There aren’t too terribly many good options for Indian food in the Central Florida area. A few that are on our list that we really want to visit. Of course, we absolutely love Mynt in Winter Park (it’s been a minute since we’ve dined there!). But recently we were in the Mt. Dora area and tried out a restaurant we’ve been eyeing for quite some time: Shiva Indian Restaurant.
Located about 40-45 minutes from the Orlando area in the heart of Mt. Dora‘s charming downtown, Shiva does not have dedicated parking but patrons can secure a spot on the street (if lucky) or in a nearby parking lot. Once all of that business is taken care of, find your way inside to a very, very quaint dining room.
The very first thing you’ll likely notice upon entering is the space is TINY. Tiny, tiny, tiny. But to be honest with you that’s one of the things we love most about it – it’s so quaint and welcoming. And the second thing you’ll probably notice–who knows, for you it might be the very first–is the delicious smell of curry. It literally permeates the whole restaurant.
Ok, so once you’re greeted and seated at one of the (maybe) 10 tables, you’ll have the big task of looking over the menu and deciding on the items you want to try. It may not be quite extensive but Shiva’s menu contains a lot of diverse, amazing, traditional Indian dishes featured. Dishes that contain things like the aforementioned curry, lots and lots of lamb (which we happen to love), chicken, and naan. There are certainly a few dishes in particular we’re interested in checking out on a future visit: Goat Curry (yes – it’s very, very adventurous, but what’s the worst that could happen?!), Butter Chicken, and Grilled Lamb Chops. Look ’em up when you have a minute….
On this visit, though, we opted in for the Lamb Curry while our dining companion went with the Chicken Jaifrazi. Pretty basic if we’re looking at some of the other items but when knew simple would likely mean outstanding. And we weren’t wrong.
The Lamb Curry dish is comprised of cubes of lamb cooked in medium spiced curry sauce with onions, herbs and spices. Served with rice, of course. When knew upon first bite we’d made the right decision. The lamb’s tender, bite-sized, flavored to near perfection and complemented by the onions, herbs, and spices.
It wasn’t until about half-way through the dish–which is quite large as you can see from the picture featured above–things began to get…shall we say…a little heated, that we realized we weren’t going to be able to finish the entire thing. Which was just fine because we didn’t have to worry about what we would have for lunch the next day.
The Chicken Jaifrazi, which was enjoyed by our companion, was equally as delicious according to them. Made up of cubes of chicken cooked in freshly ground cilantro and spices with green peppers and onions, it was every bit as tasty as our lamb. How do we know? Because we actually got to take the leftovers of that dish home with us to enjoy later as well.
If you like what you see here you can check out the full Shiva menu on their website.
We’ve mentioned a few times here on the site we’re not big dessert folks. Sure, we like sweets, and a yummy ice cream or pastry from time-to-time, but definitely not a dessert-after-every-meal situation. That said, the desserts at Shiva look really amazing and we would definitely like to Gulab Jamun on a future visit. It’s a light pastry made from fat free milk and soaked in honey sugar syrup. 🤤
All-in-all, we definitely recommend checking out Shiva if you’re ever in the Mount Dora area.
Fun Tip: Be sure to look up and check out the ceiling tiles. Random ones are decorated according to the theme of the restaurant. Just a nice little touch to add to the in-dining experience.
Shiva Indian Restaurant
140A West 5th Avenue
Mt. Dora, FL 32757
Have you ever had a meal at Shiva Indian Restaurant?
🍽 🍽 🍽