Indian in Jackson Heights
- Deborah Pastor
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 not...how 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?
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
re: Jeremy Osner
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
I never liked that Jackson Diner, too many
Manhattanites for my taste, but that says nothing about
re: Brian Yarvin
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.
re: Jeremy Osner
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?
re: Jeremy Osner
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.
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.