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Capitol Hill food+drink | Tiny Moti Mahal hoping to solve Hill’s impending Indian crisis — Plus, Le Zinc le pictures

9134770751_cab7753ce0_bManmeet Singh has his work cut out for him. The first-time restauranteur is four weeks into his project to transform the former Broadway Taco Del Mar into a proper Indian restaurant. He’s giving his crew three more weeks to get it done.

“We don’t’ have a lot of space but the food is gonna be great,” Singh tells CHS about Moti Mahal, the big-named restaurant planned for the tiny space on the Broadway slope between Pine and Pike.

Named for a much-loved Delhi restaurant, Moti Mahal is entering the Capitol Hill food and drink economy at what can only be called interesting times for Indian cuisine on the Hill. Longtimer Chutney’s finally closed last week without a Capitol Hill relocation plan as its building is given over to the redevelopment gods. Redevelopment comes for 12th and Pike’s Bombay Bistro, too, sometime in the next year. That could leave puny Moti Mahal to carry the load for a staple of eating out.

UPDATE: Wherein I should have also mentioned the much loved and charming Annapurna Cafe, Mirch Masala and India Express. And Poppy, for that matter. Soooo, less of a crisis, no?

Singh plans to make the most of the space. “When we got in here, I realized I needed to get in the most seating possible,” he said, hands covered in construction grime. The plan is for an open kitchen shoulder to shoulder with tables and the pick-up counter. Singh, whose family is in the trucking business, expects takeout and delivery to be a big part of his new business. LIke many newcomers to the Hill’s business scene, Singh is planning to experiment with later than usual hours — possibly serving food through 2a on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The young entrepreneur’s hopes are high for the planned July opening.

“With all the students here and all the people, it seems like a great place for a food business,” Singh said.

9128127360_43f8575a37_bCHS food+drink notes

  • It is, indeed, time to go to Le Zinc. The first expansion of Seattle’s Maximillien restaurant family, Le Zinc is ready to serve le drinks and le French food from steak and frites to frog legs in the newly completed Vox Apartments building at 15th and Pine. “It’s very lounge-y and affordable,” Willy Boutillier tells us of his new creation. “We want people to come here instead of staying home,” he says. “You know French sometimes is — well, it used to be — scary. We want people to be very comfortable.” Assets like manager Andy McClellan and an Absinthe fountain at the bar should help. Pictures of the new joint, below.


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7 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Tiny Moti Mahal hoping to solve Hill’s impending Indian crisis — Plus, Le Zinc le pictures

  1. Yeah, Mirch Masala and India Express are still there! India Express has always been a favorite of mine. Don’t forget about the north end of Broadway jseattle, it still exisits!

  2. Yes. Annapurna and India Express are both favorites of mine. Bombay Bistro is ok, but I won’t miss it if and when it’s gone.

    I will look forward to checking out Moti Mahal, though.

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