Sunday, March 25, 2012

Taste of India II

Tonight for dinner I went with my parents and A to Taste of India II, a restaurant which was new to us but has apparently been here since 1990. It looks like they recently renovated the space next to the original restaurant and are in the process of expanding. We haven't gone out for Indian food with my parents before, so we ordered a lot of our reliable go-to dishes as a nice introduction.

The meal started off with complimentary papadums and the usual trio of chutneys and onions. We also ordered meat samosas (ground meat and peas) and vegetarian samosas (potatoes and peas) for appetizers.

The samosas were good, but not the best we've had. The potatoes in the vegetarian samosa didn't have that much flavor on their own, unlike some others we have had with curried potatoes and peas. Adding the green sauce and red onions to it made it much better. The meat samosa had more flavor, but was also improved with the green sauce and onions (like pretty much everything would be...).

We got 4 dishes for our main course - chana masala (chickpeas), bhindi masala (okra with onions and tomatoes), chicken madras (cooked in coconut milk, curry leaves and mustard seed), and chicken tikka (boneless chicken marinated in yogurt and spices and roasted in the clay oven).

The chana masala was a little more watery than some others that we like and less flavorful (maybe related). Although it's one of my favorite Indian dishes, it was not my favorite tonight, and I was a little disappointed because I know it could be better. The chicken tikka was a little dry and didn't seem to have as many spices as others we've had. I think the general conclusion on those 2 dishes was that, although they were good, we have had better versions of them before at other places with more vibrant flavors. The bhindi masala, on the other hand, was better. The okra had a good texture (but they were long pieces instead of the smaller pieces), the sauce had more flavor, and the onions were tasty. The chicken madras was also good - lots of sauce to use on the rice, nice spices and flavoring, tender chicken. Those two dishes were definitely the better two in our opinion.

The dishes came with the usual basmati rice and we also got some garlic naan.

The rice was good, but I had really good naan the other day at lunch so I didn't love this naan that much. The garlic was good though!

The decor in the restaurant (we were on the renovated side) looks nice, other than the blinding bright blue lights. The meal was good but the blue lighting was terrible. I felt bad for A and my dad that had it even worse than me since they had to look into the lights the whole time. It was so blue that all of our pictures look blue and I can still see a bit of blue sheen in my eyes.

I think our meal at Taste of India II was good, especially since there aren't a ton of Indian restaurants in Staten Island. We've had better Indian dishes at some other places in Curry Hill (and we still have to do more adventuring in Queens), so we have a pretty high bar for some of these dishes (like the chana masala we eat everywhere). But we would definitely return and try some more dishes or the lunch buffet. Maybe they'll ditch the blue lights by that time...

No comments:

Post a Comment