god for Spice Avenue!

Cynical Cook said...

>Anonymous

-I would say that someone getting shot in your parking lot is a pretty good impetus to move.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. I don't know whether the decision to move was before or after the shooting. Regardless of the shooting, it seems like a move was good decision. People in Madison who want Indian food may go to Rucchi rather than drive to Spice Avenue. When Spice Avenue first opened, Rucchi supporters touted Rucchi's lunch buffet as the reason to stick with Rucchi. Spice Avenue now has a lunch buffet and it seems to have either butter chicken or chicken tikka masala every day (along with other choices, of course). Both of those entrees being crowd pleasers.

At least it looks like Rucchi is making an effort now. It was a good restaurant when it first opened on Ridgewood.

Raj Patel said...

Okay... Mr. "Cynical Cook," First of all, learn how to spell the name of the restaurant you are reviewing. It's Ruchi, with one "c." It shouldn't be that hard considering the fact that it's spelled out for you on the menu... Now let's get down to the real business at hand. I'm gonna safely assume that you aren't Indian. So how on earth would you know what real Indian food tastes like? I've been to both Spice Avenue and Ruchi India, and I'll tell you something. The food at Spice Avenue is completely fake. They use ready made curries and put food coloring on all their food to make it more appealing. They go for a better look than taste. Whereas Ruchi sticks to legit Indian food making everything fresh and from good natural ingredients. Also, Ruchi doesn't make everything as spicy as it can, because not all Americans can handle the spice. So if you want spicier food, you should specify next time. As far as the cooking of the meat goes, I'll have you know, 4 out of the 7 times I've been to Spice Avenue, the meat was disgustingly undercooked or rotten. The Biryani at Ruchi is the real deal, whereas Spice Avenue goes and buys their food in packets from Patel Groceries on Lake Harbour. I know this for a fact because I happen to know a few of the people at Spice Avenue who have personally told me that a lot of their food is not real. This is just to let you know that as a non-indian you shouldn't be going around talking about dishes you dont know. And looking them up really quick on your iPhone while your food gets there doesn't count.

Cynical Cook said...

>Mr. Patel

-First, thank you for correcting me on the spelling of Ruchi. I spelled it correctly on the first review, but I'm not exactly sure why I misspelled it this time.

Yes, I am not Indian. At no point in time did I claim to be Indian or any sort of resource about the various intricacies of the cuisine.. However, ethnic background does not make someone an expert on a cuisine.

As for Spice Avenue, thanks for informing me about their lack of authenticity. I value this sort of insight, especially if you've heard it from the Spice Avenue employees.

Regarding spiciness, is there some secret sign that I need to make when asking for extra spiciness? At both restaurants, I've asked for the food as hot as they'll make it, and Ruchi beats Spice Avenue on heat every time.

I'm sorry to hear you've had rotten or undercooked meat at Spice Avenue. I've never experienced that, but I have had overcooked meat at Ruchi.

Also thanks for the tip on checking my ethnicity at the door. Being Caucasian, there's no way I can ever learn enough to know as much as someone who is Indian. I'll also make sure to hide my phone and my shame, lest I try to learn a little something extra while waiting.


In all seriousness, thank you for commenting and especially for using a name.

Srikanth said...

Dear Cynical Cook, i agree with Raj Patel. I think you truly dont know the indian food. Ruchi is best in both coustomer service as well as the best in its authentic indian food. i been there almost every week and i never found any of your so called complaints about food or service. To my knowledge Ruchi is the best authentic Indian Restaurant in Jackson. I been around the world and i never found such a delicious indian food ever.

Priyanka said...

Hmmm as per my knowledge, Ruchi is the best Indian restaurant in Jackson area. It will be foolish to compare Ruchi with spice avenue.......totally both the restaurants are at opposite ends. Ruchi is the best in dinning experience as per quality , taste n hospitality. Anyone who knows the meaning of true authentic taste of Indian food will vote for Ruchi being at forefront

Glenn said...

Dear Cynical Cook.

Le me tell you , You are in a total wrong track about Ruchi India. Let me tell you the main difference between Spice Avenue and Ruchi. The Customer Service, For some reason I haven't found Spice Avenue a place to even take someone. Lets talk about Food and its taste, first of all, I have had indian food in multiple cities and in multiple countries, including India.. I have had indian food in homes of my indian colleagues, cooked by their mothers who have come from India.. Let me tell you Ruchi is as authentic as it can be.. There are definitely a few areas of improvement, but unlike what you are saying, Indian Food is not about being as spicy as it can.. I have realized out of my experience that places which make very spicy Indian food, try to cover up their mistakes by making it very very spicy, you unfortunately are victim of such Restaurants , Take a Biryani for that matter, the best biryani places are not spicy, they are flavored . Finally, I think the best Indian Restaurants in the US are in Manhattan, Ruchi for that matter is very close to that. Making a Mango Lassi is very easy, But making a authentic flavored mango Lassi is very tough, You need not have a 100 things to tell what kind of a indian restaurant , Take an Indian along with you , order a Dal (Dal Makhni if he is North Indian or Dal Tadka if he is a south indian) and you will know if the eatery is good or bad. I am not trying to argue or fight with you. I am just saying you are completely on the wrong track regarding Indian food.

Thanks...

Glenn said...

Dear Cynical Cook.

Le me tell you , You are in a total wrong track about Ruchi India. Let me tell you the main difference between Spice Avenue and Ruchi. The Customer Service, For some reason I haven't found Spice Avenue a place to even take someone. Lets talk about Food and its taste, first of all, I have had indian food in multiple cities and in multiple countries, including India.. I have had indian food in homes of my indian colleagues, cooked by their mothers who have come from India.. Let me tell you Ruchi is as authentic as it can be.. There are definitely a few areas of improvement, but unlike what you are saying, Indian Food is not about being as spicy as it can.. I have realized out of my experience that places which make very spicy Indian food, try to cover up their mistakes by making it very very spicy, you unfortunately are victim of such Restaurants , Take a Biryani for that matter, the best biryani places are not spicy, they are flavored . Finally, I think the best Indian Restaurants in the US are in Manhattan, Ruchi for that matter is very close to that. Making a Mango Lassi is very easy, But making a authentic flavored mango Lassi is very tough, You need not have a 100 things to tell what kind of a indian restaurant , Take an Indian along with you , order a Dal (Dal Makhni if he is North Indian or Dal Tadka if he is a south indian) and you will know if the eatery is good or bad. I am not trying to argue or fight with you. I am just saying you are completely on the wrong track regarding Indian food.

Thanks...