619 Collings Avenue
Collingswood, NJ 08107
IndeBlue was one of those places I had heard about out in Jerseyland, but also one that I would probably never get around to visiting. Having Ekta, Tiffin, AND Tiffin Etc. right in my corner of the 'hood would certainly not offer any openings in my fulfilling a craving for Indian cuisine. However, in the name of hopefully finding a backup, go-to place to eat when I find myself in Collingswood (when Sagami is closed), I decided to bite the $5 bridge-toll-bullet and head out for some contemporary Indian food.
Sorry about the first couple of pics, must've been a smoke ghost.
IndeBlue is nicely decorated inside, with a clean, bright & spacious environment. They offer a variety of traditional Indian foods, as well as some updates on the classics. I was very impressed with everything, save for the manager. A young, sweaty, overly enthusiastic white guy is not the person I want to be poring over my table. He obviously meant well, but it was borderline obtrusive. As it's a BYO, you can't beat bringing your own booze to help cut down on the bill, but be advised, this is certainly not cheap Indian food. It is, however, a reasonably priced spot to grab, what I have to assume is the best (and only), Indian in the area. We started with a creamy corn and cilantro soup. The soup was smooth and had a wonderful corn flavor. A touch of curry livened it up, and the cilantro puree swirl was a pungent kick, easily applied to each bite as needed.
The Onion Bhajia, a fritter of onion, potato, cauliflower and spinach in a chickpea batter, came in lower on the tasty scale than I had hoped. The tamarind and green chutney were hands-down the best part of this appetizer. I could lap that green chutney up with a spoon.
For the entrees, we stuck with two traditional dishes, the paneer tikka masala and the chicken coconut korma. The paneer consists of BBQ Indian cheese cubes cooked in a rich onion, tomato and fenugreek sauce. They serve these dishes with saffron basamati rice, and I had to get an order of garlic naan on the side. It was certainly a solid rendition of tikka masala, but I am always drawn to the same conclusion when eating Indian food. There are really only two kinds. Good and bad. Good = freshly ground spices and care put into the balance of those spices. Bad = mediocre spices haphazardly thrown together. This was an example of good Indian, but it's the same as good Indian anywhere. It all tastes very similar.
The chicken korma consisted of caradmom-flavored chicken cooked in a gravy studded (most overplayed descriptor ever) with raisins and cashews. Again, while this was very good korma, it was just as good as the other good kormas I have had.
All in all, IndeBlue has some exciting things on the menu, in particular some of the specials, but it is not too-far-off some of the other good Indian I have had in the city. It does, however, give Southern Jersey-ites a reason to rejoice. One less thing to have to drive to the city for.