Chef-owner Bobby Chhikara knows a thing or two about Indian cooking. An appetizer of spicy barbecue ribs has piquancy and tenderness. Hot garlic shrimp with a fire-charged white-wine butter sauce proves a hit, too.

I'd return in a heartbeat for the white-hot chicken vindaloo, the lush, mild saag paneer (spinach with house-made cheese) and the succulent Kerala prawn curry. I'm also taken with the chicken biryani, rice and chicken knowingly spiced, complex in flavor. Plus the breads - garlic naan, onion kulcha - are irresistible. Fine, too, are the pistachio-sprinkled kheer (rice pudding) and gulab jaman (fried cheese balls in honey-rose water syrup).

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But while the creamy coral- hued mulligatawny has lovely flavor, it arrives scalding hot with a thin film over the top, leading me to suspect it's been nuked. Mysore lamb chops, requested medium-rare, are thin and overcooked to gray. And I'm not impressed with the "mangotango salad," a generic mesclun mix with pieces of mango and rather dry tandoori chicken. What the crew especially needs to learn is timing: Appetizers should come before, not after, the main course.

Bottom line

You'll find very good spicy barbecue ribs, hot garlic shrimp and white-hot chicken vindaloo at this Port Washington restaurant.