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May 4, 1998 03:16 PM

Indian in Jackson Heights

  • d

Last week, a friend and I made our first, long-overdue foray into Jackson Heights for Indian food. We went to the Jackson Diner, of course. It was very good: the palak paneer was velvety and rich, the dal was spicy. But it was shall I say...transcendant. I remember when Dawat was still consistently good; their mustard green korma was mind-blowing and their dal was sublime. Now, I go to Dawat, Bayleaf (the coconut baby eggplant is terrific) and a few others but they are expensive and inconsistent. Hence my trip to Jackson Heights. Can you recommend any good Indian places (I prefer Northern), especially in Jackson Heights?

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  1. j
    Jeremy Osner

    I really like Vatan, a restaurant which moved out of JH
    (it was called Jhupdi, and was actually in Elmhurst
    near JH) to Manhattan a couple years ago. Their cuisine
    is Gujurati; I'm not sure where that is in terms of
    North or South.

    They serve all vegetarian food. There is no menu; the
    meal is prix fixe (15 dollars, last time I was there)
    and has three courses.

    In JH, I've heard tell that Delhi Palace is excellent
    but have not eaten there -- whenever I'm in the
    neighborhood I think about trying a new restaurant but
    always end up at Jackson Diner. Maybe that'll change in
    a couple of months; I'm moving to a coop apartment on
    34th Avenue.


    6 Replies
    1. re: Jeremy Osner
      Brian Yarvin

      Jhupdi in Elmhurst was in a class by itself. I'm glad
      to hear it still lives in some way. It was located in
      a strip mall that now features a Malaysian, 2
      Vietnamese, and a Shaghai place.

      Perhaps it's the karma left by Jhupdi?

      74th Street now is mostly buffet. Lots of fun
      sometimes, but not as good as it could be. My own
      favorite buffet is Indian Taj, but others might have
      better dishes.

      I never liked that Jackson Diner, too many
      Manhattanites for my taste, but that says nothing about
      the food.


      1. re: Brian Yarvin
        Jeremy Osner


        If you dug Jhupdi I would recommend coming to Vatan --
        it is the same owner and staff and imho not at all a
        step down from the glory that was Jhupdi. (Tho I must
        admit my memory of Jhupdi is growing dim, it's hard to
        be sure whether the two restaurants are the same...)

        It's on something like 23rd street and Madison avenue.


        1. re: Jeremy Osner
          Deborah Pastor

          Thanks for the suggestions. I have been to Vatan - I went with an Indian friend of mine who pronounced it very authentic. The cuisine is more southern than northern. I still enjoyed it, especially the Gujerati pickles, but I wouldn't want to go there regularly. By the way, if you are looking for a good Indian buffet in Manhattan, the Diwan grill lunch buffet is great. It's on the East side, Lex in the mid 40's I think. Very fresh, and the chicken makhani is excellent (for a buffet). Has anyone been to Kwality(SP?)in JH?

          1. re: Deborah Pastor

            Kwality has great sweets, but the samosas are a bit
            too greasy for my tastes. Also Delhi Palace (down the
            block on 74th) has a take-out storefront that has
            pretty good sweets (not as good as Kwality).

      2. re: Jeremy Osner
        Stuart Thalblum

        I ate at Delhi Palace religiously throughout the 12
        years I lived in Queens (1983-1995). It served
        excellant Northern and Southern Indian dishes, lots
        for vegetarians, and the onion kulcha was superlative,
        as were the dosais and utthapams.

        As far as I'm concerned, Delhi Palace set the gold
        standard for Indian food, although a recent NYTimes
        review said they had changed ownership.


        1. re: Stuart Thalblum

          In the past they were superb. The recent change
          in chefs, etc. resulted in disgustingly greasy
          fare coupled with oddities, such as spinach
          having peas stuck into the mash and vintage
          curries (tasting as thought prepared days or
          weeks earlier). There is still a great need for
          an Indian restaurant emphasizing freshness and a
          tasteful balance of ingredients.