Geet has certainly made its mark as one of the capital’s brightest culinary stars in the restaurant business, scooping up various acclaim over the years as one of the best Indian fine dining restaurants in the city. The creative chef and owner, Gita Jivan, is passionate about all types of Indian cuisine and runs her successful restaurant with her father in the heart of Brooklyn.
As with many Indian restaurants, Geet’s menu reads like an elaborate tale, with what seems like hundreds of options to rifle through. There’s a large category for vegetarian appetizers, which lets one know right away that this is a meat free supportive space. The olive tikki is tasty and satisfying, with marinated olives (not usual in traditional Indian cooking), soft sweet potato and homemade cream cheese served with chopped fresh shallots and a pleasantly salty olive chutney(R70). The ghaddu tikki is also a delicious meat-free starter of aniseed and fennel infused butternut and sweet potato fritters, a starter portion is shareable between two people for R65. There’s a delightful selection of soups, the gingery lamb shank reduction shorba being a firm favourite during winter, an absolute flavor bomb of a soup made with homemade lamb stock, plenty of fragrant ginger, spices, tomatoes and fresh coriander. The meatless mains are reasonably priced at R90 each although many prices on the menu need to be requested due to fluctuation of imported foodstuffs. The chewy, delicious breads are all freshly baked to order; try the honey and coriander kulzza, a fresh, fluffy bread slathered with honey, coriander and onion seed and baked until golden brown and crisp at R30. The intimidating number of mains might make it difficult to order intelligently after all that reading, but do try to order something out of the ordinary, like a traditional main course from Hyderabad, like the chakkundar, a northern Indian curry of medium spiciness served with shredded fresh beetroot and sweet, caramelized shallots (SQ). If you like prawns, you’ll fall madly in love with the kerela, or coconut lime prawns; grilled in coconut oil, lemongrass, fresh lime leaves and lashings of fresh red chilli (R185). The Shahi lamb shank is a Northern Indian curry with a big hit of cumin and rose, served in contemporary Geet fashion with a velvety and sweet saffron honey foam (from R155).
The desserts are a fun, upbeat and creative end to the meal, with a selection of five Indian style ice creams and a few gelato flavours available. Make your next move your best move and order the gajrella, a sublime carrot halva rolled in a delicate cinnamon pancake with saffron scented reduced milk and served with a generous scoop of choc-chunk ice cream (R45).
Geet has improved upon their tipple offering, boasting an impressive list of local wines which pair beautifully with the carefully designed dishes, so take Gita’s word for it and follow her on-point wine pairings which change intermittently with the times. The standard hot and cold beverages can be found on the menu as well as a special “Bollywood cocktails” menu with revitalizing fresh fruity drink combinations – try The Afterglow, a refreshing concoction fresh pineapple orange juice and a dash of grenadine (R45). The health cocktails appeal to the highly virtuous diner but can be enjoyed by anyone, like the Minty Cantaloupe Refresher, a fresh, melony granita-style cocktail spiked with crushed mint leaves (R55).
Gita runs Geet with her father who often manages the front of house whilst she chops and changes between handling the kitchen’s endless activities and liasing with guests. The service is genial but could improve on speed. The waiters are knowledgeable and comfortable and speak fluidly about the different spices used in the various cuisines of different Indian regions. Gita is always available to answer questions about the food she cooks and its ancient origins.
Geet gives off an especially royal air, with the venue beautifully draped in rich and colourful fabrics. True to Indian culture, the restaurant is dotted with candlelight, shimmering gold and bright, silky drapings, a vision in the evenings. It’s comfortable here and the staff sure knows what they’re selling.
Geet is such a versatile venue, the private booths are amazing for intimate occasions such as birthday dinners and the terrace is great to dine on on a warm, summer’s evening. Unfortunately, Geet is not a wheelchair accessible venue.
Stylish Indian feasting.