Review: Akbar - Garden City, LI
My first review here.......
Been going to Akbar routinely now for almost two years as part of an ongoing search for good Indian on Long Island. For all of the chatter re: the Hicksville corridor, we've found most of it quite inadequate. So much so that we tend to rely on Tamarind and Dawat in the city for our fix.
Although at times inconsistent, Akbar is leading the competition. First off, it's clean. No specks of dried rice and curry stains on the table cloths, bathrooms decent, etc. Wait staff is excellent.
The food has been lacking on only an occasion or two - but it is mostly above average. We go with our two small children, who unbelievably like Indian food while it's almost impossible to get them to eat anything else. We tend to gravitate towards milder dishes because of them.
Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Malai Curry, Vegetable Korma, Vegetable Jalfrezie (sp?), all have been at least good on most nights, amazing on others. Typical lentil and chick pea dishes are also good. Their peas and fenugreek leaves in a cream sauce is one of my favorites.
Breads are a standout, the best we've had by far anywhere on LI.
Typical beer selection and a limited wine list with at least a couple of half-way decent bottles.
Overall it may not be "culinary magic" but it's close, not only in distance but in taste and atmosphere as well.
I liked Akbar... but I just did not flip over their food. My measure is chicken tikka masala: theirs had a lot of heat but not much flavor and lacked sweetness. It's very pretty, but it is pricey. And they have an inadequate dessert menu - they did not even have rice pudding - pretty much a staple at Indian restaurants. There was a lot a hustle & bustle from the party room, next door to the main dining area. The wait staff from the party room were rushing back & forth to the kitchen, walking through the main dining area - it really detracted from my enjoyment.
Try SAMRAT in West Hempstead. Great food - I really like their chicken Tikka Masala and their Lamb dishes. Their Lamb is very tender, really well rendered.