Monday, January 17, 2011

Tamarind Tribeca - Review

Tamarind Tribeca- Dude Grade: A- for lunch
99 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 775-9000

My favorite Indian restaurant in NYC was Tamarind in the flatiron district, so when I saw another branch open up in Tribeca I figured I had to check it out. What Tamarind does better than the majority of Indian restaurants is they use excellent ingredients, infuse them with great Indian flavorings, and cook the items generally very well. This was a nice change of pace from the over hyped Vij restaurant in Vancouver where the food was above average fusion Indian with unacceptable wait times and prices.

Our Menu

Executive Lunch Menu
Amuse Bouche - Puffed Rice **
What I looked for in an amuse bouche are flavors/textures that really open up the palate and this fits the bill perfectly. A nice acidic bite followed up with the complex Indian spices (sweet/spicy) and crunchy, yet light texture. Perfect way to start a meal!

Shrimp Balachau **
Sun Dried Prawns in red chilies, malt vinegar, ginger, garlic
Like I've mentioned before when you get Indian food at your local curry joint, it's usually dry, poor quality meat covered up by a flavor curry. These prawns showed what Indian food should be - big juicy, meaty with great shrimp flavor - enhanced by the complex and acidic Indian spices. A huge winner for me here.

Bamai Gosht *
Lamb with browned onions, aromatic smoked spices, fennel seeds, and okra
I love lamb meat and the seasonings and flavoring were spot on - good lamb flavor and intense curry. But, my gripe was the lamb meat was a bit dry. Still a tasty dish though.

Kele Ki Margul Kadhi **
Plantain cooked in chickpea flour, yogurt, curry leaves, mustard seeds, and red chilies

Sloppy plating as you can see, but the flavors were awesome. Again a nice bright, creamy, and acidic dish that had a great texture and sweetness to it.
Smoked Goat Cheese Naan ***
I love me some Naan and after the subpar Naan at Vij, this blew me away. Airy, chewy, and ridiculous with the rich goat cheese. I don't care if this is gimmicky and even considered fusion - this is a big time wtf naan.

Dark Chocolate Mousse filled with Rasmalai ***
A phenomenal way to end the meal. The mousse itself was a tad dense, but the flavorings were complete WTF. Rich chocolate with a beautiful fruity syrup and inside the mousse was an airy, creamy, and sweet rasmalai.

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way

Overall Restaurant Experience
  • Food (A-) – Flavorings were so in my strike zone. Indian food should be exciting bright and complex - and every single dish fit the bill. The lamb was the only weak spot of the meal. Plating was generally good as well.
  • Service (B+) – Servers were attentive although not super friendly. Food came out at a perfect pace. When we told them we had an hour since we had meetings, they made sure we were done much before then.
  • Atmosphere (B+) – Great place for a business lunch. Tall windows with lots of sunlight coming through and it seemed to be a real bright and airy modern looking place. The place was pretty empty for 12pm on a Friday, but it was snowing a tiny bit outside. There was only one other group in a large place that seems to seat about 100+.
  • Price (A+) - $24.50 for everything I describe above. The best deal in NYC.
Closing Comments
I will 100% go here again for Lunch and definitely want to check out what's up for dinner. If you want to impress on the cheap for lunch, this is the go to spot in my opinion.

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