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Good Indian?

  • m

Can anyone recommend a really good Indian restaurant in
Manhattan?

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  1. For food quality only, of the restaurants open prior to this year, I'd recommend, in order:

    1. Mavalli Palace -- Southern Indian (strictly vegetarian) 46 E. 28th Approximately $25 per person for a lot of food. Especially for the dosai, lemon rice, lentil "doughnuts,"uttaphams, eggplant, etc.

    2. Shaan-- 47 W. 48th. They are particularly good with shrimp. This is a lovely restaurant with plenty of space -- my favorite place for a business meal in midtown, because of the privacy. Approximately $40 per person (not *that* dressy). The shrimp appetizer is a standout.

    3. Dawat -- 210 E. 58th. The most highly touted Indian in NYC, Maddhur Jaffri's restaurant has been inconsistent and noisy, in my experience, but has some good dishes, particularly lamb.

    There are a bunch of new upscale Indian places, but I haven't been to any yet.

    Dave

    11 Replies
    1. re: Dave Feldman

      For an unbelievable (and inexpensive) authentic
      vegetarian Indian experience -- try Vatan on 3rd Ave.
      and 30th Street (or maybe 29th?) Looks like NOTHING
      from outside -- but inside it opens up like a little
      oasis with traditional tables surrounded by cushions
      and mattresses that you can recline on between
      courses. They serve lots of little bowls full of
      delicious food -- and they keep bringing it until you
      say WHEN. I HIGHLY recommend it. Mavelli Palace and
      Shaan (recommended by someone else on this site) are
      also terrific -- but Vatan is just an experience that
      everyone who likes Indian should try once! (I think
      it's $20 all you can eat)

      1. re: Liz
        f
        Frank Language

        Well, today I was on the Upper West Side and I was
        stumped; a woman asked me if I knew of any good Indian
        restaurants in the neighborhood and I drew a blank. Are
        there any good Indian restaurants on the Upper West
        Side? (I was up around Amsterdam and 84th, but I know I
        could have sent her anywhere in a 10-block radius.)

        1. re: Frank Language

          It's been a few years, but when I lived near Columbia
          there was a Indian place on Broadway around 110th or so
          -- on the west side of the street just north of where
          Broadway and West End join up. Sorry I can't remember
          the name. I liked their food, but it was before I had
          been exposed to actual good Indian food in Queens so I
          can't really vouch for my memory of it.

          1. re: Jeremy Osner

            One of the best and oldest restaurant on upper
            westside is Indian Oven at 200 west 84th street. It
            has been on the upper westside for the last 25 years.
            It happens to have one of the most innovative regional
            menu as well as some old staple favorites. It has one
            of the best Tandoori stuff and breads. You will enjoy
            it.

            1. re: satish

              I've yet to find a moderately priced Indian restaurant that was consistantly good other than the Jackson Diner in Queens. I haven't been there since they moved to their larger location, but they had the best dosai (not greasey like most, and their chicken pagshwala (tandoori chicken saag) I think sets the standard.

            2. re: Jeremy Osner

              You are thinking of the Indian Cafe I think. I was consistently disappointed there each time I got a hankering and gave it another chance. I grew up in England where Indian food is cheap and often terrific and am always being let down by New York offerings.

              1. re: james baird

                Re: Cheap, terrific Indian food in Manhattan
                Try Minar (31st Street between Broadway and 5th). I usually get masala dosa there, but their north Indian food isn't bad either. Drawback is their rather curtailed hours: closes at 7:00 (I think) M-F and 5:30 on Saturday. Closed on Sunday.
                A word on Vatan...it's a great place to bring friends for a nice social occasion, especially ones not particularly familiar with Indian food. My friends from India were underwhelmed by the place; some found the mango lassi, shall we say, "unpalatable". I'd say a couple of visits per year is plenty; the place is neither a bargain nor a rip-off.

            3. re: Frank Language

              There's an Indian place a half block east of
              Symphony Space where I've had decent meals on several
              occasions. It's on the north side of 95th St., if I
              remember right.

              1. re: Frank Language

                Frank,

                You can't find anything great on the UWS. My favorite, though, is Indian Tanpura, located at 564 Amsterdam (between 87th and 88th -- they have a branch at 1109 First Ave. at 61st St, which I've never tried).

                I'm addicted to one dish at Tanpura -- the goat Danshak. It's a lentil/spinach sauce with moderate hotness. It's a complex sauce also available lwith lamb or beef). The onion kulcha at Tanpura is solid and their delivery service is terrific.

                DF

                1. re: Dave Feldman

                  In Indian food menu their is no dish like what you
                  describe. Their is Parsi dish called Dhansak. Which
                  is traditionally spiced lamb cooked with lentils.
                  There is no spinach in it.

                2. re: Frank Language
                  s
                  Satish Sehgal

                  How can you miss just a bit off on Amsterdam and 84th
                  is the Indian Oven restauarnt. It has got red
                  exterior with sailor blue awning.

            4. The lunch buffet at Bay Leaf, 49 West 56th, is the best
              Indian in the city.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Okrent
                d
                Dave Feldman

                I'm not sure I understood your comment. Do you mean Bay Leaf has the best buffet in the city or that the buffet is better than any other Indian food in NYC?

                I've never had an Indian buffet that I've been wild about anywhere. How is Bay Leaf ala carte.

                DF

                1. re: Dave Feldman

                  Sorry. just found your note today. It is certainly the
                  best buffet and may be the best Indian. It's hard to
                  imagine that flavor can survive a steam table, but all
                  the tastes here are bright and fresh. The owners are
                  conservative in their menu so the chef gets creative
                  with his buffet, trying out new things and giving a
                  lift to traditional dishes. I've only gone for lunch,
                  but I believe there's a pre-theatre buffet as well. Try
                  it and let me know what you think.

              2. I haven't been, but a friend whose taste I trust likes
                Salaam Bombay in Tribeca.

                I haven't been to Dawat in about 5 years -- some things
                were great, some weren't but the service and wait were
                horrendous, for a considerable price.

                1. k
                  Krista Oldfield

                  Definitely Pappans...between 5th and 6th on first--I think. Next door to Milans (another Indian restauratn). Seating is tight, food is really good(I've only eaten there once)..atmosphere is awesome. Tiny lights hanging all over right down to the top of your head when you're sitting at your table. very cool.