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Sep 20, 2005 02:01 PM

Are there ANY good Indian restaurants in Jackson Heights (or anywhere else)???

  • b

I seem to have the Midas touch in reverse. Whenever I find a really good Indian restaurant -- and I use the term broadly, to encompass the entire Indian subcontinent -- it closes. Tabaq, Mina's, Grameen, Student Biryani, all wonderful food vibrant with fresh spices... and all closed. Tabaq now houses a travel agent, Grameen a Chinese place, Student Biryani sells Halal pizza. And all those places in Jackson Heights that dish out precooked glop from a steam table and pop it in a microwave live long and prosper. Does anyone know of a reataurant as good as those four, preferably which cooks its food to order, in the Jackson Heights area or anywhere else (preferably closer than Iselin, NJ)? I'd be especially interested in a restaurant like Tabaq, which had a style of cooking I'd never encountered before, called balti or tawa, which features a huge wok and freshly ground spices. And yes, Tangra Masala is a lot like that, especially if you order your food dry, no gravy, but I'm not looking for Halal Chinese. (And I know about all the established places on 74th Av, such as Jackson Diner, etc etc)
By the way I spent a year in India and was less than thrilled by the food. (Although I was so charmed by everything else that I didn't care.) I suspect that the best Indian cooking is to be found in private houses.

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  1. d
    david sprague

    have you checked out ambassador 21, which is on broadway in jackson heights -- in the old Sajna space? They have a large number of tawa/balti dishes that I find to be as good as the stuff that Tabaq served up. It's a little more expensive than most of the places in the 'hood, but I think it's worth it. Here's a link to their website -- which, unfortunately, doesn't have a menu on it, but does offer a mission statement of sorts...

    3 Replies
    1. re: david sprague

      Thanks. I've passed by Ambassador 21 and thought, it's a bit pricey, I'll wait until someone recommends it before trying it. Now maybe I will.
      Here's a photo of food cooked on a tawa, for those who haven't seen it:


      1. re: Brian S.

        it is now roti boti. it is horrible

        1. re: pancun187

          i disagree. it's probably one of the best hot steam table ones in JH. They make food in small batches. At least the one that's in the former Ambassador 21 location. I used to frequent the location across the street, but tried this one a week ago and liked it. My BF had goat curry and I had saag (palak?) paneer with chicken. Nicely spiced, portions are huge. The owner came couple of times to our table to check on how we were doing. We split a naan (they're fresh from the oven and huge), and took half of our food home. The bill came to $16. The business was brisk between diners and take out orders, so the steam tables kept replenished with fresh food, which is a good news. And it was a weeknight.
          If you're dining in a group they do cook to order I think. There was a big group of young indians and the waiter brought out from the kitchen a big sizzling skillet of some chicken curry. Looked really good.

    2. it is far removed from just about everything, but of all places in riverdale there is a great indian restaurant called cumin. their apps are a little weak, really only like their banana pakoras for an app, but all else is quite good. particularly love their mushroom soup (basically great mulligatawny w/ fresh sliced mushrooms), chicken vindaloo xxhot, and their raita is the best raita i've had. like i said, cumin is not so convenient in location, but if you are nearby definitely worth it.

      5 Replies
      1. re: lotsanivanh

        Thanks, but it's on Johnson Av and 235 Street... just too far afield. I used to go a lot to the South Bronx, but this is far even from that.

        1. re: lotsanivanh

          Cumin is a perfectly decent neighborhood Indian place, but I don't think it's worth a detour. BTW, the chicken liver/poori app is very good.

          1. re: Striver

            i agree, maybe not worth a detour. like i said it's far from anything. but it is very good food. is the chicken liver/poori app a new selection? don't remember ever seeing that.

            1. re: lotsanivanh

              Yes, as far as I know it's been available since they opened - the actual name on the menu is "kolitcha puri" or something like that. We almost always order it when we eat thereand it's consistently good.

          2. re: lotsanivanh

            i heard the jackson diner is supposed to be very good asalam alekum abdul :)


          3. My favorite indian resturant in Jackson heights is Delhi palace...and their lunch buffet is the BESTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

            1. The original comment has been removed
              1. As long as you've resurrected my old post, here are three neat places I've visited last month. The first of them is basically Grameen reborn.




                2 Replies
                  1. re: JFores

                    It's still doing fine. I haven't been lately, I must go!