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Jul 27, 2009 03:34 PM

Bhatti--new in curry hill

Looks like Bhatti just opened up. Haven't been yet but the menu looks interesting, possibly from the Dhaba/Tadka/Chola crew? Anyone been yet?

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  1. BTW, its on 28th and Lex, and the website is htpp://www.bhattinyc.com.

    3 Replies
    1. re: brettnyc

      Bhatti in not part of the Chola/Dhaba group. We've been to Dhaba, and the food was quite good. I agree that Bhatti's menu looks very interesting. I hope to give it a try soon.

      Btw, you have a slight typing error in the url. It should be http://www.bhattinyc.com .

      1. re: RGR

        Ah, thanks for catching the spelling error. We actually haven't been to Dhaba yet, though we've been meaning to go, but had a good meal at Tadka a couple months ago. For indian we almost always wind up doing Tiffin Wallah in the area, whether dining in or for delivery. Actually got Bhatti for delivery tonight(the Murgh Nizami Korma and Paneer Paratha) which was good, although based on one meal we prefer Tiffin.

        1. re: brettnyc

          Tiffin Wallah is great. Their lunch deal has to be one of the best in NYC. Pretty place, comfortable and great food. For what its worth, it has taken us away from Chennai Garden, where we used to go. We will have to try Bhatti, and Dhaba. And, for a very quick snack in that area, the samosas at Curry in a Hurry are still very good. Can order a couple, sit at the seats along the window downstairs, then load up at Kalustyan's for spices.

    2. Went there at 5 PM, Monday 9/14. They hadn't opened yet, so I headed NORTH a half-block and found Le Petite Auberge, where I had a chardonnay at the bar and reminisced about Normandy with Marcel, an owner. Very nice and I'll return there next week for dinner. Anyway, RETURNED to Bhatti around 5:45 with my own bottle of Pinor Noir, and was welcomed and given a large Beaujolais wine goblet. I ordered some soda water and was given a whole litre of Pellagrino, but for which I was charged only $1.50! (I've been in places where I asked for soda water from the pump, and was given a minuscule 2-oz dram of Perrier for $4.) Bhatti was very fair. I had Achari paneer tikka, Tandoori Chat, Onion Kulchu Bread and Lamb Kebab. The portions were huge, and the quality superb. The owner took a personal interest in my comfort, and gave me a vegetable raita 'on the house.' I also ordered a colossal eggplant Khatte Bhagan, which I took home with me to Yonkers. My whole bill was $48; I paid $60, leaving the change. I hope they get their Wine License soon and make lots of money so that I can return often. The place is a gem. STEVE GALAT (Yonkers, N.Y. & Hallandale Beach, Florida

      7 Replies
      1. re: sagalat

        Hey, Steve,

        Thanks for the report on Bhatti, which is on my "go to" list.

        Re: La Petite Auberge. Regulars here know that it's one of my favorites. We've been going there since it opened more than 30 years ago. I hope you will go back and eat there as the food is always solidly prepared and delicious.


        1. re: sagalat

          I went to Bhatti during the first two weeks of its opening for a late lunch. I had the prix fixe lunch which was the only menu given to me after the owner sized me up. I subsequently asked for the regular menu and ordered the signature lamb gilauti kebab as well.

          The tandoori murgh was fresh and flavorful.
          The chicken biryani was dry and bland.
          The curries for the lunch were quite flavorful.
          The lamb gilauti really did have a lot of spices packed into every bite. The texture was completely minced to near mush, and to the point where I couldn't tell if it was completely cooked.

          Even though I was the only one there, the service was inattentive and not practiced. The owner was very full of himself. When I mentioned the biryani, he said that it was because I came at the end of lunch and was eating the remains. He said that otherwise they have the best biryani. When I mentioned that the gilauti had plenty of flavor but that the texture wasn't for everybody, he said that, "The texture is for people who know good food. When we serve this to people, 23 out of 25 people like it." He did, however, give me a free pudding (which was quite good) when I mentioned the biryani.

          From what little I had, I felt that food-wise the place could be one of the best in NYC on its best day. However, I haven't been back in the hopes that when I return, the service kinks will be worked out and the owner will be more earnest to all his customers instead of trying to size them up first.

          1. re: fooder

            Thanks for the report, fooder. Your experience really has me rethinking about going to Bhatti. "The texture is for people who know good food...."?! Puh-leese!! The owner's condescening attitude is inexcusable! And his reason for the dry and bland chicken biryani, i.e., you were served "the remains," is totally ridiculous. I may not know all that much about Indian cuisine, but it sounds to me as though these two dishes were just poorly prepared. Period! NIce of him to gift you with the pudding. But, imo, it doesn't really make up for the way he treated you. The guy definitely needs an attitude adjustment. And, frankly, if I have to worry about going to Bhatti on only its best day in order to get quality food, I'd rather spend my dollars elsewhere.

            1. re: fooder

              In defense of the lamb gilauti, mincemeat for certain dishes in that area of the world (e.g. shami kabab, kibbeh, lamb gilauti) is properly ground until so smooth as to resemble a thick puree. It shouldn't be mushy, but rather the goal is extreme tenderness, although I like to pour quite a bit of yogurt onto my shami kababs until they reach the consistency of the soft cereal at the bottom of the bowl.

              1. re: JungMann

                Thanks for that explanation, JungMann. Even if the lamb gilauti was properly prepared, it still does not excuse the owner's supercilious attitude.

                1. re: RGR

                  No doubt. The proprietor may know how to make food for people who know good food, but he certainly doesn't know how to act for people who know good manners.

                  1. re: JungMann

                    Thanks for the explanation JungMann. I still plan on going back, hoping to give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps there was just pressure on him as he opened not that long ago. So hopefully enough time has passed and the service won't take away from the food.

          2. I went with my girlfriend last Sunday. We arrived a bit after 5 PM, as I recall, after an afternoon concert she took part in. A few people were finishing what was probably a late lunch for them. We almost left because it was too hot, but the staff put on the air conditioner, and when it got cool, we asked them to turn it off and they kept the fan on, which was perfect.

            Both of us had an excellent meal there, with none of the service problems fooder unfortunately experienced.

            We had the following:

            Ajwaini Jheenga
            Khatte Baigan
            Goat Curry
            1 portion of rice and 1 naan
            2 Salty Lassis (me) and 1 Mango Lassi (her)

            The total bill was around $65 plus tip (I recall that the lassis were $3.95 apiece, the rice, $2.95, and the naan, $2.95, so things can mount up a bit quickly, but to be fair, the rice was high-quality basmati rice and nicely presented, with peas and cilantro.)

            The Ajwaini Jheenga had a very evident and lovely ajwain flavor and was baked impeccably, though the portion was small - only 4 shrimps.

            The Khatte Baigan was tasty and a large portion, suffering only from the common Indian restaurant phenomenon of overuse (from my point of view) of ghee or/and oil.

            The Goat Curry was terrific! It was robustly spiced with chili and a bunch of other stuff.

            I recommend this place and look forward to returning to try other items on the menu. But do watch out if you are sensitive to ghee and oil.

            1. Bhatti Lunch Revisit

              I got there last week at 11:55, Owner told me to come back in 10 minutes.

              At 12:10 I come back and get seated. No A La Carte menu. Just a server who comes by mumbling if you want veg or nonveg.

              Does not offer explanation, until asked, for what exactly is on the lunch menu. Same when food is put onto the table. Table next to me practically had to chase the server down before he ran back to the kitchen to get an explanation.

              The meal itself starts off with the chicken bhatti kebabs which are really juicy and tasty. Then three bowls, one a mixed veggie curry, one a chicken curry, and one lentil. Not as tasty as the first time I went, but still good. The naan was fluffy, but I would have preferred some char and flavor. I had to ask to get rice. Little bowl of rice pudding comes with the check, which was good though mine had clumps.

              Here's the big thing. I read somewhere that the kebabs were AYCE for lunch. When I asked the owner, he said that everything, in fact, was unlimited. Which is great. Except not advertised, and not mentioned unless asked.

              So I continue ordering seconds, thirds, etc. of the chicken kebabs because that's the best thing there. By the time I ordered my 5th/6th (each time only 2-3 pieces come out), the waitress had this wide-eyed shocked look on her face. Really?

              By 12:40 the place was full and the owner was trying to fit people, which was not easy since the tables are actually spaced pretty nicely apart.

              The total was $10.62 inc tax, which is not cheap for the area, but not expensive just for the AYCE chicken kebabs alone. I actually do like the food a lot, and I don't really have high expectations for service from a neighborhood place, but I really wish they could get their act together.

              5 Replies
              1. re: fooder

                I went there for lunch last Friday. I was under the impression that it was the same folks who used to have the hole-in-the-wall Kebab Factory across the street. I loved that place. You could get cheap and delicious Kathi rolls there for less than $5. And their chickpea curry was great too. They would make it for you while you watched, and you could ask for it extra spicy and they would add really spice green peppers. I had always gotten take-out, but they also had a dining room in the basement and offered a kebab lunch special. So, I was very sad when the closed, but happy when they re-opened another restaurant which looked nice from the outside. I arrived around 12:30 and they had some customers but were not completely full. However, lots of people arrived and they eventually asked me if I would move as they wanted to put a larger party where I was sitting - they were very nice about it and I didn't mind. However, there was no menu, and no explanation that you had to get the fixed price menu, and they also only asked me veg or non-veg, and I had to ask for more details before I knew what I was going to eat. The chat arrived promptly and was interesting, then some kebab, three small dishes (curry, daal and vegetable), rice and naan. No one asked me if I wanted any more, and although my plates were finally cleared I had to ask for my check before they offered me dessert. The food was pretty good, but not as good as their old kathi rolls and chickpea curry. You can still order those but you have to get two kathi rolls, and at lunch you can't order off the regular menu. So all in all I would have to say that this is a step down from the Kebab Factory (I did confirm with the owner as I was leaving that they were the same folks).

                1. re: skaukatt

                  Interesting. You two weren't given a menu, yet I was. Is the no-menu stuff a weekday thing?

                  1. re: Pan

                    It's a lunch thing. The pre-fixe lunch. I don't know if it's weekdays only, but 5pm is too late for it I'm pretty sure.

                  2. re: skaukatt

                    The Kebab Factory has since reopened in a new Katthi roll incarnation, with a new name and modern logo. I'm still under the impression it's the same owners. My impression is it's good for spice, but the ingredients weren't of a high quality. I wouldn't bother going back.

                    1. re: sugartoof

                      I went once and wouldn't go back. the kati's didn't mesh well like Kati Roll or roomali. The wraps were way too big for the size of the wrapped product, so I felt like it was folded over itself 4 times and each bite was 80% wrap and 20% filling. And the wraps tasted like flour tortilla not a paratha