Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jan 17, 2006 12:35 PM

Devi or Tamarind?

  • j

My parents are visiting in a couple of weekends, and I'd like to take them for Indian on Saturday night. It's one of their favorite cuisines, so I've narrowed it down to these two for an upscale, maybe more interesting than the norm Indian meal. Any advantages that put one over the other?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The last time I was at Tamarind was about a year and a half ago, but I was underwhelmed. Nothing about it stood out.

    I was at Devi in December and had an excellent meal. Everything was delicious and I would highly recommend it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: valerie

      Both are excellent choices. Tamarind has a much more extensive menu, with more bread choices. Don't miss the Naan e Tamarind, which is filled with chopped fruits and nuts. For the bread alone, my wife prefers Tamarind.

      Devi is more of an adventure. The food is slightly more modern and fusion-y, such as a sprinkling of parmesian on some dishes, but retains wonderful Indian spicings. The menu is more focussed, with fewer items, but more high spots. Both offer the Manchurian cauliflower, but Devi's is better, more subtle and fresh tasting. Tamarind's vegetables are delicious as well, but more conventional, and they don't offer them as side dishes (as they do at Devi), so they are in the $15 range.

      The lamb chops at Devi are mind-blowingly good, maybe the best I have ever tasted.

      Decor: Devi seems smaller and more intimate, with beautiful fabrics and colors. More timeless. Tamarind is more modern in feel.

      Both have nice wine selections that let you stray from the cliches.

      You'll drop some serious coin at either place.

      You won't be sorry at either place, but for a one-shot experience, I'd give a slight nod to Devi.

      1. re: ahnyc

        I've done the tasting menu with wine and Devi, and it was excellent. Quite a bit of food though!

    2. Been to both, recommend Devi over Tarmarind. I think Tamarind is overrated. I prefer Tamarind for lunch-they have a good deal on a combo platter. At Devi I recommend the lamb entreeand the cauliflower appetizer.

      Report back on your decision and experience. I would appreciate your opinion.

      1 Reply
      1. re: eve

        I agree with this. Never understood the Tamarind appeal.

      2. Hey Jules,

        Did you consider Tabla? Another high-end Indian place in the same area with some interesting dishes......

        1 Reply
        1. re: Scott V

          good suggestion--of the 3, Tabla is my favorite. Though, less traditional.

        2. I have been to Tamarind and Tabla. Both are sort of silly restaurants. Nothing special except for the prices. At Tamarind they tried every trick in the book to jack up the bill. It was sort of funny. We order a bottle of wine. The appatizers mysteriously appear as soon as we are out of wine. So we have to order a 2nd bottle. Then my wife orders a $45 bottle of wine. When the bill comes it is a $300 bottle of wine. You wont find any Indians eating at these restaurant its purely for white folks. If the only Indian in the restaurant is waring mc hammer pants with a turban might want to try a different place.

          1. Thanks, guys! I had sort of ruled out Tabla because I've taken my parents to Bread Bar -- though I know the main dining room is a different experience. Perhaps I'll reconsider. As for Hector's posting, ironically an English-Indian friend told me he enjoyed Tamarind. Whatever the final decision, I'll report back.