Chef Eric McCarthy’s Michelin Star Tulsi offers a variety of Indian dishes ranging from authentic to modern.
The flavors at Tulsi are inspired by coastal Indian cuisine, and thus you’ll find ingredients such as coconut, curry pata, mustard seeds in many dishes.
There is an element of romance here with sheer curtains separating tables which make the space feel classy and tranquil.
It’s no surprise Tulsi has held a Michelin Star Award for three consecutive years in a row. This isn’t your average Indian restaurant, but one that is worth checking out.
Buddha in Bliss (left-left): Prepared with Citron Vodka, Thai basil, lemongrass, black peppercorns, pineapple puree, and coconut milk foam. The vodka flavor was evident, a little sour and thick, but refreshing. Good cocktail, but I preferred the Indian Summer more.
Indian Summer (left-right): Made with Gin, St. Germain, key lime juice, citron fruits, lychee nectar and soda water. This was a refreshing cocktail, a little sweet, summery and light. A favorite.
Amuse Bouche (right) – I can’t recall what this was, but I remember it being delicious.
Achari Chicken Tikka: Chicken marinated with spices, herbs and garlic mint aioli. The chicken tikka is slightly spicy and tender. The crunchy salad and fried onions were a nice touch.
Patra Khumb: Almost like a mushroom pakora (fritters) dipped in a chickpea batter and sitting on a bed of herb potato yogurt sauce. Overall, a spicy and unique dish, it was just okay for me.
Treasures From The Tandoor
Tandoor Champ: Lamb Chops marinated in yogurt, cardamom, garlic, and nutmeg. The lamb was extremely tender, flavorsome and juicy. The potatoes cooked prepared with South Indian spices and pear chutney was perfection. A must-do if you love lamb. Beautifully presented and a favorite!
Tandoori Maachli: Halibut prepared with tandoori spices, yogurt and saffron. The halibut was super soft and tender, perfectly cooked and juicy. The fish was impeccable and simply melted in my mouth. Just like the Chicken Tikka, the fish was paired with a crunchy salad with greens, radish and onions. A favorite!
Murgh Chettinad: Chicken cooked Madrasi style with fresh pepper, mustard seeds, curry leaves, dry chilies and coconut milk. Chicken Chettinad is on the spicier sides and one of my favorite Indian chicken dishes, Tulsi’s version did not disappoint. The sauce itself was magical and so full of flavor, the curry leaves and coconut flavors were prominent. A few chicken pieces were a little chewy, but most other pieces were fine. Overall, excellent dish and a favorite.
Samumdar Se (Seafood)
Tawa Meen: A seasonal fish prepared with garlic, mustard seeds, curry leaves, kokum, shallots, tomato and coconut milk. Sea bass cooked in a slightly spicy tomato and coconut based sauce was so flavorful and a little sweet. The mustard seeds and curry pata flavors added depths of flavor to the juicy and tender sea bass. Mouthwatering and a favorite.
Chicken Biryani: I loved the presentation on this beautiful dish cooked dum style. The chicken biryani wasn’t overly buttery, additionally the cashew nuts and cardamom added tons of flavor to this dish, but to my dismay the chicken was rather dry and chewy.
Basmati Rice & Breads
Basmati Rice: Aromatic Indian rice, can’t go wrong.
Rosemary Naan: Delicious with a prominent rosemary flavor. A favorite.
Garlic Naan: Also delicious, but I preferred the rosemary naan to the garlic naan.
Saag Paneer: A classic Indian dish seen on most menus. Indian cheese cooked in a creamy spinach gravy. The saag had a hint of bitterness which was quite nice and different, definitely not your typical saag paneer.
Kalakand Cheese Burfi: Almost resembles a cheesecake, but a creamy soft cheesecake filled with crumbled milk cake and a papaya sauce. The cheesecake was nice, almost like an Indian burfi meets a cheesecake. My favorite of the two desserts.
Malai Shrikhand Gujiya Cone: Crumbled dry milk, chocolate chip, saffron flavored hung yogurt filled in a cone/sweet mint sauce. Nice presentation, however this dish was quite savory and overall disappointing for me.
Masala Chai: Tea is good, not robust in flavor, on the lighter side.
RESTAURANT REVIEW: Tulsi
CUISINE: Indian *Michelin Star*
FAVORITES: Indian Summer Cocktail | Tandoor Champ Lamb Chops | Tandoori Maachli | Murgh Chettinad | Tawa Meen | Rosemary Naan
VERDICT: 4 / 5
Tulsi is a romantic, Michelin Star restaurant that offers a variety of Indian food ranging from traditional to modern. The dishes are presented beautifully . My favorite dish of the night was the Tawa Meen and unsurprisingly it was the sea bass – my favorite fish. Furthermore, I also enjoyed the Lamb Chops which were tender and absolutely delicious. My regret is not trying the Manchurian Cauliflower which everyone seems to be raving about. Although the service is a bit slow, the staff is warm and hospitable. My experience at Tulsi was lovely and if you’re looking for quality Indian food in a classy and romantic setting, definitely consider dining at Tulsi which is located in Midtown Manhattan.
Food: Very Good | Drinks: Excellent | Décor: Classy/Romantic | Service: Slow/Warm |Value: Fair/Pricy
What’s your favorite Indian restaurant in New York City? What’s your favorite Indian dish?