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DISH ON DINING: Indian Aroma Bistro spices up Main Street

Indian Aroma Bistro owner Mandeep Singh offers a lunch buffet and dinner menu seven days a week. Indian Aroma Bistro owner Mandeep Singh offers a lunch buffet and dinner menu seven days a week.

Hendersonville’s first and only Indian restaurant has offered diners a new taste experience since it opened in May at 502 N. Main St.

“People are very happy to have an Indian restaurant in Hendersonville,” said Mandeep Singh, who owns Indian Aroma Bistro. “It was good, a very good response.”

Singh described the bistro as a place where customers should expect traditional Indian fare with the option of hot or mild spices.

“It’s not crazy hot,” she said.

The restaurant’s website describes its foundation as built on fresh, high-quality ingredients, traditional Indian cuisine, a cozy and warm ambiance and a friendly staff that makes customers feel that they’re part of the family.

“Aroma puts a lot of emphasis on using the highest quality meats, seafood, vegetables and fruits, and creating tantalizing flavors using traditional family recipes,” the owners say.

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Singh was born in India and lived about half her life in England before moving to the North Carolina mountains. Her family is part of a partnership that owns the Mela Indian restaurant in Asheville.

Singh, who lives in Hendersonville, opened the bistro here with her husband, Sandeep, and brother-in-law, Vikramjit, after she grew tired of driving to Asheville every day to work in the restaurant there. The couple hired an Indian chef to run the kitchen but Singh noted that her husband, who trained as a French chef and worked in French restaurants in England, is available when needed.

“He’s a back-up,” she said with a grin. “He can jump in.”

The dinner menu includes appetizers, soups and salads along with chicken, lamb and seafood main courses. Some dishes are cooked in a clay oven. Vegetarian options are also available. Popular menu items include the mango shrimp appetizer, the Aroma Special Chicken and Lamb Curry. Specials include chicken or lamb cooked in onion, ginger, garlic and tomato sauce.

“It’s very nice — soft chicken, Indian spices,” Singh said.

Singh suggested people new to Indian fare sample the buffet first to get an idea of what suits their taste before coming for dinner. The buffet costs $16 on weekdays and $18 on weekends. Dinner entrees include vegetarian options for $18 with lamb, chicken and seafood options between $20 and $24.

After navigating through the state’s ABC permitting process, Singh just opened a full bar this past weekend. Beer, wine and mixed drinks are available.

Regardless of whether customers sample the lunch buffet or choose an evening dinner, Singh hopes everyone enjoys what Indian Aroma has to offer.

“We try our best to have an excellent experience,” she said.

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Indian Aroma Bistro is open for lunch 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. seven days a week. Dinner hours are 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information visit indianaromabistro.com or call 828-393-5501.