Washington DC: The Taj Mahal Restaurant in Dupont Circle

Updated: 28th Dec 2014; This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

The weather was horrible when we were in Washington DC. It was stifling hot and humid. While the clear blue skies were great for photography, everything about the weather here sucks. Since it was so hot and humid in summer, we were asking ourselves why on earth would anyone choose this place for a national capital. I promised to myself never ever to complain about the rain in Vancouver.

We were tired, hot and beginning to feel hungry. In the middle of the National Mall, about the only thing you could get is a bag of chips or a snack bar. Because I failed to do my planning for this leg of the trip, I had absolutely no idea where to look for dinch (dinch is short for dinner-lunch). We did not want to go to the Union Station. I remembered reading of one place that someone commented on chowtimes … Dupont Circle.


So, we took the Metro to Dupont Circle. I felt like forever before we got there. It was pretty promising the moment we stepped out from the Metro Station to the street. There were quite a number of restaurants. With absolutely no idea which to go to, we walked up and down the street. Looking at some of them, Suanne and I decided, no, we will not have another piece of bread or bun, even though it is a dinner roll. In short, we were really craving for rice! Being a Richmond (BC) snob, we will not try Chinese food here. 🙂

We ended up in a place called Taj Mahal.


The name Taj Mahal lacked imagination, I must say. It is like going to a restaurant called Eiffel Tower, or the Statue of Liberty, or Trafalgar Square. But we were hungry and not wanting to take another step, we thought what the heck.

The place was pretty good. The service was quick and particularly friendly. Too friendly as a matter of fact! I found it kind of odd when the waiter came by, chatted and asked us tons of questions. Like asking what we were doing in DC and if we worked for the government. I find it really odd and were thinking, oh yeah, perhaps most people in DC works for the government.


The food is very authentic (for a Chinese Canadian!). The Chicken Vindaloo was downright spicy, just the way we asked for. You know, I could never quite tell from one Indian curry from another. I mean, I know the names like Vindaloo, Tikka Masala, Dhal and what not … they are all curries to me.

But the Chicken Vindaloo was particularly good … rich thick curry with plenty of spices and chunky chicken meat.


The Fish Curry was alright. We asked for real spicy but was not as spicy as the Vindaloo.


Their rice was great. I prefer rice made this way … you know, with separated rice grains unlike the Chinese way where they are soggier and clumps together. We asked for seconds for the rice because we did not want to waste the curry gravy.


The Naan bread was flat and dry. It tasted OK because really, we use this to dunk into the curry gravy anyway. We had tasted much better ones in Vancouver.


We ended up with dessert. I can’t remember what it is called but most of you would know what it is since this is quite a common Indian dessert. So, what is this?


The bill came up to $40 before tips. We were satisfied with the meal — our first rice since leaving Vancouver.

Taj Mahal on Urbanspoon

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. sabrina

    The dessert is called “kheer”..it is almost like sweet rice pudding with almonds..very easy to make

  2. eddiep

    Finally, some food on chowtimes. I am glad you enjoyed it. BTW, as students we did not go to Union station to eat. It’s just better and more varied in the city.

  3. mahek

    you have such a great site!!!!
    great photographs, It was a pleasure to see that you like Indian food and go to Indian restaurants too…
    The dessert which is served to you i think is payasam its a sweet dish made with rice coarsely ground and milk with little bit of cardamom powder in it.
    There is a similar dish which is kheer which is also noodle like shevya which are cooked in milk with cardamom powder

  4. maryam in marrakech

    I used to eat here regularly when I was in grad school. It wasn’t bad at all but the decor really needed a revamp. I *love* Dupont Circle!

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