India Oven – Location, Location, Location

India Oven Now on SE Belmont

I always had a love hate relationship with Kinta Restaurant.  I really valued having a vegetarian restaurant in my neighborhood with spicy ethnic food and an ever changing array of fresh vegetable choices.  Unfortunately the idea of Kinta always seemed better than the reality.  Frequently messed up orders and lack of a clear vision plagued Kinta, combined with the hefty competition with a flood of nearby Thai restaurants spelled the end for this local eatery.

Kinta's loss has been India Oven's gain.  Previously located in the dungeon that is the Hawthorne Theater, India Oven moved from SE Hawthorne to SE Belmont into its ideal new location. Even though I am a fan of India food I hadn't visited India Oven in its previous location. The Hawthorne Theater seems like a dump from the outside, so it was hard to imagine enjoying a meal inside.

Days after their move to SE Belmont, I made a point to give India Oven a try. Even though they had completely relocated their business, I found the service and food at India Oven to be right on the mark.  My meal consisted on Vegetable Pakoras, Papadams, Dahl, Vegetable Byrani and Aloo Gobi (which I think is one of the dishes that is a true barometer of a good Indian restaurant).  All the dishes were well spiced with medium portion sizes. Of the three I enjoyed the Dahl the most with perfectly cooked lentils with nice balanced flavor. The Aloo Gobi was solid, not the best I've ever had, but well balanced and tasty.  The Pakoras were a nice mix of vegetables deeply fried and absolutely delicious. I also quite enjoyed the Vegetable Byrani which was the largest portion of the dishes. The final bill was in line with many of the medium priced local businesses but notably higher than going out for local Thai.

The best thing going for India Oven is its new location. Perfectly placed in the heart of the Belmont Business District India Oven should find success where Kinta failed. Even though they had only been open a few days the restaurant was fuller than I had ever seen Kinta.

India Oven is located at 3450 SE Belmont St.

Geoff Kleinman

5 Comments

  1. My wife and I went to the new location of India Oven the second day it was open. We found it to be… mediocre. I mean, I like the location: right on Belmont, right next to the Tao of Tea, nice space (note: the dimming little lights on the ceiling were pretty cool along with having different colored candles on each table). But we found the food to be a little disappointing. I also found the meal portion to be a little less-than-desirable considering the bill we received.

    They did, however, have some great samosas.

  2. I agree the price is not as competitive as other places in the neighborhood. Is there another Indian restaurant in Portland you feel is better that we should try and review?

  3. nice write up! I never went to Kinda, it opened up right after I moved from the immediate neighborhood and was swallowed up in the Clinton area – but I heard similar stories. Hope to see India Oven doing well. I am a fan of the Tao of Tea and Paradox – for what it is, but I'm not crazy about their expansion and booth removal.

  4. Honestly, the carts on fifth downtown provide the best Indian food I've had in Portland. New Taste of India is better than The Real Taste of India.

    In terms of restaurants, I really do like Swagat.

  5. Abhiruchi in Beaverton is the best Indian restaurant imho. That is closely followed by Chennai Masala, which is also in Beaverton.

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