A South End Treasure Chest — Spice King and DK Market

Within a global grocery store, you'll find an exotic Indian restaurant to tantalize your tastebuds.

Half warehouse, half gypsy caravan... That's DK Market. For some, the wares found here are the answer to an exotic ingredient quest, for others this is a giant taste of home.

DK Market offers the gastrolust pleasure of wandering aisle after aisle of exotic ingredients, bargain-priced. A package of organically-produced Tuscan bucatini is only a buck. Craving Bulgarian sour cherries on the cheap for your cocktails? Need to replenish your spice cabinet jar of Za’atar for Middle eastern flatbreads and kebabs? 

There's also Grace Beauty Salon, which offers henna tattoos and haircuts, featuring posters of sapphire-eyed beauty Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. 

Within this global grocery bunker, you’ll find a Mexican grocery, a Russian deli, a Chinese apothecary, plus the cozy sit-down Spice King which offers lunch, dinner, and delivery. 

I had the great fortune of trying out Spice King’s menu with Naomi Kakiuchi, chef, educator, and founder of NuCulinary.Together we delved into this menu of Indian delights, dividing and conquering a table of dishes (with many to-go boxes in tow). Our server quipped at the amount of food we ordered, “You must be really hungry!” 

Spice King’s Chat ($4.99) is what Panzanella salad is to Italian kitchens, reincarnating yesterday’s bread into something delicious. Spice King marries Paare (fried crackers), chickpeas, cubed potatoes, and tumbles in the tang of low-fat yogurt with a slightly sweet chutney. 

The Chicken Tikka Salad ($4.99) is what every health-conscious employee in the Black River office corridor should order for lunch. Crisp lettuce provides the canvas for an exotic salad: slices of tandoori-seared chicken breast are dressed with yogurt, then tossed with red cabbage and fresh tomatoes.

From the large list of savory breads, I selected Keema Naan ($4.99). Spiced ground lamb encased in wood-fired dough--oh my--with a seasoned yogurt sauce for dipping. Next came Spice King’s Mixed Tandoori ($14.99). SK's Tandoori assortment combines prawns with blackened tails, hearty chunks of chicken, sizzling onions and carrots in a spicy tamarind-sweet sauce. When our plate came sizzling through the room on a cast iron skillet, two other diners exclaimed, “What is that?!”

I love the tradition of Thali, a steely platter filled with small bowls that makes a complete meal. Spice King’s Special Vegetarian Thali ($13.99) consists of a flaky potato Samosa, sweetish Shahi Paneer (crumbled paneer cheese floating in a cloud of tomato cream sauce), a verdantly spicy Saag (pureed spinach and mustard leaves), a fresh green salad, raita, naan and rice, plus kheer (creamy cardamom flavored rice pudding). 

We were so stuffed that we barely touched our bowl of kheer, and our thoughtful server came back with it after clearing our plates, lest we thought it was a condiment rather than dessert.  And after all this (major to-go boxes in hand) we hardly scratched the surface! 

There are four types of Dosas available, the cylindrical rice batter crepes of Southern India, ranging from $8 to $10. The truly adventurous can order Punjabi Bakra ($10.99), “Diced goat meat cooked in special gravy and spices with care”. There’s also a Family option, the Spice King Special ($34.99) where you can choose "any two veggie and meat dishes, served with choice of rice or naan, raita, salad, and kheer."

When I phoned about the delivery option, I was told that delivery is free for orders of at least $35-$40, within five miles from Spice King. Local workers take note.

Rentonites, we are lucky to have such top notch Indian cuisine in our midst. The rest of you need to make a pilgrimage!

Spice King
720 Lind Ave SW
Suite 102
(Inside DK Market)
Renton, W A 98055
Open 7 days

Monday –Sunday 10 a.m-7:30 p.m.

Catherine Reynolds July 16, 2011 at 02:46 AM
Oops! The 4th picture is a bahn mi from Go Deli... Got my combo's mixed up when sending pics!


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