Bindaas Opens Fast-Casual Restaurant
Editor’s Note: The opening date was updated. The restaurant was scheduled to open April 18, but company officials pushed it back to April 21 an hour before it was supposed to open.
Bindaas Bowls & Rolls opens Thursday, April 21, in the former Merzi Fresh Indian Kitchen at 415 Seventh St. NW in Penn Quarter. The 35-seat restaurant is Knightsbridge Restaurant Group’s first foray into the fast-casual scene.
The restaurant features popular dishes from its sister full-service Bindaas locations in Cleveland Park and Foggy Bottom along with build-your-own bowls and freshly made grab-and-go bowls and sandwiches waiting in a hot case.
The concept was born in part from changed dining habits during the pandemic. “Our restaurants adapted well during the pandemic and enjoyed continuous patronage with growth in the take-out sector,” owner Ashok Bajaj said. “So transitioning to create our first to-go focused location makes perfect sense as we move forward together.”
Group Executive Chef Vikram Sunderam, who designed the menu, said the new restaurant offers a “more concise menu” with items that customers “can take and eat on the go.”
Diners start by choosing a protein from salmon ($13.75), chicken tikka ($12.50), spiced lamb meatballs ($13.25) or paneer with sweet potato and spinach kofta ($12). They will then choose from saffron basmati rice, curried quinoa, lemon rice noodles or coconut brown rice and sauces including moilee (coconut-ginger) tikka masala (tomato-cream), vindaloo (red chile-malt vinegar) or korma (cashew-cardamon. Seasonal vegetables can be added for an extra $2. There are also four classic bowls including salmon moilee, lamb vindaloo, chicken tikka masala and paneer korma priced from $12-$13.75.
The new restaurant also serves kathi rolls – house-made flatbread wraps – filled with chicken tikka masala, lamb roast, and paneer and peppers ($11-$12); a chicken farcha burger ($10) with crispy chicken and picked red onions and a Bombay veggie burger ($9) made with 10 vegetables and mint-cilantro chutney; chicken and chili-cheese curry puffs ($5-$6); samosas ($5); masala popcorn ($4) and gunpowder fries ($5). Desserts (all $4) include saffron rice pudding, mango-cardamom cheesecake and sticky toffee pudding
Bindaas Bowls & Rolls will also serve seasonal cocktails ($9), Kingfisher and Bira 91 beer ($6) and house red or white wine ($8) along with non-alcoholic selections including mango lassi ($5), juice of the day ($6), masala chair ($4), coffee, bottled water and soda (all $3 each).
The first 100 customers during opening week will have the full proceeds from their order donated to Jose Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, which is currently providing meals in Madagascar and Ukraine.
Bindaas Bowls & Rolls, 415 Seventh St. NW, is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.