Rajdhani Cafe & Sweets - superb new Indian in Woodside, Queens, neer Jackson Heights.
39-26 61st. Street Woodside, NY 11377, Ponoe: (718)426-7510. (Located within a walking distance from Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights).
I, along with other enthusiastic chowhound snifters, have discovered a new great Bangladeshi-Pakistani-Indian restaurant named Rajdhani Cafe & Sweets in Woodside, Queens.
It is a new restaurant, owned by a Bangladeshi cook named Sam that worked as a cook in many of Manhattans top Indian restaurants, including Tabla, so he knows how to cook. Another of the restaurant cooks worked for Tabla as well.
We got the name of the restaurant from a cook that works for one of the top restaurants in Manhattan that told us that he and other Manhattan cooks go there when they want an authentic, good and cheap Indian food.
Sam, the owner, a very friendly Bangladeshi guy, told us that the restaurant caters to the Bangaladashi-Pakistani -Indian neighborhood community of Jackson Heights and Woodside, so the food is completely authentic. Sam uses fresh ingredients and cooks to order. It is not a buffet place but the food is astonishingly cheap. As a new business that has yet to gain its good reputation within a competitive environment, the owners make all the effort to ensure that the quality of the food is high while keeping the prices extremely low. We ate there several times and recommended it to our food-lover chowhoundish friends. All loved it and returned several times within a short period. On our first visit there we were so pleased with the food and so astonished by the cheap price that we wanted to pay extra for the food, just to be fair, so we added forty percent to the check - it probably ended up as a tip.
All dishes are excellent except the soups (avoid the soups). The Chicken Tikka is the best that we have ever eaten. The Chicken Tikka and the Sheek Kebab dishes are prepared by another cook that I forgot his name (Sams partner ?). He is very proud about these dishes and he deserves high complements for them. The fish dishes are superb as well.
Plain Lassi, Mango Lassi, Samosa, Palak Panir - Home made cheese & Spinach with creamy sauce (dont miss!), Chicken Tikka (dont miss !!!), Chicken Tandoori , Sheek Kabab, Fish Tandoori (dont miss!!!), Fish Dopiaza (dont miss!), Keema Nan stuffed nun (dont miss!), Gulab Jamun & Ras Malai (deserts).
About the soups:
The Soups are bland - avoid them. On our first visit we started with the soups and though that we fall to another cheap ethnic trap but all other dishes were excellent. We told Sam, the owner, that the soups require a significant improvement. He promised to work on it. We did it only after praising him for his great food. He is such a nice guy that after talking to him for few minutes we felt as friends that wanted to help him improving the quality of his new restaurant.
Décor: Non existent. You go for the food only.
Cleanliness: Restrooms are fine. Tablecloths should be cleaner. When the food arrives you forget about the tablecloth.
Price range for whole meal: $4.00 - $15. After eating for $15 per person you wont be able to move.
Lets pray that this restaurant wont decline as so many other restaurants that have started with a good faith.