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A good Indian restaurant in Brooklyn?

Does one exist?
Or do we have to go to Manhattan for non-mushy, non super oily
Indian food?

I am primarily interested in areas close to Park Slope & Prospect Heights.

We have tried and not liked:
-Joy on Flatbush.
-Or the even worse one on Vanderbilt (I do not remember the name, "next"
to Fermented Grapes -a great wine store).
-Or Amin on 7th.
What we do not like are these super oily sauces, and rice cooked to
mush (for example the Biryani rice at Joy, yikes) overcooked vegetables,
or frozen vegetables: the one on Vanderbilt Avenue.

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  1. I don't really think there are any good Indian restaurants in or near Park Slope at all. Personally my solution has been to begin cooking Indian at home with a good cookbook. I do think that Song is quite good for an SE Asian fix--I know it's not Indian or anything, but you take what you can get! Sadly, I don't see this situation changing anytime soon.

    1. Short answer: not really. But Manhattan may not be the only other choice. I dont know of any Devi quality places in Bklyn, but there are some non-oily decent Pakistanian places on both Coney Island Ave (the stretch between Ave H & Church Ave) and McDonald Ave (off Church Ave.) that can give the average Lex Ave/E 20s places and E.6th St better places (Angon/Banjara/Brick Lane) a run for the money. Of course, you can go to Queens and catch Mina (Spicy Mina's Restaurant) on a good day.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Steve R

        Thanks. You confirmed what we already knew / feared: If we have a craving for good Indian, getting there involves a car or the subway.

        I do know all the good places in Manhattan, and have dined in some of them: Devi, Tabla and Tamarind, and our daughter has raved about Angon for a long time.

        So, here is a challenge for someone who takes pride in quality Indian cuisine: How about opening a high quality Indian restaurant in Brooklyn? I guess it could be quite popular.

        1. re: FoodWine

          I just don't see it happening. People in New York are used to bad Indian food. The general quality of Indian food in New York pales against so many other cities (London and LA, for instance). Good Indian food, when you can find it, is so isolated here in NY--in contrast to the UK where often the crappiest surburban hole-in-the-wall curry shack is awesome.

          NY on the other hand...we've got some neighborhoods in Queens, for instance, where I assume the Indian population demands better food than non-Indians accept on 6th St. And there are the veg/chaat places that fulfill a certain niche and do it well. The high-end like Tamarind, which are a world until to themselves. Brooklyn is just a reflection of a bad situation for Indian food in New York generally.

          Without a strong Indian pop, I think best-case scenario for Park Slope would be a Hampton Chutney, which wouldn't actually be so bad. And hey, we got the jitney...

          1. re: Mandymac

            You like Tamarind? Personally I thought Tamarind was absolutely horrible, especially given the prices. I stick to Spicy Mina's when I want to spend far more than one should ever spend while in Jackson Heights or Ghoroa on 169th when I don't feel like beating my wallet. High end Indian places in the city are always failures. They just suck. Go to Queens. Brooklyn's Bengali and Pakistani pops are centered in Coney and Church Ave, both of which do not have very good restaurants. Good and cheap restaurants which cater to local South Asian crowds only develop when the male community eats out for lunch; that's basically how the ones in Queens rose and strived. There's probably plenty of good South Asian food in Brooklyn; it's just in people's kitchens. Once again, go to Queens.

            1. re: Mandymac

              Oh my god, if there was a Hampton Chutney in Park Slope, I'd be there all the time. Luv that Soho restaurant.

            2. re: FoodWine

              If you don't mind a short ride to Bay Ridge, on 74th and 3rd Ave is India Passage - http://brooklyn.citysearch.com/profil...

              When I lived in brooklyn it was the only Indian Restaurant I'd go to. May be worth a shot, but if you're willing to travel even further, I'd suggest checking out Jackson Heights Queens. I live there and the selection of different types of India Food there is outstanding.

              1. re: NYEpicuriosity

                Seconded. Ate there this w/e and enjoyed samosas, tikka masala, tandoori chcken, naan and some Indian lager. Good stuff. All Indian staff and predominantly Indian clientele. (Always a good sign.)

                1. re: jamie2742

                  Glad ya liked it. Does Farook (Faruk? sp?) still manage this place?

                  1. re: NYEpicuriosity

                    Not sure. But the manager waited on us. Should've gotten his name for future reference. Oh well. We'll be back.

                2. re: NYEpicuriosity

                  We just ate at India Passage. I don't think that I have ever been so tempted to leave all of my food untouched and just pay the bill and go home. Wretched. The tikka masala was white and watery ( ok not quite but that is how I remember it). The biryani was overcooked almost to gum. Yuck. And not exactly cheap. Felt like London.

            3. Go to Queens. Park Slope has very little as far as authentic food goes anyway.

              1. OK. So it's not fancy or pricey like Devi or Tabla or a chowhound expedition to 'hoods beyond, but we need an Indian fix in Park Slope we order from Kinara on 5th Ave. The entrees are good (funny enough the tikka masala is not) and the appetizers are delicious. Unique and tasty - order one called Kachori. The lamb rogan josh and lamb vindaloo are also quite good. The naan is also good with charred and bubbly tops.

                Also, they have a half price dine-in at lunch and and to go special of full size appetizer and entree for something like $12.95. Again, it's not the best Indian in New York, but it's better than most and certainly the best in the Slope.

                1. Sadly, I haven't found one. Kinara on 5th Ave and 10th or 11th Street is the best that I've tried in Brooklyn.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: soupcommie

                    Kinara is probably the best, but it's not very good (though I haven't tried any of the Pakistani greasy spoons).

                    1. re: Peter Cherches

                      Kinara is a lighter style which might appeal to you. I personally think the food at Joy tastes better, but Kinara is definitely more to the modern american taste and since you dont like grease its probably your best option.

                      Its been many years since I ve had a good biryani, indian or otherwise. in nyc Often classically it is made with tons of ghee, but that, obviously is not to American taste.

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        I think you misinterpreted my use of "greasy spoon." (If you were responding to me)

                        1. re: Peter Cherches

                          I was responding to the OP who does not like the indian cooking with a lot of grease, but I misread their complaint about the biryani, I now see.

                      2. re: Peter Cherches

                        The Pakistani greasy spoons on Coney Island Avenue near Foster are fantastic if you don't mind grease. :) I used to eat there constantly when I lived in Ditmas Park. Pak Kashmir (I think it's 1223 Coney Island Avenue) was tops, and also one whose name I forget that was just north of Foster. There are also a couple of good sweets shops. The Bangladeshi places on Church and MacDonald are also worth trying, though I haven't been there in a long time and don't remember which ones I liked.

                        1. re: fat_hot

                          Medina at the corner of Coney Island Avenue and Beverley is also good steamtable fare, but you have to like it spicy (i do). Also--fair warning--the vegetables are "cooked to mush" but in a good way, in my opinion. I don't think there's much of a tradition of cooking vegetables al dente on the subcontinent (?). Anyway, I think it is a cut above the others, but maybe it I like it because it is very convenient for me.

                          1. re: gnosh

                            I posted on another thread about the new restaurant on CIA and Parkville called Sultan Grill. They have turkish and pakistani menus and the mixed vegetable curry I had there was fantastic, the vegetables were NOT overcooked at all and it tasted very fresh and good.

                            1. re: cool jerk

                              I read it, and it sounds great. Will try it soon and report back!

                      3. Raga (or Riga, can't remember at the moment) is not bad on Smith Street not too far off Atlantic. Their curry is quite nice as well as their tandorri dishes. And they serve beer and wine.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: mmm510

                          The restaurant is Raga.

                          RIGA is the capital of Latvia (in Europe). (Located by the delta of the Daugava river, by the Gulf of Riga, a part of the Baltic Sea). The Baltic Sea is a pretty gorgeous area, by the way.
                          Thanks for the tips, everyone.

                          1. re: FoodWine

                            Raga is awful as are all the indian/pakistani restaurants around Smith St (Balucchis used to be the best until it closed there and that's saying something). Tamarind is good, Tabla over-rated, Dawat is good in midtown. I have yet to have good Indian food outside of Manhattan (New Delhi in Williamsburg is bad also).

                            1. re: nitsujwolrah

                              I live close to Raga and it was ok in the pinch, but it seemed to be more the bangladeshi style which I'm not so fond of. On a whim I ordered from Bombay Dream last week, and I actually wasn't too dissapointed. Had the Papri Chat... HUGE portion and really yummy. The somosas were also nice and big... stuffed just with potato, which is the way I like it. The CTM was way too sweet but on the appetizer side of things... it really was better than I've had around S. Brooklyn in a while.

                        2. One does not eat Indian food in Park Slope (unless its cooked at home)...there is nothing worth the calories.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: simsum

                            With Chip Shop no longer serving curries, you are correct. Unfortunately that was as good as it got in P'Slope.

                            1. re: EJC

                              I share the collective frustration with Indian food in Park Slope expressed in this thread. My wife and I cook fairly often. When we lived in Manhattan, we didn't cook so much Indian food because there were plenty of good Indian options. Now, we cook Indian food pretty often because there really isn't a great option in Park Slope. We were over at a friend's place the other day and they suggested ordering from Bombay Grill. I was really craving Indian food so I acquiesed. It actually wasn't that bad. I would go so far as to say a couple of the items we ordered were pretty good including the channa saag and the naans.

                              My wife and I have been talking over the last few months about opening an Indian place in Park Slope. At the end of the day we are decent home cooks but there is a BIG difference between that and being a chef, so we would need a pro to partner with. Anyone interested?

                              Not sure it's in the cards but will let you know if our idea gets off the ground!

                          2. We ordered from Bombay Dreams on Smith St. last night. Okay food... I had intestinal distress from it all night-- not good. The somosas were very good but the chicken in the dishes was of questionable quality.

                            1. We found a great Indian Restaurant on Vanderbilt Ave. in Prospect Heights called Indian Place at 656 Vanderbilt Avenue. Service is nice, and they will customize the food the way you want it. They do combinations of different entres that were really lovely. We too thought that we could not find a good Indian restaurant in Brooklyn, but we have been there 3 times and it has been great.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: bisley

                                Is that the one that is close to Fermented Grapes wine store, btw Park Place & Prospect Place?

                                If that's it, we tried the place about 3 times and every time it was clear the vegetables in their dishes were not freshly cooked, they tasted like (and probably were) store bought frozen vegetables.

                                1. re: bisley

                                  Living in Prospect Heights, I have to disagree and say that India Place is probably the worst Indian food I have ever eaten. I agree with the other posters on here who thought the veggies were frozen. Even the nan seemed like it was frozen at some point. I think from now on I will buy one of those cans of Jyoti Indian food next time I get a craving! It's really a shame there are no good Indian places on 5th ave., while a new French bistro seems to open every other week!

                                  1. re: Leslieruth

                                    Kinara is decent. Amin and the place on 5th Ave near Union St are terrible - low quality ingredients, bland and too oily. Brooklyn would seem to be too big a place not to have at least one very good Indian restaurant, but I don't know of any.

                                2. I really like Bombay Masala on Franklin and Park (just up from the Franklin Ave stop). I think it's been discussed here in a couple of Crown Heights threads. Several foodies I know have given it their stamp of approval, and they deliver!

                                  1. I haven't been there in a long time, but I thought Curry Leaf on Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights was pretty good. Has anyone been there recently?

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: vinegarhill

                                      gone. Went downhill beforehand, but gone all the same.

                                      1. re: Steve R

                                        It's now Cafe Masala. Same owner, the web site says, but with a new double menu: one Indian, one American.

                                        Cafe Masala
                                        151 Remsen St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                        1. re: squid kun

                                          Cafe Masala is mostly take-out. They have a few little tables, but it's not really a sit-down, table-service restaurant, if that's what you're looking for.

                                          Having said that, I did enjoy a vindaloo take-out lunch special from there recently.

                                          1. re: squid kun

                                            Let's try this place link thing again. Thanks for the vindaloo tip, psmama - I'll try to check that out.

                                            Cafe Masala
                                            151 Remsen St, Brooklyn, NY 11201