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Posted on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

Cardamom Restaurant set to open Friday on Ann Arbor's Plymouth Road

By Lizzy Alfs


Cardamom Restaurant is set to open Friday at 1739 Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor.

Photo by Peter Smith

Binod Dhakal plans to put his own spin on Indian food at his new eatery opening today on Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor.

Cardamom Restaurant, located at 1739 Plymouth Road in The Courtyard Shops, is set to open at 11 a.m. on April 26. The 1,700-square-foot restaurant replaces Famous Hamburger.

Dhakal, a former manager at Shalimar Restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor, describes the food at Cardamom as “fresh Indian” that is influenced by a variety of cultures.


Cardamom Restaurant's momos -- a steamed dumpling appetizer -- and samosas.

Photo by Peter Smith

“India is a vast country and very diverse,” Dhakal said in a statement. “We designed our menu to reflect this diversity, and then to take it a step further by adding our own Western-influenced dishes, like fresh entree salads and Western-style plated dishes.”

Named after a popular spice found in India, some of Cardamom’s menu options include: momos, a steamed dumpling appetizer; samosas; goat chops with spiced mashed potatoes; and hyderabadi biryani, a rice dish with nuts and vegetables.

The lunch menu will include a thali-style meal, which consists of small portions of four different dishes, served with soup, bread and dessert.

“The weekday lunch menu is much abbreviated and was designed to get diners in and out on a lunch hour,” the statement says.

Dhakal said he plans to use fresh produce in the dishes, including locally-sourced lettuce for the salads. He’s also selling fresh-squeezed lemonade and roasting his spices in-house. He plans to apply for a liquor license after opening, and launch online ordering in May.

There will be 24 patio seats that will open when the weather is warmer. The restaurant still is hiring servers, according to its Facebook page. (Visit the website for contact information)

Cardamom Restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.


The interior of the new Cardamom Restaurant in Ann Arbor.

Photo by Peter Smith

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 12:38 a.m.

I have a to die for Cardamom cookie recipe. Yummy.


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 5:26 p.m.

Due to Binod's amiable personality and fine management, Shalimar thrived and is regarded by my family as Michigan's best North Indian restaurant, which is no mean feat to achieve given there are over 40 Indian restaurants across SE Michigan alone... I wish Binod and Cardamom best of luck in this new venture and hope he can give the downtown restaurants a run for their money! The secret to long-term success is to have great hygiene practices everywhere (rest-room included!) and instil them in your cook(s) and wait staff, and to be especially respectful of vegetarians' preferences by preparing veg food in a separate part of the kitchen, and (ideally) in a separate set of utensils so as to avoid cross-contamination with meat dishes....You will get my strong vote then!

UM owns

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 5:56 p.m.

That doesn't sound like "the secret to long-term success", that sounds like your own personal idiosyncracies.

Jack Gladney

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 5:26 p.m.

Upon reading the menu, I am disappointed in finding no beef dishes on the menu. I hope this is not because of the religious significance of cattle in Indian culture. I think it's OK if the owner doesn't practice beef eating, but to impose his beliefs on his customers is very offensive.


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 9:06 p.m.

If the owner doesn't practice beef eating do you really want to eat a dish the owner has never tasted?


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 8:18 p.m.

I am in no way a vegetarian, however I am certainly not offended that they do not have beef. There are a multitude of places that serve beef.


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

Jack Gladney, would you explain again how the lack of beef on the menus imposes the owner's beliefs on his customers? If they want beef, they don't go there. No imposition. You must have a lot of time on your hands to find things to be offended by! Cardamom, ????? ??? ???? ?????? ??!

Andy Price

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 5:53 p.m.

Seriously. Vegetarian restaurants should also include beef. Derp.


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 3:55 p.m.

The menu looks interesting. Hope the food is worth the prices that look a bit on the high side for Indian cuisine.


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

Binod was a great manager at Shalimar, where he will be missed, and I wish him all the best with his new restaurant, which looks very promising. The level of restaurants has finally been improving in Ann Arbor and it may be time for the Main St. places to improve their game. Vinology has certainly done that and Shalimar has always been good, but as for the rest ... Will have to venture out to Plymouth Rd. Good luck, Binod.

say it plain

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

OOh, so excited for this! Major improvement over yet another burger joint that was there before!


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

We were lucky enough to go to the "pre-opening" of Cardamom last weekend. The food was outstanding. I'm still dreaming of the "goat chops." First time I've ever had goat. We also had the momos, a paneer dish, a biryani dish, and a couple of other appetizers, and all of it was incredibly tasty. My wife is vegetarian, and they had TONS of vegetarian options. We'll be going back often.

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 1:35 p.m.

I love getting Indian food with my dad. I'm a vegetarian and he'll actually split dishes with me, unlike my friends who want to order meat!


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

Nice to have other options with Indian places closing, and Temptations undergoing another style/management change, once again for the worse. Looking for some place to replace them.


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 12:28 p.m.

Oh geez! Between Foods of India, Curry Up and now Cardamom. I'm going to be all set!! Though it's going to be really hard for anybody to compete with the Paneer Masala at Foods of India, I'll give them a chance ;)


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

looove foods of of the best kept secrets in town. :)


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 3:22 p.m.

I'm going to attempt to provide results in a way that Google wouldn't :P Curry Up is right around the corner from the Songbird Cafe. Foods of India is in the little mart with the Northside Cottage Inn.


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 2:41 p.m.

Oops - I meant other places.


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

Where are these are the places you note in your comment?


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

Binod was the heart and soul of Shalimar for a decade. Can't wait to try his personal take on Indian Cuisine. He is always so gracious. A real prize for Ann Arbor.


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 2:03 p.m.

I agree 100%!


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

Good Luck guys, can't wait to eat here!

Mary Bilyeu

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 10:40 a.m.

I'm looking so forward to this! So are many of my friends who are vegetarians or vegans, or who have to be careful because of food allergies; Cardamom's menu is very conscientious about all of the above ....


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

They have a menu available.


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 11:01 a.m.

Do you know what type of vegetarian options there will be?