Agni Indian Kitchen and Bar - Casual RestaurantFood ★★★★☆ Ambiance ★★★☆☆Service ★★★★☆Creativity ★★★★☆ Value ★★★★☆meal for 2 $40-50 plus drinksMixed drinks $8 each
This was our 3rd visit to Agni Indian Kitchen and Bar. The food and service is consistently good. Agni Indian Kitchen and Bar is located in a fairly convenient spot as it is only about 1/2 mile off of I40. For some unknown reason, it is not very busy at night and it should be. Convenient, good food and good service. The food is a bit different than most Indian Restaurants. They have taken the classics and changed them ever so slightly to give them a new fresh and original flavor.
Agni Kitchen and Bar is located in an old Bojangles restaurant. It still has a strong resemblance to the old restaurant on the exterior. They re-painted the red awning lime green, but the sunroom is still there. The somewhat tacky appearance from the outside may prevent you from entering. However, if you do, I think you will be pleased with Agni's food and service.
The interior has been nicely transformed into a decent casual to slightly upscale restaurant. The interior has been upgraded with various trims and walls and the tables are nicely and professionally set. Agni's has a nice appearance even though it still has some of the old looks of a fast food restaurant. The biggest downside of the interior is the sun that blasts through the window during the summer. This will not be an issue in the fall, winter, and spring. The sunroom can be a bit overpowering if seated at sunset looking west.
For lunch they have a buffet. Personally, I hate buffets. If it was a buffet night, I would not even enter. Lucky for me the buffet is only for lunch and they have a very nice typical Indian menu. The restaurant has been very empty on all 3 of our visits. Really a shame as the food and presentation of the food is very good. To top it off the wait staff does an above average job. Tonight we had too much food. We had soup and an entree each. We started off with the soups. The first one was the murgh shorba, a chicken soup in a tomato base with lemon and Cilantro. Very tasty.
The second soup was the Mulligatawny Soup. Lentil soup with lots of lemon zest and cilantro. Nice touch.
For dinner, I had the Kerela Chingair Shrimp. 8 nice sized butterflied jumbo shrimp with a Kerala Style masala which is a mixture of roasted and ground cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, mace , fennel seeds, nutmeg, pepper and star anise. This is one of the things I like about Indian food. A large mixture of very bold flavors to produce an original balance flavor that is unlike any foods we normally eat in the US. This dish han a side of Kashmiri pulav which is rice mixed with fruits and nuts. Agni had a version with grapes and peanuts. The grapes added a nice sweet and tart flavor. This combined with the spices and the peanuts made for a VERY nice rice dish. It blended excellently with the Kerala Style masala. I did order the dish hot/spicy, but it came out mild. It has so much flavor that it was very enjoyable even mild.
We also had the Chicken Korma. The Korma as Agni is very creamy with nuts. It had lots of yogurt with hints of clove, cardamom, cumin and other spices. This was a very rich dish and well presented.
And to push things over the top and terms of the amount of food, we had an order of naan. Freshly cooked. Perfect.
Agni Indian Restaurant and Bar is a very good restaurant for Indian Food. The dishes are all slightly modified from what you might expect, but I feel that is a good thing. The service is very good and the interior is better than the exterior. Go in and try it. I think you will be pleased.