Monsoon to bring Indian cuisine to 16th and K

Monsoon Indian Bar & Grill is scheduled to open the first week of December in the building at 16th and K streets that formerly housed Spin Burger Bar and Bistro 33.

“It’s going to be fresh food, prepared daily,” said co-owner Chan Singh. “This is Indian food where we use spices to enhance the flavors of the food, not overkill it.”

Singh, originally from Delhi, India, came to North America in the 1990s, getting into the restaurant business in Toronto, Canada, opening his original Monsoon location.

Singh said his business in Toronto is well-run by his managers, allowing him to come to Sacramento and focus on the new venture.

In India, the monsoon season typically lasts from June to September, and it’s a special time, according to Singh.

“It’s considered to be kind of a romantic time in India,” he said. “You have five to six months of 100-plus temperatures, and then the monsoon comes, and it really brings everything to life and cools down. People love to go out and have fun and eat.”

The restaurant, which will be open seven days per week, will serve lunch and dinner and have a full bar. A limited late-night menu will be available after about 10 p.m., and Indian-themed cocktails will be available as well, Singh said.

The food will be traditional Indian, served to Singh’s specifications.

“It’s going to be the kind of food I like to eat,” he said. “If I wouldn’t want to eat it, why would I serve it?”

Chicken Vindaloo, a spicy dish from the Goa region; Kerala fish, a fish topped with coconut sauce, peppercorns and curry leaves; chicken tikka masala, roasted chicken in a curry sauce; and numerous other dishes including shrimp and salmon will be available.

In addition, there will be a variety of what Singh said are more modern dishes in India, including a dish with chicken atop a coconut chickpea sauce and lamp chops in a creamy curry sauce.

A range of vegetarian items will be available as well.

Full menu details are still being worked out, as is the cocktail selection. Prices for food will range from around $10 for vegetarian items to $12 – $15 for non-vegetarian items. The lunch menu will be less-expensive, with food running from about $8 – $10.

The 2,800-square-foot restaurant will seat about 95 people inside, and the existing patio will be retained.

Most recently, the space held Spin Burger Bar, which evolved from Bistro 33.

“We originally wanted to decorate it in a traditional Indian way, but when we saw the building, it’s very modern, so we will have a more modern influence,” Singh said.

Some of the décor will be paintings imported from India.

While Singh is not a Sacramentan, he said he will be living here for the foreseeable future as the restaurant gets started, and he has two local partners.

“We were looking in Roseville, but when we saw that this space was available, we knew we had to come here. I don’t think there is anything else like this around here.”

Jennifer Young, a 41-year-old state worker from Sacramento who works in the area, said the restaurant will be a nice complement to the area.

“I like curry,” she said Wednesday afternoon. “I’ll definitely try it out.”

Young said that, with numerous state office buildings in the area, affordable food will likely be key to staying in business.

Another nearby state worker, 27-year-old Abby Eddy of Sacramento, said she thinks the corner location is the perfect spot for a restaurant, and it will be successful if it provides a good late-night option for diners and those looking for drinks.

“I’ll definitely give it a shot,” she said.

Monsoon Indian Bar & Grill, 1020 16th St., is scheduled to be open from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday.

Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Darnell.

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November 29, 2011 | 12:19 AM

yay indian food!

Avatar of jat
November 29, 2011 | 9:06 AM

Please offer some vegan goodies as well. Looking forward to trying you out!

November 29, 2011 | 10:56 AM

It’s a bit farther than I like to walk for lunch but I’ll give it a try.
It seems to be a tough market (for Indian food) – I’ve seen two restaurants come and go in the last four years around 10/K area. There is a vendor that sells at the Wednesday farmers market in Cesar Chavez (now sadly gone until spring) that seems to do a good trade. I think to get the lunch crowd, you need to do a cheap, fast takeout service alongside the usual buffet, similar to the ‘Golden Dragon’ Chinese restaurant.
I will gladly eat curry 7 days a week for lunch but it has to stay competitively priced and convenient for the huge State/City worker clientelle.

November 29, 2011 | 1:51 PM

Truely an exciting addition to our downtown eats! Looking forward to trying it out!

December 9, 2011 | 6:16 PM

superior indian food has been hard to find, INDIA at 8th and J was very good, for quite a few years, but they sold it, and the same location produced the WORST i have ever experienced. they could not even cook rice. many folks are impressed by Bombay on 21st, but while friendly, i would not want to eat again there. so if `Mr. Singh can do well in Toronto, perhaps the most cosmopolitan city in North America, i have high hopes. But the sticky point will be cost/rent. Good, cost is not important.

December 14, 2011 | 1:26 PM

I loved the Mansoon,Indian Cuisine at 16K and chef Deepak Bharadwaj is really awesome and makes the best finger licking Indian Curries. The food is delicious and you will make you a regular , daily visitor at the restaurant. I would rate the restaurant A+ and is a cool place to dine in.

Prasanna M

January 17, 2012 | 12:07 PM

“I don’t think there is anything else like this around here.” Yeah right Curry Club is a way better deal for lunch, and I think it tastes better, and the staff is more authentically knowledgeable and friendly. Then there is Bombay, which has been doing great since it opened. They have great lunch deals at the bar, and for couples and families it’s a great atmosphere. It costs a little more, but it’s sooo good.

November 28, 2011 | 2:40 PM

and how did you feel about Spin Burger?

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