Westford Karma location revamps its interior but not its food

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Westford Karma location revamps its interior but not its food

The exterior of Karma looks modern in the parking lot.

The exterior of Karma looks modern in the parking lot.

Anushka Patil

The exterior of Karma looks modern in the parking lot.

Anushka Patil

Anushka Patil

The exterior of Karma looks modern in the parking lot.

Anushka Patil, News Editor

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Karma has been a favorite of many Westford residents for years now, combining the intricate flavors of American and Asian cuisine to make an Asian-Fusion restaurant. However, about a year ago, Karma went under construction for renovation. After the renovations were complete, Karma reopened its doors about a month ago, welcoming in old and new customers to enjoy their newly furnished restaurant and its classic dishes.

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to dine at Karma. Preparing for the experience days in advance, I made sure to bring as many people as possible with me, in order to try as much food without the nausea of overeating. So, with my goal in mind, I called up Karma to make a reservation. I had made the reservation for eight in the evening and arrived on the dot. Expecting my table to be ready, my guests and I were fully ready to be seated. Yet, we were forced to wait forty minutes to all be seated. In fact, they seated us four at a time, each time a table was free. Finally, when all twelve of us were sitting at our three consecutive tables, we were finally ready to begin the night, already getting a late start to our dinner.

In terms of the ambiance, I think the renovations were fully worth it. The insides of the restaurant were modern and the tables, chairs, and booths all looked expensive. It felt like a privilege to be eating at the restaurant. The bar is located along the sides of the restaurant, with many seats for customers. The theme of Karma is red and brown, seen through the many color-themed decorations and furnishings around the restaurant. Moreover, the only problem I really had with the restaurant’s design was the closeness of the tables. It felt like we were sitting right next to the family next to us, even though we were at completely separate tables.

On the food and drinks note, the first things we ordered were our drinks. The young kids and I helped ourselves to the mocktails on the menu. In terms of price, the mocktails are a bit of a splurge, priced at six dollars a drink. I tried the berry cider mocktail, which was a combination of blueberries and raspberries in refreshing apple cider. I truly loved it. It was tangy and sweet without overdoing it in the artificial department. I even ordered a second.

Shortly after ordering our drinks, our appetizers arrived. To compensate for our chaotic wait, the restaurant gave us a Crab Rangoon appetizer on the house. Personally, I felt the Rangoon was a bit too heavy for my taste. The fried outercoat was only further weighed down by the overly creamy crab cheese filling. Honestly, I would not recommend ordering the Crab Rangoon due to its subpar taste compared to other local restaurants that have better, cheaper Crab Rangoon.

In terms of the appetizers that we ordered, the standout dish to me was the vegetable spring rolls. The spring rolls were just the right texture. The wrappers were fried to perfection and had a large amount of cabbage and carrot filling, allowing for a fresh splash in each bite. Particularly, I also enjoyed the scallion pancakes, since a customer can never go wrong with ordering a good plate of fried flatbread.

However, the edamame and shrimp dumplings (shumai) that we ordered were mediocre. The edamame was too firm for my liking and coated with a large amount of oil. The dumplings were just like your average freezer dumplings, lacking the flavor and appearance that would make it a notable dish.

After a long wait, our waitress finally took our main course orders. We waited about twenty minutes until our food arrived, which was on the basis of whichever dishes were ready first. Out of the many dishes we ordered, my favorites were the chicken lo mein and the chicken basil fried rice. Even though these are pretty basic Asian dishes, Karma was able to serve them in a different way than other competing restaurants. The fried rice tasted fresh and the plethora of vegetables and chicken made the dish even tastier. For the lo mein, the noodles were quite addicting. The savory flavors of the light sauce the noodles were in were truly satisfying.

However, I am unable to say the same for the other dishes we ordered. Specifically, the honey chicken was drenched in a less than appealing sauce, causing the fried chicken to become overpowered by the overly sweet flavor. Contrasting to the honey chicken, the teriyaki chicken extremely bland. The slices of dry chicken were only paired with a light teriyaki sauce that was not adequate for the number of chicken slices. Not to mention, the teriyaki chicken was served with a large side of unseasoned vegetables, a poor pairing for an already weak dish.

The rest of the main dishes we ordered were mediocre, not impressive for the large pricings of the food.

I would like to point out that we did not order sushi, which is a large part of Karma’s brand. So, our review may be different than others since it does not measure the flavor of the popular Karma sushi.

Finally, for dessert, we wanted to go light, already stuffed with the amount of food we had devoured. We were ready to order the hazelnut truffle dessert, however, they were sold out. We asked for our next two choices, but they were also sold out. Finally, we settled on our fourth choice, the cassata.

The cassata was quite enjoyable, a nice, cold pairing to our carb-heavy dinner. The three different flavors of the ice cream provided new tastes each bite and the textures of the jelly pieces added a second layer to the dessert.

Karma may be a better dining experience for sushi lovers, but for regular Asian food lovers, the dining is not extraordinary for a Westford restaurant. I honestly think there are better, less expensive restaurants in Westford that have the same tasting food. Overall, I would not recommend Karma to anyone who is looking for a completely new Asian dining experience. The wait is too long, the restaurant is crowded, and the food is anything but outstanding. In the end, a great atmosphere can not compensate for a lackluster food experience.

6/10