On my birthday, last Thursday, my husband surprised me with dinner at Tamarind, an Indian restaurant, located in Manhattan’s Flatiron district.
Tamarind’s been on my “places to try” list for quite some time now, and each time we made reservations, for some reason or another, we had to cancel every single time.
41-43 East 22nd Street
New York, NY 10010
Other Location: Tribeca
MENU: Tamarind Menu
RECOMMENDED TO: Bar Scene, Casual Dining, Couples, Groups, Romantic Dining.
Monsoon… dark rum, pineapple and pomegranete juices with a dash of orange juice and coconut cream. My birthday drink which was slightly sweet just how I like it and very well made.
Tamarind Margarita… Cuervo Gold tequila, Cointreau, tamarind sauce, fresh lime juice, dash of orange and cranberry juice. My husband ordered this drink and loved it, it was unique and almost tasted like a pani puri margarita. So creative.
Complimentary Amuse Bouche… a puff pastry flavored with chutney. Incredible. The coconut-yogurt sauce that accompanied it was fantastic.
Murgh Kolhapuri… Maharashtrian style chicken cooked with whole spices and peppercorn. This dish was deliciously flavored in a thick brown gravy and very spicy. One of the BEST Indian chicken dishes I’ve ever had.
Bhagarey Baingan… a Hyderabadi specialty. Eggplant cooked in an aromatic creamy sauce with peanuts, sesame seeds, and coconut. Although the gravy was delicious and spicy, the eggplant itself lacked flavor and was sorta just thrown in. Additionally, traditional Bhagarey Baingan are cooked with brinjals, not chopped eggplant. Having said that, this dish was still very good.
Nargisi Kofta… lotus root dumplings with homemade cheese cooked in a saffron onion sauce. Kofta is one of my favorite Indian dishes, however this particular cream based sauce had a dominant flavor of rose water which threw me off just a little. Definitely a great tasting dish, but it would have been absolute perfection minus the rose water.
Basmati Rice… floral and amazing.
Naan… Indian bread, soft and warm.
My first serving… I always take a little bit of everything to warm up.
Mango Cheesecake… we requested a mango cheesecake to go, but to my dismay it looked like a piece of orange tofu, not to mention it tasted a couple days old and had that freezer taste. Huge disappointment and $9 down the drain, and straight into the garbage! I don’t waste my fat calories on poorly made dessert!
VERDICT: 4 / 5
Despite my harsh review on the cheesecake, I have to say Tamarind is one of the better Indian restaurants. None of the dishes at Tamarind were overly greasy as Indian food served in restaurants sometimes tends to be. Each dish was cooked in just the right amount of oil rather than floating in oil. For this reason alone, I will be back at Tamarind.
Furthermore, considering Tamarind is a “North Indian” restaurant, it probably wasn’t the smartest idea to order a “South Indian” dish, specifically speaking the Bhagarey Baingan. My cousin, Ajay, who raves about Tamarind mentioned the Saag Paneer and Malai Halibut (Grand Prize Winner 2004 Fish Awards) as one of their best dishes. Of course, he told me this after I dined at Tamarind.
Overall, I really enjoyed the food at Tamarind, but I tend to be overly critical when it comes to Indian food since I am of Indian origin. In addition, the drinks at Tamarind are excellent and creative. Hopefully in the near future, I look forward to trying the dishes my cousin recommended, and perhaps hanging out in their Tea Room to try some of those exotic Indian tea flavors. Brunch date, anyone?
Service: Average (waiter had an attitude, could have been more helpful in terms of recommendations)
TELL ME: Have you been to Tamarind? What was your favorite dish?