Clay Pit melds taste of India with seafood

MILL CREEK — A restaurant specializing in Indian cuisine that serves fettuccine may make traditionalists uneasy, but for those who’ve never tried Indian food, Clay Pit may be one of the best places to venture into the cuisine.

The fettuccine isn’t Italian, by the way. Instead, it boasts a ginger-curry flavor and is served in makhani sauce.

At Clay Pit, located in the Mill Creek Town Center, seafood is featured more prominently on the menu than at other restaurants serving Indian cuisine. Selections include cilantro salmon, tamarind coconut prawns and tandoori halibut.

Seafood dominates the house specialties, too. Try halibut, salmon and prawns marinated in mustard-lemon oil and served in a creamy citrus sauce ($17.95), or scallops in makhani sauce ($14.95). Another special dish that sounds great is the lamb stuffed with spinach and goat cheese and served in a mint-curry-wine sauce ($14.95).

I ordered the salmon tikka masala. Masala is a tomato-based butter-cream sauce seasoned with Indian spices, and it’s probably the most familiar of Indian sauces. For me, this salmon dish was like hang-gliding — I know others enjoy it but it’s not for me, because the flavors seemed to be at odds with each other.

In addition, I ordered malai kofta ($11.95), which are paneer and chickpea rounds in a saffron curry that’s finished with a nut puree. This delightful dish of veggie balls served with saffron ricemakes a delicious centerpiece for any meal, vegetarian or not. I also chose the vegetable samosas, which are stuffed pastries ($4.95) and had gulab jamun ($3.95) for dessert. Gulab jamun resembles donut holes and are served in cardamom syrup.

These appealing choices are served in small copper bowls with silver linings and brass handles. They’re elegant — just like the dining room with its white tablecloths, subdued colors and lighting that create an intimate atmosphere. But Clay Pit is also a family restaurant. The attentive servers immediately brought a high chair for the toddler at the table next to me. When his dinner arrived, he didn’t hesitate.

Herald restaurant reviewers accept no invitations to review, but readers’ suggestions are always welcome. Reviewers arrive unannounced, and The Herald pays their tabs.

Contact Anna Poole at

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