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Indigo Indian Bistro is Shortcut City

Reynold | Feb 9, 200812:02 PM

We spotted the new, tiny Indigo Indian Bistro at 283 Columbus Ave. (at West 73rd St.) and decided to try it for takeout. The results were unfortunate. Our delivery arrived in 25 minutes, a neighborhood speed record for Indian restaurants. Once we tried the food, we found out how they could manage this feat. Indigo’s menu features a very enticing Prix Fixe Delivery Special: appetizer, entrée, bread, and basmati rice, all for $13.95. We ordered two, plus a dish of Saag Paneer ($10). Our first appetizer was Kachori, a tinfoil container of floury dough, chickpeas, and dal, with coriander and tamarind sauces on top. It was reasonably good. The other appetizer was Seekh Kabab, lamb sausages that were quite tasty. After that our meal descended to the bottom of the barrel. The Chicken Curry had breast meat that was hard, dry, and tasteless, in a curry sauce that tasted like it came out of a jar. Rogan Josh was billed as “braised lamb in aromatic sauce,” but the meat had not been braised in any recognized sense of the word. It was dry and chewy. It had so little flavor that we could hardly tell if it was lamb or beef. Clearly it had spent almost no time in the accompanying sauce, which was not aromatic but bland and flat-tasting as if from a jar or can. We suspect that these meats had been dry-roasted whole for a very long time, perhaps days earlier, and then cut up into prepared sauces and heated upon receiving our order. The Naan bread was evidence of the kitchen’s monumental incompetence. It was extremely tough and chewy, and very hot, indicating that it had been heated in a microwave oven—the kiss of death for any bread. The basmati rice was overly greasy. The Saag Paneer was below average in flavor; even the frozen Saag Paneer at Food Emporium is much tastier. Although one hopes that Indigo’s principals would devote some of their ill-gotten gains to sending their employees to cooking school, a more desirable outcome would be for this place to go out of business very quickly and free up their premises for better use.

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