WESTPORT, Conn. - Fairfield County is home to multiple delicious Indian restaurants. The newest among these is Papadum, cozily nestled in Bridge Square, along the banks of the Saugatuck River.
A few things set Papadum apart from the crowd. The first is, undoubtedly, the quaint, almost paradoxical location. The small ethnic restaurant’s only windows look out onto the Saugatuck River, framing practicing crew teams and swimming swans, images that are so iconically Westport.
The second, is certainly the food. More on that shortly.
The third—and here is where you should start paying attention, Westport foodies: Papadum delivers. That’s right. You can now enjoy hot, fresh, authentic Indian dishes delivered right to your door. A novelty in our neighborhood, to be sure. This also means you don’t need to engage in a game of rock, paper scissors to decide who stays home with the kids and who gets to run out, have a break and pick up the take out. (Maybe that’s just my house.)
But back to the food. Papadum’s dishes shine because they don’t have an air of being simplified—or amplified, as the case may be—to suit a more Americanized palate. The presentation isn’t overdone or dolled up in any way. In a word, it’s simple. An apt way of offering one of the world’s most consumed cuisines.
The samosas crumble just enough under your fork to tell you that they’re homemade. These crispy pockets are stuffed with well-seasoned potato and hints of pomegranate seeds, and are not the least bit greasy, as samosas can so often be.
The aloo gobi, a vegetarian dish of sautéed cauliflower, potato and fresh tomato was wonderfully fresh-tasting, the cauliflower, no worse for the wear of sautéing, was firm.
My lunch dates and I, with varying tastes among us, opted to share a Tandoori mixed grill medley of chicken, shrimp and lamb sausage, accompanied by a buttery, tomato-y Tandoori sauce. The meat was tender and juicy, not even a little overcooked. And the lamb sausage in particular packed a delightfully spicy punch, perhaps more than usually because my adventurous lunch dates and I invited a little heat into our lunch by telling our server that we like things a little spicy.
The one area in which Papadum was still working out the kinks was the table service. Everyone was warm and kind and refreshingly hospitable, but it did seem that the staff was still settling into their rolls. All in all, though, it was a minor blip on the screen of a majorly delicious lunch.
Papadum also offers a daily lunch buffet, seven days a week, and is planning a grand Mother’s Day Brunch buffet for Sunday, May 13.
If you’re feeling like a scene of the slow Saugatuck River variety, you should definitely try Papadum’s dining room. Or, if you feel like enjoying an authentic Indian meal in your PJ’s, just give them a call at (203) 557-9000. They would be happy to deliver, no jacket required.
Papadum is located at 5 Bridge Square in Westport.