Foodie Traveler: Nawab Indian Cuisine, Williamsburg, VA

Foodie Traveler: Nawab Indian Cuisine, Williamsburg, VA

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We’ve both been visiting Nawab on and off since they opened in the late 1990s and have never had a bad meal there. Stephan and I were craving some comfort food on a cold evening not long ago and decided to head over.

We were seated right away by the owner’s daughter and she was also our server for the meal. We started with a bottle of Kabinett Riesling, which was one of the wine specials for the evening. It was perfect–lightly sweet and full of flavor. I like slightly sweet wines, but can’t handle ones that are too sweet. Around the same time, they brought out a plate of pappadums (apparently, there are a million ways to spell this, so don’t judge) with cilantro and mint chutney. I swear, I could eat that chutney on almost everything. The pappadums were light and crispy and not at all greasy. Perfect.

Next, we got our appetizer of garlic naan. It came with a small dish of raita, and was hot and garlicky, and yummy. There is no photo because we snarfed most of it up before I remembered to take one…

Our entrees came out shortly afterward–Methiwala Malai Chicken for me, and Bewali Chicken and Shrimp for Stephan.  The Methiwala Malai Chicken had a Mughlai sauce with cream, spinach, and fenugreek. The Bewali Shrimp and Chicken had a light cream sauce, a large piece of chicken, and four huge shrimp. We ordered both of them at a heat level of two out of five. While both dishes were delicious as they were, we agreed that we would probably order them at a level three next time. Don’t get me wrong–we both like spicy food, but we’ve found that with Indian food, we can taste all the different layers of  spice and flavor better with a medium heat level.  I remember many years ago, ordering a dish at level five–Indian hot. The server looked at me skeptically and said “Indian hot is VERY hot.” I told him that I wanted my lips to burn and swell up, my nose to run, and little beads of sweat to pop out on my forehead. He looked surprised and said “Indian hot then!” I saw him watching me eat with a huge grin on my face and I swear there was a look of admiration on his face. He never questioned my choice again. Ah youth…nowadays, medium is just fine.

For dessert, we shared a slice of blueberry cheesecake. Both the crust and the filling were dense (in a good way), and not very sweet. Not what we were expecting, but very good and a lovely way to end the meal.

I have often found that eating Indian food gives me a feeling of euphoria. I don’t know if it’s the spices or the whole experience, but I always leave Nawab a very happy girl.

They’re located at 204 Monticello Avenue, in a recently renovated shopping center. You can check out their menu at and read reviews on Yelp and Tripadvisor. Give them a try!

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