Rahi means traveler in Hindi. Chef Chintan Pandya and restaurateur, Roni Mazumdar bring you an artisanal Indian restaurant located New York City’s West Village neighborhood.
Rahi plays up on old Indian classics with a fusion twist offering Indian Contemporary cuisine. Each dish takes you on a journey through India.
The mural on the brick walls represent fragments of memories of a woman that travels around India.
Rose & Cabernet: I absolutely loved the Rose wine which was so crispy and fruity!
Jhat Se / In A NY Minute
Madrasi Egg Roast: Egg yolk, onion-tomato mousse, and chili oil presented in an egg shell. Essentially this is a boiled egg infused in cream. The egg was spicy, creamy and nothing like I’ve ever experienced before. Beautiful presentation.
Kheera on the Rocks: Grilled cucumbers, Greek yogurt, and pineapple. Essentially this is your version of an Indian raita. Refreshing, unique, and light. A perfect appetizer on a hot summer day.
Edamame Artichoke Chaat (top): Fried artichoke with spinach chips in a tamarind sauce and pomegranate. Another unique dish. The fried artichoke tossed in a tamarind sauce and chaat masala is tangy and crunchy. Absolutely divine appetizer and a unique twist to a classic appetizer - Papdi Chaat. A favorite!
Chili Cheese Toast (bottom): Amul cheese sits over milk bread and is topped with shishito peppers and micro-bean slaw. Amul cheese is the American equivalent to Singles Slice Cheese. Chili Cheese Toast is an Indian classic and should be eaten warm. The bread had a slight crunch which was nice, however the chili toast could have used some chilies or spice. Although good, a little bland for me.
Chettinad Octopus: Octopus in a coconut-turmeric mousse gravy with crisps and lime gremolata. The octopus was so incredibly tender, I don’t have words to describe this. The gravy was prepared with coconut and ginger. The presentation on this dish is outstanding and I loved the purple flower accent. If you love octopus, you really can’t go wrong with this dish. Highly recommended.
Aaram Se / Leisurely
Charcoal Smoked Salmon (top): Salmon topped with coriander chutney, spinach and toasted garlic. Salmon is my weakness and I know good salmon when I taste it. Rahi’s smoked salmon was cooked to perfection and easily flaked with a touch of a fork. This dish was topped with cilantro chutney which adds that Indian touch to any dish. The salmon also came with a side of sautéed broccolini prepared with onions and garlic, and then topped with feta as seen below. A favorite!
Lotus Root Kofta: Paneer dumplings in a fenugreek tomato curry and adorned with lotus chips. Essentially this is your version of either a Malai Kofta. The gravy was creamy & rich with a bold flavor of cardamom and fenugreek seeds. This dish was slightly spicy which paired impeccably with naan or rice. Absolutely blown away! A favorite!
Seven Mushroom Khichadi: Whole wheat khichadi topped with feta cheese and zaatar papad. Khichadi is prepared with lentils and rice is one of those comforting, yet boring dishes. In my home, my mom generally prepared khichadi when we were sick. When I unexpectedly saw Khichadi on Rahi’s menu, I was intrigued. This version of khichadi is the best I have had to date, and the next time I make it I’ll be sure to top it with feta cheese. Scrumptious and brilliant presentation! A favorite!
Banana Leaf Chicken: Bone-in chicken leg steamed inside a banana leaf served with basmati rice and Kerala coconut curry. The chicken was tender and cooked to perfection where it literally fell off the bone, however the coconut curry was a little bland for my taste since it lacked those Kerala flavors I was looking forward to. Overall, good dish, but needed more flavor.
Fresh Breads & Sides
Zaatar Naan (top): Indian bread topped with zaatar which is a Middle-Eastern spice. Lovely flavors on this naan and perfectly complementss the main dishes. A favorite!
Tomato Basil Naan (bottom-left): Indian bread topped with tomato and dried basil. This dish arrived resembling a pizza, literally. It looks gorgeous and tasted great, however since Indian food is so flavorsome, this bread didn’t quite go with the dishes. Should you choose to eat this tomato basil naan without a main, that would be better.
Basmati Rice (bottom-right): Aromatic Indian rice, can’t ever go wrong. This is a staple accompaniment to most Indian mains.
Dessert & Chai
Chocolate Mousse Cake: A rich & creamy dessert that wasn't too sweet. There were some subtle Indian flavors in the background. Overall, beautiful presentation, however the flavors were just okay for me.
Masala Chai: Unfortunately, the tea flavor wasn't quite robust in flavor. Again, just okay for me.
RESTAURANT REVIEW: Rahi
CUISINE: Contemporary Indian
FAVORITES: Edamame Artichoke Chaat | Charcoal Smoked Salmon | Lotus Root Kofta | Seven Mushroom Khichadi | Zaatar Naan
VERDICT: 4.5 / 5
Rahi’s menu is unique, such that each dish offers a slight twist to an Indian classic dish. Essentially this concept caters to both the Indian and American palettes since the food is highly flavorsome, but there was not a single dish that was "too hot" to handle, hence everyone is happy. Additionally, you’ll find items such as artichoke, octopus, crab, salmon on the menu, and these aren’t your typical ingredients in Indian food. The flavors at Rahi are absolutely incredible and based on just one visit, Rahi is now one of my favorite Indian restaurants. Honestly, I won’t be surprised if Rahi earns a Michelin Star title in the coming years since the food here is not only exceptionally good, but innovative and well thought out. It’s only been a few weeks since I dined at Rahi, and I’m still dreaming about their Smoked Salmon, Seven Mushroom Khichadi, and Lotus Root Kofta which absolutely blew my mind. Additionally, Indian food can be quite oily, creamy, and often times I find that isn’t necessary. With that said, you do require just the right amount of oil and cream without going overboard and Rahi delivers just that. After leaving the restaurant, I didn’t feel bloated or insanely full which can be the case at many Indian restaurants. Regardless of your spice level, if you’re looking for flavorful Indian food with a twist, look no further than Rahi located in Manhattan’s West Village! Highly recommended and will definitely be back - for brunch next time!
What's your favorite Indian restaurant? What's your favorite Indian dish?