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Jun 12, 2007 06:15 PM

Indian Oasis

There were lots of rave posts about this place on horace harding expressway a couple of years back. passed it sunday on the way back from fire island. wondered if it was still good.

any other horace harding recs? is tierras argentinas any good? what about ali baba?

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  1. Indian Oasis has long since been replaced by Royal Thai Cuisine. I work nearby, checked it out once, and didn't like it very much. I can't remember what I ordered, other than that it had far more heat than flavor, and was very much on the greasy side. I'm not tempted to return, but, hey, one visit is hardly a barometer of anything.

    Ali Baba, on the other hand, is a place that I've hit a number of times, and have never been disappointed. The Borani Bademjan, an Eggplant dish, has always been good. I also dig the Michigan Whitefish with green rice. Only their pita, which strikes me as being more stale than what you might find in your average supermarket, disappoints. Bear in mind that I haven't been there in well over a year, and, in the interim, there has been a change of ownership. Hope the new owners saw fit to retain their kitchen and to get better pita.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Polecat

      but we passed a place called royal indian oasis last week. is that a different place?

      1. re: missmasala

        The place I'm talking about is on a corner, overlooking the highway on the eastbound side of the Horace Harding, with a dark maroon sign, yellow lettering. I might have gotten the name wrong.

        1. re: Polecat

          yes, you're both talking about the same place. i'm not sure of the name either, i think it's royal indian oasis. but if you look below the name, it says something along the lines of like "chinese thai indian cuisine".

          that's unfortunate the place has gone downhill. i thought it was very good but never understood why the place was always so empty...

          as for horace harding, if you go down towards springfield blvd, there are a few restaurants there. there's a korean chicken place opening up on the corner - kyo chon. across the street from there is a hamjibak (good samgyupsal - korean grilled pork) and a korean hwe (sushi/sashimi) place.

          1. re: Linda

            I believe the sushi/sashimi place you're referring to is Samdado. Big fish on the awning. Have been there a few times for lunch, had the sushi lunch special and have found it average, no better. Do you have any menu or off-menu suggestions?

            What is a hamjibak? Is this a restaurant, or are you referring to the new supermarket that opened up recently, just a few doors down from Samdado?
            Do tell. I figured I'd eaten in every restaurant in the immediate area.

            As long as we're cruising Horace Harding in that direction, there is also a Korean Chinese place a few doors down from McDonalds, heading east. I don't want to butcher the Korean translation, but they serve up an okay version of noodles in inky brown sauce.

            As for the Kyo Chon Chicken that is supposed to be replacing what was, without a doubt, the saddest Korydong outpost in the city, I'm not holding my breath. That space has been closed up, broken windows and all, for months. I welcome the addition, however, to an area that is highly challenged when it comes to good chow.

            1. re: Polecat

              yes - the place you are referring to for "hwe" is samdado. i don't think it's anything special or trip-worthy from other locations, but if you live in the 'hood and want some raw fish, then this place is worth a try.

              my favorite "hwe" place is on northern blvd &... 161st? it's called "cheong ha jin" and it's next to the old quartet movie theatre/eckerd parking lot.

              anyway, the biggest draw to korean "hwe" places is when you order the sushi/sashimi platters for the entire table, you not only get a tremendous portion of raw fish, but you get a lot of side dishes with it, such as: jigae (korean spicy stew), katsu, a korean version of spicy, seafood zaru soba (cold buckwheat noodles), sometimes tempura, other types of seafood like mussels/clams/oysters/octopus/calamari, the typical korean banchan (side dishes), and the list goes on... i mean, it's a huge meal. you pay about $20-25/person for a rather huge meal. "hwe" restaurants are good bang for your buck.

              the fish is fine - nothing special, sliced in huge pieces like most korean restaurants do. but it's sufficient.

              hamjibak - it's a korean restaurant that originated in murray hill, they have another place on northern blvd near bell blvd (where the old tony roma's used to be) and i noticed one near the new korean supermarket you speak of, past mcdonald's on horace harding. their specialty is sam gyup sal. it's huge slabs of fatty pork thrown on a grill on your table. it is then cut-up and you eat it either dipped in a salty, sesame oil sauce or a sweeter sauce, then wrap it in lettuce with rice... delicious!!

              i've never been to the one on horace harding... i always go to the original location in murray hill (near the LIRR station).

              1. re: Linda

                I'm interested to hear about non-Tangra Masala Indian-Chinese places (I like Tangra Masala well enough, but am always looking for new places). Any rec's?

                1. re: Linda

                  "...when you order the sushi/sashimi platters for the entire table, you not only get a tremendous portion of raw fish, but you get a lot of side dishes..."

                  Ahh, that actually explains a lot. When I order the sushi lunch combo, the free side dishes are not only twice as plentiful as at the average place - the dishes themselves, such as a whole salted fish for example, are different and big enough to constitute a second meal. I even got served a free bowl of noodles once.

                  Regarding the hamjibak you speak of, could it be one and the same as the Korean Chinese place I mentioned? That is the only Korean restaurant I can think of that is east of the McDonalds and the supermarket. In any event, your description of the sam gyup sal makes me want to check this out.

                  1. re: Polecat

                    apparently, this outpost of hamjibak is pretty new. i've never been to this one, so i can't really say if it's near the chinese/korean place, or replaced it, or what! ahh.

                    if you are going to eat sam gyup sal, if you can, take the trip to murray hill to the original location.

                    1. re: Linda

                      I like the one on northern boulevard (near 210th st, old tony roma's); quite spacious, and very good. it would NOT be the korean-chinese place. definitely get the sam-gyup-sal (pork belly); their pajun is nice, and they had some pretty spectacularly marbled meat going around to some other tables that we didn't try.

                      1. re: bigjeff

                        Long before it was Tony Roma's it was a disco named Elephas. In 1977 son of sam shot two people, killing one of them, after they left the place. When I drive by it still creeps me out.

                        1. re: stuartlafonda

                          no kidding! that's crazy.

                          i do miss tony roma's - regardless of the fact that it was a chain! ;-)

      2. We went to Royal Indian Oasis last night. Good, but I think we prefer Tangra Masala. We had the Vegetable Manchurian (kofta-esque veggie balls in brown sauce), kung pao potatoes (spicy!), veg sesame toast. The kung pao was quite tasty. In the end, though, I think the food was heavier than Tangra Masala, and not spiced as interestingly- I remember having a paneer chili and some kind of fish tikka dish that were both more complex than anything we had at RIO.