After having an excellent dinner at Pho Bac in Elmhurst, my 3 dining partners and I headed for sweets in Jackson Heights and ended up at Al-Naimat. I have gotten sweets there before and liked them, but these were the best I'd had there. We got the following, and I apologize in advance for not knowing all the names:
2 carrot halwa (we started with one, and they were good enough that my brother decided to get another)
2 of the white milky ones with chocolate on top (ditto)
1 besan burfi
1 gulab jamun
1 gulab jamun with white milky stuff inside
1 white milky one
When I say "white milky," I don't mean something liquid, but a soft solid that was made, I believe, by boiling milk down and then forming it into a kind of cake with jaggery, some ghee, etc.
I may not know the name of everything, but I've eaten Indian sweets for years (I visited India in 1977 after 2 years in Malaysia and have enjoyed Indian sweets ever since), so while I'm clearly no expert, I do know a thing or two about how one place's sweets compare to another's. In the past, I've gone to Rajbhog, which was closed when we got to Jackson Heights after 10 tonight. While Rajbhog has a wider selection, we were very impressed with the softness of all the items we got tonight, including the besan burfi, which is often hard at Rajbhog and other places. At Al-Naimat, it was soft in the middle and very easy and pleasant to eat. We were able to cut every item into 4 pieces pretty easily with a plastic fork, so as to share it. It really seemed like everything was fresh, good in texture, and tasty.
I have never tried the savory items at Al-Naimat. How are they?
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After the Jackson Diner created a whole new image for itself, I searched and opted to chow at Al Naimat instead for (IMO) better Indian food. Loved their buffet, which sadly is no more. The owner there is very accomodating though. You and he can arrange a price where he will give you more food after you're done eating your first (or second) plate. His comment to me was that he was discarding way too much food by the day's end, and THAT is why he decided to finally stop offering the buffet.
I don't eat many Indian sweets other than carrot halwa, but the other night while in Jackson Heights, there was one sweet that caught my attention in Al Naimat's window. I think they are the 'Gulab Jamun with white milky stuff inside'. If anyone can chime in with the proper name, they are the sweets at the TOP LEFT in the pic included with this reply. (India's answer to the Eclair).
Top left here --> http://niralasweethouse.com/images/im...
No problem. I will say though that I have never ordered anything from them. All the savory food I've tried has been at the buffet. But I've tried their buffet well over a dozen times. They use white meat chicken which has always seem to dry out and a large portion of their goat meat is bones so if you ever order a savory dish there i would go with a lamb dish.
yeah, they're the cheapest buffet around and the only one that has biryani for their buffet. but unless youre really broke i think there is better indian food in the area. from my memory kababish has a better biryani, i remember it being much spicier (i like spicy food). i've only had it once though so i need to try it again and compare one of these days.
there savory items are not so good, very very oily. stick to the sweets. if you're in the area my favorite savory indian spot is Delhi Heights (especially the chicken makhani) or Kebab King Diner (only kebabs or tandoori though).
37-66 74th St, Queens, NY 11372