Let’s chat about chaat. (Stop groaning, you know I had to go there). Chaat, the roadside Indian snack usually served as an appetizer in most restaurants in Curry Hill can also be found in Midtown. I first heard about the chaat at Indus Express on Midtown Lunch. Since then, the Samosa Chaat ($4.95) has been my go-to chaat on days I want a filling, but not gut-busting meal. MORE »
Since I heard about NY Dosas (a.k.a. the Dosa Cart) in Washington Square Park five years ago, I’ve been on the hunt for the cart. For some reason or another, Thiru Kumar‘s cart has always eluded me. It was either I went the wrong day (he’s there on Saturdays, not Sundays), or the wrong time of the year (he sometimes vacations in the summer in Canada, and in the colder months he doesn’t always make it to the city). A few months ago, I was on the way home from jogging on the Williamsburg Bridge, when I happened to see a car just getting off the bridge with the dosa cart in tow. I was tempted to follow the car like a mad dog, but I was suspicious it would be another wild goose chase, so I headed home instead. I have to maintain some dignity, or at least pretend to, after all. But a month ago, I decided to chance it again, and left to the park on my lunch break, and BINGO! It was dosa time! MORE »
For the longest time, my friend Simrit had been telling me about Thakali Kitchen, a Nepalese & Tibetan restaurant in Jackson Heights. I’ve had limited experience with Tibetan food; once in Vegas at Himalayan Cuisine for flavorful lamb momos (dumplings), and once on Houston Street at a tiny restaurant for bland watered down curry. The former was good, the latter, not so much. But since my Vegas memory was more recent, I happily made my way to Jackson Heights from Times Square, and got there only one hour late. (Thank you E train for failing so miserably and so consistently every weekend!) MORE »
Taste is highly subjective and often influenced by nostalgia and fond childhood memories. For example, my brother loves General Tso’s chicken, the pervasive dish found at most Chinese take-outs in America, but found nowhere in China. Me, I wouldn’t order it unless it was the only thing on the menu at the last restaurant left standing after the apocalypse. That said, to a certain extent, I like similarly battered, fried, and viscous sauce-coated foods at Korean-Chinese restaurants. [Ganpoog sehwoo (깐풍새우, fried shrimp in a spicy soy ginger sauce) is my favorite, but tangsooyook (탕수육, sweet and sour beef) reminds me of eating out when I was a kid. We used to order it a lot because my brother liked it.] It is what is. Chinese fast-food interpreted for another culture. If you don’t expect an authentic gourmet meal, you won’t be disappointed.
This was the case when I went to Chinese Mirch (an Indian-Chinese restaurant in Curry Hill) with Simrit, one of my besties from Parsons. She warned me in advance. “You won’t like it, it’s something Indian people crave because they grew up with it” she said, but I didn’t really understood until a few bites into the meal. MORE »
“I’m here for the world famous kati roll.”
This is what I heard behind me as I stood engulfed in a sea of nondescript dress shirts and khakis. No, they didn’t start selling kati rolls at Banana Republic, I was waiting in front of the Biryani Cart a week after they were mentioned in the New York Times. Not sure what I was thinking, but hunger sometimes clouds a otherwise sensible mind. About twenty minutes later, I got my order and I was off with two kati rolls in tow. MORE »