There appears to be new management and new cooks at Curry Mantra. The food was good, but not as good as it used to be a couple months ago. The service is also not as attentive to the customers as it used to be. I would still recommend and hope that these are growing pains as someone else takes over the management.
Curry Mantra is one of the best Indian restaurants in the DC area. The service and food is excellent. I like my food spicy and my wife likes her food mild. My Chicken Curry had the right amount of kick and my wife's butter chicken was just perfect for her.
Lamb Saag and Butter Chicken are my go-to dishes. The lentil cups appetizer is quite good, as is the mango lassi.
Normally, I would say that the food was as superb as always. However, this time I was shocked how spicy the tandoori dishes were. My dining companions ordered the shrimp, the salmon, and the mixed grill tandoori. I got Chicken Vindaloo because I was in the mood for hot. The salmon, normally so perfectly spiced and prepared, was hotter than the Vindaloo! Not a problem for me but the others at the table are more moderate when it comes to heat levels.
The food was excellent, as always. However, the service was uncharacteristically poor.
Great food, good ambience. Service needed to be a little more polished, but we received hospitality from each staff member with a smile so nothing a little training doesn't fix.
Need to do a better job of controlling the cold air entering during the winter months please. It was very chilly. Thanks
Curry Mantra is our usual "go to" place for Indian food. But this visit was disappointing. The food was good (non-veggie Thali and shrimp biryani), but the service was downright awful. First we had to ask for the wine list and then no one stopped by our table to take our order for at least 10 minutes. After that, the service was indifferent and very very slow and the waiter who took our order had an attitude that was very offputting. No one stopped by the table to ask if we needed anything and in fact, we had to stop a server to ask for a check. There was plenty of wait staff and the restaurant was only 3/4 full, so there was no excuse for the poor service. We will likely come back, because this was not typical of this restaurant. But had this been our first visit, we would never come back.
I'm glad this was not our first trip to Curry Mantra. Service and food has always been top notch. But not this time. it was 6 o'clock on a Saturday and the place was more than half empty. But after placing our order, we waited 45 minutes before inquiring about the status. The server came back the first time without any real information, just confirming that our order was back there being worked on. We asked how much longer and were told 10 more minutes. We didn't really trust the response and now we were running late, having to get to where our 86 year-old parent lives and helping her get ready for bed So we left. We will return and give Curry Mantra another chance. But not anytime soon.
We have been going to this Curry Mantra for about 4 years. They started out as a great surprise with very good authentic quality (and inconsistent service). It has become progressively worse each time in the last year. Service is now consistently bad. Over the last 3 times, they have consistently left at least one part of our order out (waiter never writes anything down) and they are not very attentive. We always believe in giving a second chance, but now they have started overcooking the food (tandoori platter, naan) to boot! I'm Indian and I have to say: I'm a pretty good judge of the quality of many cuisines, but particularly Indian. We have given them enough chances. I'm moving on and looking for something else.