Cultural experience can be defined in several ways. Some people hold that cultural experience is a way to interact with other individuals with diverse backgrounds, and experiencing things unfathomable in relation to one’s own life. Some view it as an opportunity to strengthen world relations, promoting the idea of peace and togetherness. In addition, some view cultural experience as an intentional effort to understand people of all races and circumstances, thus nurturing the culture of peace and understanding.
The idea of where I should go visit for my cultural experience was a hard thing to come by. I thought about what my interest is and why I should go to one place over the other. Deep inside I felt I should go somewhere that would cause a difference in terms of interacting with new things, those that would form part of my conversation with my family and friends. After thinking for several days I made up my mind to go visit an Indian cuisine at Bellevue’s Moksha.
Snow was falling, sleigh bells jingled and carols filled the air as I moved through a festive sidewalk throng toward Moksha, a new Indian restaurant that had replaced Luciano in Bellevue Square. I had made a eight o’clock dinner reservation earlier this month, but I had forgotten that, at such hour every night from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, Bellevue’s downtown erupts in outdoor holiday extravaganza called “Snowflake Lane”.
I and my friend Rajab rushed through this winter wonderland, and while there, I felt attracted to the calmness of two receptionists who managed the gracious triage of parties, small and large, with many seeking last-minute seats in the rapidly filling dining room.
Moksha is a Sanskrit word meaning the eternal bliss the soul achieves when the cycle of reincarnation ends. To befit the concept, Seattle-based design firm Mesher Shing McNutt created a stunning interior that arouses a Bollyhood-meets-Taj-Mahal idea of paradise. Georgetown artist Yuri Kinoshita’s woven light installation hangs on a glass-topped bar that is also lit from bellow. Tasseled ivory columns illuminate the dining room, where elephants decorated in gold match along white walls above dark wood paneling. Seating is curvy and comfortable, upholstered in metallic and jewel tones that pop against an ebony wood floor.
Moksha is a second venture for Lakshmi Thanu, who was born in Tamil Nadu state on the southern tip of the subcontinent. Moksha aims at a more upscale, downtown clientele. The menu offers tandoori specialties –pawns, paneer (the Indian cheese), chicken, and lamb –marinated in yogurt, chilies and spices, and cooked in the high heat of the clay oven. Seafood, chicken and lamb also feature in an array of stews, curries, stir-fries and rice dishes. There are also several vegetarian options.
I sampled a number of food items: in tandoor items, I sampled chicken cooked on the bone, minced lamb dotted with mustard seed, and ruddy bricks of paneer. These were mosit, tender and deeply saturated with flavor. In addition, a lemon wedge and silvered raw bell pepper and onion garnished each plate.
I noticed that Moksha has several dishes on its menu. These include naan (whole weat roti), which is a soft, puffy flatbreads cooked in the tandoor; onion kulcha, flatbread with a savory onion filling; lamb karaikudi; fisherman’s Salmon; cheese dumplings wrapped in chopped spinach; Saag panner; Creamy Mulligatawny soup; Shrimp 65; and a number of appetizers, just o mention a few. The major dishes on Moksha’s menu comprise Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Vegan and Halal.
I chose Indian Cuisine for my cultural experience because I wanted to interact with the Indian dishes. Many times, I have always heard people talk about the uniqueness of the Indian dishes and that made develop an interest to explore Indian dishes. I can completely agree that I loved the dishes that I was served at Moksha Restaurant. They were complete delicacy that made long for another visit to the place.
Moksha Indian Cuisine. Recently Selected "Top Restaurants for 2013" by The Seattle Times, Nov 15, 2013. November 2013. http://www.mokshadining.com/. 1 December 2013.