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  • Jennifer

...A Springtime Nostalgic "I Remember Dakshin"

In honor of all things vintage, I unveil a reworking of an old gem – a 2004 restaurant review entitled “The Forum at Dakshin.” It comprises one of eight restaurant reviews, making up my book called “Bon Appetit” from that same year. I still remember that spring night vividly – the warmth of the air, the walk to the restaurant, and of course, the good food and company. My sister and I were on a quest to “feed our soul.” I hope you enjoy.

On a warm spring night, fireflies dotting the twilight air like shimmering emeralds, my sister and I set out on foot for the Indian restaurant, Dakshin, located in my little city’s downtown. Would the exotic food taste good? Would the ambiance and staff service be inviting? Yes. What’s more, my sister and I passed through a magical, immense purple cloud (a.k.a. ceiling-to-floor curtain) when walking through this restaurant’s entrance – a fitting symbol of spiritual embarkation that I will always fondly remember, like gold dust on my sandals, or an orange flower in my hair. Hello, personal growth workshop called “The Forum.” We have entered your lovely, eye-opening lair.

We sat at a table in the middle of the large, spacious dining room. Big gold-framed mirrors and Indian sunset photographs lined the walls. These photographs were MASSIVE – you could step into them without even ducking. Incense permeated the air. Colorful lanterns hung down from the ceiling in a rainbow. Then, Indian waitresses in traditional Indian dresses whizzed by us. Stopping at our table, they gingerly dropped off naan chips and an array of colorful sauces – brown, green, and red. My sister liked the sauce variety, and I coached her on what each color would taste like. Spicy, tangy, sweet?  Mmmm… For the main course, my sister had the popular chicken tikka masala, while I the northern specialty of mirgh sagwalla – a mild and exceptionally tasty chicken and spinach dish. As we feasted, my sister and I discussed her recent attendance at “The Forum” – reputed to be the SECOND most life-changing, memorable experience one can have in life. What was the first? What criteria were being used? This sales exec (a.k.a. yours truly) for the statistical powerhouse mag The Economist was curious about this numerical proclamation.

“The Forum” is a self-exploration workshop that taps into deep childhood memories, current adult goals, far-off worlds of fantasy – and how we can translate those glittering worlds into a successful feet-on-ground reality. Exciting stuff. At one point, my sister put her newfound spiritual knowledge to use by quickly noticing and remarking on how my shift in physical mannerism signaled my shift in emotion. She was right! Her self-exploration had advanced far beyond her own spirit. She was now across the table and into mine! Dakshin is the PERFECT restaurant to do some deep-sea spiritual diving. After all, India is considered one of the most spiritual countries in the world. Once you pass through that breathtaking purple curtain at Dakshin, you are immersed in a cool, hip, and modern Indian setting – and one that allows you to focus on your dinner companion as the dining room is so wonderfully large.

Most importantly, the food is amazingly authentic (from what I hear) and delicious (from what I know). Its menu features dishes from across the many regions of India, so your palate is in for a treat. My sister and I loved our “Forum at Dakshin.” Dare I say it fed our soul? Mmmm...

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