Gary Seman Jr.
Spice 9 might very well be considered an outlier in the great constellation of Indian restaurants across central Ohio.
Located in the restaurant-rich Polaris area, Spice 9 has augmented its dishes to make them more suitable to the largest swath of customers, said Mashesh Tanneru, who owns the venue with Avinash Narsaraopally, Ram Kasarla and Jagan Abeddi.
That means fewer chili peppers and more of the spices that enliven the food without adding too much heat.
“The way we do it is in between,” Tanneru said.
Because India is such a large country, it offers a wide spectrum of food, he said. Many local Indian restaurants simply adjust the temperature for a Western audience, but there is little variation in the flavor, he said.
The restaurant takes over an unassuming storefront, seating 53, at 8631 Sancus Blvd.
Spice 9 — the numeral referring to nine essential spices, with more at the restaurant’s disposal in its cupboard — also has an extensive menu, touching all points of the country but essentially making the dishes distinct to the restaurant.
Central Ohio diners have become more savvy in their dining habits, through travel and having a wide choice of local ethnic restaurants, so they might appreciate the change in direction Spice 9 offers, Tanneru said.
“We focus more on the Columbus crowd across the board,” he said.
Signature dishes on the far-reaching menu include several styles of Hyderabadi biryani (a rice dish named after the city from which it originated), a whole pompano fish cooked in the tandoor oven and several goat dishes using fresh meat from Indiana and supplied by Apna Bazaar, an Indian grocery store adjacent to the restaurant.
The menu also offers Indochinese dishes, vegetarian fare, street food (chaat) and its own style of chicken wings.
Most entrees are $12 to $15.
For beverages, which are nonalcoholic at the moment, Tanneru recommends the chickoo milkshake, made with a South American fruit that’s similar in taste to a pear.
He said the partners have applied for a full liquor license.
Lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, closed Tuesday. Dinner hours are 5 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, closed Tuesday. For more information, call 614-505-3477.
Bird is the word
Meshikou Chikin, the poultry-centric next-door neighbor of Meshikou Ramen, is now open at 1506 Bethel Road.
With a conspicuous Asian orientation, the carryout-only Chikin offers breasts, thigh meat and wings marinated for at least 48 hours and dredged with special seasoned flour before deep-frying, said Mike Shek, a partner in both restaurants.
A meal, which includes seasoned rice and ginger-citrus salad, is $10. A la carte orders are $7.
There are five signature sauces: the signature Meshikou garlic bomb, spicy K pop (Korean), Pacific dry rub, Sichuan “nom nom” and sriracha ranch.
There’s also a spicy chicken sandwich — a thigh pounded thin and prepared the same as the other items — with spicy mayo and pickles on a brioche bun.
Slice and dice
Final Cut Steak & Seafood, the upper-end chophouse in the Hollywood Casino Columbus, has resumed operations Fridays and Saturdays for the time being.
The restaurant has a new menu featuring such items as the cheese board, bone-in pork chop, roasted chicken and modern Caprese salad. Also new: all entrees are served with a side, instead of a la carte in the past.
The Lounge at Final Cut, which also reopened for business on Fridays and Saturdays, offers steaks along with a selection of appetizers.
Sigh of relief?
With the COVID-19 threat still present, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and its sibling, Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern, is hoping to give patrons a reason to breathe a little easier.
All 19 local Cameron Mitchell Restaurants’ concepts and 10 Rusty Bucket locations have installed iWave Air Purification systems, along with MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) filters, believed to eliminate 99.4% of all airborne pathogens, including viruses such as COVID-19.
Both restaurant groups also are in the process of implementing the technology nationwide. The cost of the upgrades was not disclosed.
Dispatch restaurant reporter Gary Seman Jr. can be reached at [email protected]