Has anyone else ventured to TIKKA in Murray Hill (344 Lexington Ave., bet. 39th & 40th Streets)?
Having already celebrated St. Patrick's Day today when Andrew made our office crew corned beef and cabbage (and boiled potatoes, of course) for lunch, we went around the corner to TIKKA tonight for dinner. Though a step up in price from some of our favorites further south in Curry Hill (e.g. Joy India, etc.), it seems to be in a whole different league food-wise. We'd been there once before and remembered it as being very good, but our dinner at TIKKA tonight literally blew us away. Granted, there were only two other tables seated on this Friday evening, so the chef was essentially cooking for us personally. But every dish was a revelation. We're wondering whether our dinner tonight at TIKKA was a fluke, or whether there is some impressive talent just waiting to be discovered there.
The mango lassi ($3) was one of the best we've ever had anywhere. The lentil-based soup ($3), chicken tikka masala ($12) and parsi custard ($3.50?) were all wonderful. The chef obviously has an aggressive yet deft hand with spices.
The worst thing we could say about this place is that we wished we'd skipped the no-name-brand tea, which was pretty lousy.
TIKKA has done a good job sprucing up the space, which was once our neighborhoood pierogi source Christine's, but it's still pretty simple. The Enya music playing in the background set a nice ambiance. As for service, our smart, handsome waiter with a great sense of humor spoke perfect English and took wonderful care of us, even proactively asking the chef if he'd make us some chickpeas with spinach when we couldn't find any chickpeas on the menu. (He did -- and they were amazing!)
Looking forward to hearing about others' experiences at TIKKA.
Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
Co-Authors, BECOMING A CHEF, CULINARY ARTISTRY and DINING OUT
527 Third Ave. #130 New York, NY 10016
Dornenburg@aol.com or KarenAPage@aol.com