A cozy Indian place on the east side of Amsterdam, pretty much half way between 79th and 80th. I'd say there are probably 12 to 15 tables there, and the room itself is a tad narrow, but the atmosphere is pleasant and the staff, notably the head waiter/maitre'd, are extremely nice and attentive.
It's safe to say we've been there 10 to 12 times over the last year, and I don't think we've had even one bad time/meal there. The food is very fresh, prepared just right, with great flavors and textures.
I am not a connoisseur of Indian cooking, so I cannot tell you if these dishes are Eastern/Southern/Nothern, etc (although the menu does give details about their local origins). However, I can heartily recommend the following:
Appetizers: the Pakoras, a selection of crispy fritters containing onion, cauliflower and spinach (separate ones, not all three ingredients in each fritter); the Shrimp Ponticherry (Which comes with a plentiful supply of garlic bread, so if you order this, you'll be well-served on holding off getting an order of Nan, although if you DO get some, the Spinach/Cheese Nan is fantastic). The shrimp comes in a tangy, tomatoe-y sauce (a little spicy), which makes for a great dip with the garlic bread. Meat samosas are good but not the best you've ever had. The mulagatany soup was very tasty.
Main course: Have only had chicken dishes there, and I basically stick with what works: Chicken Makhani, which is chicken cubes served in a honey, tomato, butter and ginger. VERY GOOD; Chicken Saagwala, chicken cooked in a creamy spinach gravy; and Chicken Balti, which is onion,ls bell pepper and herbs.
The appetizers run between $5 and $7 and the chicken dishes are about $13. Also, for my money, Kingfisher beer (they have the 22 oz bottles there are as well as the 10 oz) is the best with Indian food.
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