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Jun 28, 2000 08:55 AM

Is there any good Indian in Hell's Kitchen? & What's the best in NYC?

  • m

I'm desperate to find some decent Indian near home. (Cravings you know...)1) Does anyone know of any in the Hell's Kitchen vicinity? So far the places I've been to (on 9th near 50th) are mediocre at best.
2) What's the best Indian restaurant in NYC?
I prefer the Bangladesh style of cooking.

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  1. The best in the city is Dawat.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rex

      I'd pick Shaan over Dawat any day. I feel like Dawat's been coasting on its "best in NY" reputation for years now.

      Also, Vatan, on 29th and 3rd, is a wonderful vegetarian Indian prix fixe place.

      1. re: Dan

        Vatan is fun, but the food at any of the vegetarian Indian places on Lexington is every bit as good, if not better, and less expensive.

    2. If you're looking for a restaurant in your area, Shaan of India, at 57 West 48th Street,(977-8400), has an enormous menu and may well offer dishes of Bangladesh. I'm not certain. But the 4 meals I've eaten there--3 lunch buffets and one dinner with lobster and shrimp--were delicious. (Haven't been there in year and a half tho.) The buffet was quite high quality--and I'm not usually a buffet fan, as choices in some places can be quite "mean"--but Shaan's was bountiful.

      If you're willing to go further uptown to Amsterdam Avenue between 74th and 75th Street (or is it 75th and 76th??), do try Mughlai. This has been my favorite "local" for years--and why it is not more touted by foodies is a mystery. In a city of mediocre Indian restaurants, Mughlai prepares a variety of dishes that all taste individual--and authentic!! Their spicing is unique. Their ingredients are top-notch. (I believe that Eric Assimov wrote them up not too long ago.)

      Favorites of mine are the meltingly mouth-watering chicken tikka--chunks of Tandori flavored chicken; chicken sag, Tandoori lamb chops and their wonderful vegetable dishes-- especially the the red kidney beans in a creamy sauce and the sag paneer and the lentils with spinach. Actually ALL their vegetable dishes are better than anywhere else I've eaten. They even prepare salty Lhassi, which is a favorite of mine.

      The prices are fair, although I always object to paying as much for, say, lentils, as I do for chicken!

      Unfortunately, I'm counting calories at the moment--so haven't indulged in several months--but Muglai is going to be my first celebratory leap back into full-fat.

      Happy hunting!

      1. Though I've never eaten there, we regularly order in from Kiran, on 53rd or 54th West of 9th. The food is good, but not spectacular.

        A little further uptown, we had a very nice meal at Sapphire recently.

        1. Unfortunately I can't answer the first part of your question. As for the second part... Dawat is alright. But 20 steps eastward on the same sidewalk will land you at Chola. The decor doesn't compare to Dawat but the food emulates and surpasses. The menu, apart from the familiar favorites, also has a fine selection of South Indian non-vegetarian dishes (Masala Dosa happens to be a South -Indian dish for those of you in the know) which are generally hard to find outside South India. The dishes are prepared with a different palate of spices than most North Indian dishes like Chicken tikka or Tandoori, etc. Examine the "Dakshin" (south) part of the menu. Also ask the host, who usualy knows more than the waiters, to point you "south". The prices are comparable to Dawat.
          For cheaper and excellent Bangladeshi fare go to Joy of India on 28th between Lex and Park. Ask for the owner, Abu and tell him Arun sent you. He'll take care of you. Ask him for the specials of the day. For lunch on Friday they make a mean Goat Biriyani. I like it so much that I eat some right there for lunch and then carry some home to share with my wife for dinner.
          For excellent vegetarian South Indian dishes go to Mavalli Palace on 29th between Park and Madison. The chef is excellent but sometimes slow if it's busy. Try the Medu Vada (kinda like spicy donuts) and Masala Dosa. Good luck. Keep me posted.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Arun

            I like the vada and dosa at Mavalli very much, but my favorite things there are the dry curries...there's one with potatoes and curry leaves, and another with chickpeas and pomegranate. Both awesome good.

            I love goat biryani...Jackson Diner used to make the best ("street" style biryani, not the fancy, every-bit-has-a-different-flavor-and-color type biryani)