Chutney Masala: disappointing lunch
Tried out Chutney Masala recently for lunch. Overall quite disappointing. Was expecting much better after seeing Zagat ratings and reviews on the web. Don't see myself going back...
The lunch was served in kind of a foyer-like small space on the lower level. Part of the reason we went is the main dining room looked attractive in pictures. We never even got to see it. The lunch area had only a handful of tables (and even fewer customers) and was quite drafty at times. Did not make for a very comfortable setting. Otherwise the decor was nice....I guess there is not enough traffic to warrant opening the main diningroom upstairs at lunch.
The good: The Hara-bhara kabab was very good and so were the accompanying chutneys.
The not-so-good: The samosa had a reasonable crust but the stuffing was bland and tasteless. Hardly any discernible spicing which proved to be an ongoing trend in the rest of our experience. The Sag-paneer was ok but again suffered from a lack of any spicing. I understand that this is a relatively mild dish but this was a bit extreme...
The terrible: Alu Gobhi and naan were absolutely terrible. The Alu-gobhi could barely even be identified as Indian food, just some potatoes and cauliflower tossed together in some nondescript sauce with no spicing. The naans were not properly cooked and had substantial parts that were raw and doughy, maybe cooked in a tandoor that was not hot enough.
We saw hardly any other customers (weekday between 1230 and 130 PM) and the food seemed to be dumbed down indian food. Shame, I was hoping to like the place....Maybe dinner is different..
chutney masala indian bistro
4 W Main St, Irvington, NY 10533
I've had some decent, but unexceptional, meals here. But it's interesting that on at least one occasion I asked for a dish "Indian hot" and it arrived, still, on the ultra-safe side. When the owner came over to ask how things were, we said it was good but not nearly as hot as we had asked for, and he made a point of saying that "next time" we should tell him and he'd make it right.
But the point here is that it seems the trend is for the to lean to bland. NO ONE wants bland Indian food; you go for a curry to have it be bold.
They need to get that message.
One they do, i still think tis place could be really good. A few things there already are.
I´m afraid things here are way beyond the "they need to get that message" stage. This place must be the all time worst Indian restaurant I have visited in the US. Tiny overpriced portions, poor preparation and Heinz ketchup served as the main condiment with most snacks. Hartsdale is probably one of the few locations on earth a place like this could last beyond a month.
To each his/her own, obviously, but I gotta say, I think Masala Kraft is one of the better options in Westchester for vegetarian, Indian-style - if not necessarily 100% authentic - food.
I've tried a few of the sandwiches - the potato dumpling, the vegetable cutlet and the grilled paneer with potatoes - and all have been well-made and very good. I also like the chana batura: the chickpea curry served with puffed bread, though I think the version served at Ambadi in White Plains is a little better. Anyway, I've found all Masala Kraft's stuff to be pretty assertively spiced - more so than Chutney Masala.
Agreed the ketchup thing is ridiculous. Are the portions large? No, but I wouldn't call them tiny, either. A bit pricy? Maybe, but it is Westchester, places like Westchester Grocery in Thornwood are few and far between.