We had heard tell of Mehak Indian Kitchen & Bar opening on Cleveland Avenue, in a stand-alone building in front of the Columbus Square Shopping Center (which is another hotspot of great international eats), so we were excited to check it out.
Mehak was opened by chef Ravinder Sharma, who worked for many years at Aab Indian Kitchen. He opened his own restaurant in the fall of 2022.
Mehak was pretty quiet on our Saturday night visit. Only two other patrons sat in a nearby booth, while a couple take-away orders sailed out the door. But the dining room is bright and comfortable, with a setup for their lunch buffet.
Shortly after we were seated, the server brought us complimentary papardamn – crisp lentil wafers – with sides of spicy pickles.
Since this was our first visit, we decided to order the old family standards, to help us compare Mehak to our other favorites.
This usually includes a platter of samosas, pakoras, and other fried goodies; saag paneer; chicken tikka masala; nav rattan korma; and baskets of garlic naan.
The mixed platter is a good deal at $7. It features a keema samosa with ground beef, combined with various pakoras: fried bites of vegetables, paneer (a soft, white cheese), and chicken. It comes with sides of their mint chutney and a tangy, slightly fermented tamarind sauce.
We used the lovely and fragrant garlic naan to scoop up delicious bites.
We gave all three dishes an unqualified thumbs up. My personal pick was the nav rattan korma, a mixed vegetable dish with a buttery, cashew-based sauce. This is rapidly becoming a favorite anywhere we go.
We also really dug the chef’s special naan, stuffed with chicken, spiced mashed potatoes, onions, and cheese curds. I’d highly recommend this.
I’d most certainly bookmark Mehak for your future explorations. The experience, food, service was great all-around, and we’ll definitely keep it on the list for the next time we’re craving Indian food.