Last night I returned to Mina's. I went very early since I wanted to avoid the crowds and have her attention concentrated solely on the dish she was cooking for me. Which was a whole fish cooked in mustard oil. I ordered this because mustard oil is typical of Bangladeshi cuisine.
There was a fairly steady stream of Bangladeshi guys coming in with takeout orders, but in the main Mina devoted her time to my fish, which arrived after 20 minutes. It was not swimming in sauce. Instead it was coated with a paste made of freshly ground spices, much like a Malayan rempeh. It was very very good. A heady blend of flavors, of sweet and hot and salt and spicy. And so I devoured it, head, tail and all in between.
Yes, I do rave about Mina's. I have, I confess, a problem about evaluating it. I've never had really good Indian food. I've had some memorable meals in Rawalpindi, and at a northwest Pakistani place in London, where after my dad and I polished off a whole leg of lamb intended for six people the waiter told me "you are a great man, sir!" But that was long ago and I just don't remember. So I'm in the same position as a guy who has eaten nothing but meat and potatoes and Pizza Hut pizza. One day he goes to Union Square Cafe. He thinks it is the finest restaurant in the universe. He takes his friend, who eats regularly at restaurants presided over by people with names like Boulud and Vongenrichten. The friend is distinctly unimpressed.