The team behind Bib Gourmand-nominated Karma Modern Indian in Chinatown unveils an anticipated sibling placement in Old Town Alexandria this week, introducing Indian street food, plenty of airy naan and familiar favorites to its new waterfront neighborhood.
Kismet Modern Indian opens with takeaway starting Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. 4 p.m., with dining serving Wednesday, Nov. 10, across its industrial-chic excavations (111 N. Pitt Street).
Like Karma, the cuisine of the new offshoot will not be limited to one region of India. Karma chef and New Delhi native Ajay Kumar brings old-schoolers a new menu full of vegetables, seafood and meat dishes at Kismet, meaning “fate”.
Main courses from a “journey continues” section include grilled snapper with peri-peri sauce; grilled lamb chops accompanied by diced potatoes with caramel seeds; and saffron-infused vegetable korma. Starters from a “beginning” section include sweet potato with tamarind sauce; tandoori shrimp; and jhaal muri, Calcutta’s beloved street snack packs filled with puffed rice, date chutney and green chili.
Some of Karma’s best-selling staples, such as chicken tikka made with a blend of tandoori spices that the kitchen paints on site, are imported to Old Town. The same goes for Karma’s lambekh kebab, butter paneer, chicken curry and popular sides like mint cucumber raita and palak paneer. Five types of flavorful, airy naan come sliced olive or garlic.
The 4,000 square meter room lined with white quartz tables, earth tones and smooth concrete floors has a patio with 30 seats behind.
“It will not be good dinner where Karma is, but more‘ fun ’dining,” says co-founder and longtime Alexandria resident Sachin Mahajan, who has long wanted to open more restaurants. He also plans to copy the more dressy original in DC in other U.S. cities.
An 18-seater bar area sends out seasonal cocktails like “Autumn Leaves” (Altos Reposado, pumpkin-chai bush and honey) and an “Unusual Negroni” featuring Don q Anejo, Campari and Noilly Prat-vermouth. A largely local beer card is accompanied by wines from Italy and France.
Customers can place to-go orders via Uber Eats or Door Dash or by calling the restaurant (703-567-4507). From 10 November, Kismet will welcome guests on site with the same menu for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday.