Singapura ($$)- NYC


Singapura

This post is more about Indo-Chinese food than it is about the restaurant Singapura. I find the need to ramble about the cuisine in order to do justice to the review itself. Now, Wikipedia has done a very good job of covering the technicalities of this cuisine. Do spend some time reading that and then come back to read this.

To me, when you say Indo-Chinese food, I get transported to the Indian town where I was an undergrad. I start hearing things. Loud automobile honks, the bustle of a street and some Bollywood or regional movie songs being played on a cheap stereo to be precise. Any self-respecting “Fast Food” joint or “Noodle Point” that serves this food must be very humble. Usually a street cart or a small, Spartan store thereby explaining the noise and the Indian immunity that doesn’t make you rush for an Aleve in spring. And then comes the sound of a metal ladle furiously tossing around a mélange of ingredients in a large, extremely hot wok. I am told that it is this high temperature that is responsible for the taste and texture, among other things. Something you cannot achieve on your stovetop. The menu in such a place is pretty standard. You have Noodles with vegetables, egg or chicken and Manchurian, either wet or dry made out of vegetables, cauliflower or chicken. You almost always go to this place as a group. Get one of each kind and pass the dishes around. The taste is consistently the same no matter how many times you go. Now the taste, spicy, soy saucy, green chili saucy, and so Indo-Chinese-y that there is no other description. Yes, let us settle for Indo-Chinese-y.

Now, there’s sit-down restaurants that serve this fare and do a very good job. Not as good as the street cart but good enough for your now thirty something self whose belly doesn’t take as much abuse as it did when you were in your late teens and early twenties. The spice is toned down, the grease is reduced but the taste remains Indo-Chinese-y.

Let us now proceed to Singapura shall we? To do well on a street which offers stiff competition, you must be very good. Neighbor Chinese Mirch has established itself in the Indo-Chinese food space. While the food at Singapura is not bad at all, it is nowhere close to either the food cart or the restaurant. In addition to Indo-Chinese they also offer other Asian food like Malaysian and Thai but we did not try those.

For that authentic Indo-Chinese food experience, head to Bombay Talk in Edison, NJ. Don’t say you weren’t warned about the heat!

 

P.S. Just found that this restaurant is closed!

Oak + Almond ($$$)- Norwalk, CT


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A very welcoming ambiance, farm to table concept, a seasonal menu and an opportune location had me visit Oak + Almond three times. I will keep this one short and sweet. Go there and share some appetizers over wine or cocktails. Do not miss any of their flatbreads or the meatballs. Binge on their sweet and creamy butter. I haven’t been blown over by their main course. I will return nevertheless, because it is a convenient place to go to after work or during lunch hour.

A Saturday, Well Spent!


When life throws sunny Saturdays, head to the nearest winery. Sweeten the deal by tossing in some good company. I did just that this Saturday at the Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery in Warwick, NY.

What’s On Offer?: Their own wines; red, white, blush and dessert and a $5 wine tasting that lets you sample each of their wines and gives a keepsake glass. Ciders (that I am not in a position to write about since I am not a beer/cider drinker), gin and other liquors. They have an indoor cafe that serves pizza, cheese and charcuterie platters

To cut a long review short, get their Black Dirt Red wine, one of their amazing pizzas and a cheese platter. Plonk yourself on a table and wine away to glory. Give the Chardonnay and Riesling a miss.

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Humbleness ($)…


Here comes a surprise addition to the Epic Indian Food Post-WC, Khan’s Kitchen in Thornwood. If you are a stickler for the appearance of an eatery, don’t go here. If you are a militant vegetarian who doesn’t approve of vegetarian and meat dishes being placed side by side, don’t go here. If food is all you care about, do visit this place. Watch out, this place is extremely easy to miss and vegetarians, you will have just 3 choices here.Image

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Fusion 9 ($$$)- Banjara Hills, Hyderabad


Before I get started on yet another restaurant review, I must acknowledge the recent hits that this blog has been getting. Whoever you are, thank you very much for reading. And I must tell you that I religiously monitor my stats… need I say more

Our restaurant visits in Hyderabad so far had been restricted to Indian food. While Chutney’s has been a staple, we did venture out (read outside the Madhapur KPHB area braving the traffic) to Barbecue Nation, Sahib Sindh Sultan and Fusion 9. Sahib Sindh Sultan was a let down, Barbecue Nation scores for the concept. What really stood in terms of food was Fusion 9 (it is also the first not entirely Indian restaurant that we tried).  Here is a quick list of pros and cons for now. I will write a more detailed review later.

The Pros: Great food!

The Cons: Plastic menu cards that look like they belong in a Yatri Niwas. A shame on this upscale establishment

Clueless waiters who cannot talk to you about the menu

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Delish Potato Skins

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The crowning glory of our meal, the Moroccan Paneer Steak with Lemon Couscous

Little Crepe Street ($)- Pardon My French


ImageMount Kisco gets yet another gem. The Little Crepe Street along with Monsieur Singh, Little Kebab Station and La Tulipe makes me want to relocate to Mt. Kisco. Oh, why can I not walk into one of these places as and when I pleased. Sigh…

The Little Crepe Street is owned and run by Bonnie Saran. The same person who owns Monsieur Singh and Little Kebab Station. And have I not sufficiently documented my love of her two earlier ventures. Well, I fee the same way for this one too. Maybe a little more that the other two.

To try this place, I coaxed two co-workers into accompanying me. One of them is French, the other is a non-adventurous Buffalo Wild Wings loving Boricua. Now, my French friend tells me that savory crepes cannot be called crepes, technically. They are called galettes. A very common American mistake apparently. And crepes are supposed to be thin. These were not. But those are the only two places where LCS does not quite hit the mark. Now, I don’t care if it is called a crepe or a galette for something that tastes so good. I do not care about its thickness either. For me, it all boils down to taste. And boy, these were phenomenal or what!

The choice is pretty extensive. They also threw in a chicken tikka crepe for good measure. I got the asparagus, sherried mushroom, gruyere crepe, Ms. French ordered a crimini mushroom, leek and brie crepe and our Puerto Rican ordered a proscuitto, provolone and arugula crepe. Image

They also have a good selection of dessert crepes. My Dulche De Leche was the best of the lot. The sauce was heavenly. The other dessert crepes that we tried were the Nutella banana and Bananas Foster crepe. The teensy little disappointment we had was that the Bananas Foster Crepe did not have the caramel sauce that was promised on paper.

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ImageThe Final Verdict- It has only been a weeks since I ate there and I am already looking forward to my next meal. Do yourself a favor, go ASAP. Thank me later

The Epic Indian Food Post-WC II


Masala Kraft Cafe ($$)-Hartsdale:

“And so the plan began and the goal was set… to create a new-age cafe, blending the exotic experience of authentic Indian delicacies such as tasty toasted sandwiches, dosas and samosas in the comfort, convenience and ambiance of a contemporary setting.”

That is what this little cafe sets out to accomplish. Now, does it hit the bulls eye? not really and here is why. A couple visits is all it takes for even the most easy to please person to gather that the hits are hits and the misses are misses every single time. Once you know what to get and stick to a routine, you will not be disappointed. The shining stars of their menu are sandwiches, snacks and their signature dishes. To have a very good meal here, all you need to do is order multiple ‘snacks’. The sandwiches are very good as is the channa bhatura and kulcha. I would recommend staying away from the dosas and falafel. The desserts can be skipped.

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The Final Verdict: If you find yourself craving some Indian snacks on a cold evening, head here as they serve the best chaat in Westchester County. If chili cheese toast can make your evening, head here. For everything else, go to 28th and Lexington in NYC.

Up Next: Malabar Hill in Elmsford, Ambadi in White Plains and Swagat in Tarrytown