Banana Leaf New York Reviews
"Fine Regional Indian Cuisine" in Curry Hill Mar 01, 2008
A friend of mine who had never been to New York City recently came to visit. We decided on Indian food, because it is a rarity where he comes from. We took the 6 train to 28th street, an area I affectionately refer to as "Little India" because there are literally about 100 Indian and Pakistani restaurants in a 5 block radius.
We chose the Banana Leaf, which advertised itself as "brand new". I had never seen it before, I just "got a good feeling about the place".
We quickly scanned the menu for beer, hoping to get a couple of Kingfishers in us before the meal was out, but they did not offer it! At first I thought perhaps the owners were religious and therefore didn't provide beer. HOWEVER, during the course of the evening we saw a server come out (twice!) with beers for a group at another table. They must have asked for it specifically. Maybe the place doesn't have a liquor license and all the alcohol is served secretly?! Strange. Instead we had cups of chai, which was tasty, but overpriced. I think next time I'll stick to water.
The food, on the other hand, was pretty good. Averagely priced for Indian, about 12-18 bucks for an entree.
They have a lot of southern Indian ("regional", I guess) things, most notably an extensive selection of dosa. I will be trying some of them the next time I drop by.
I didn't care for any of the table sauces, even the green coriander one that I usually devour! The naan was cold, stale and not puffy at all. Next time get the roti or skip the bread altogether!
I tend to order veggie samosas everytime I do Indian, and these were pretty tasty, but again, a little pricey. They didn't seem to offer meat samosas on the menu (or maybe they DO have them, it's just a secret! and you have to ask for them specifically!).
The Tandoori Chicken was moist, spicy and served fajita style on a sizzling plate, it comes as a half chicken but the portion could have been bigger.
Chicken Tikka Masala was not spectacular, I didn't care for the texture of the sauce, and it was way too spicy for any human to eat. And I love spicy. I'm just amazed I didn't get heartburn.
Atmosphere was not wonderful, but they dimmed the lights and lit some candles so that was a bit of an improvement... there was music but they only played the same song over and over!
ON THE PLUS SIDE, however, my Chana Saag was delicious, probably the best I've ever had...and Chana Saag is *my dish*, I always get it! The service was absolutely impeccable; our waiters were wonderful, answered our questions, refilled our glasses, checked up on us, were polite and courteous.
It had some hits and misses, but all in all, Banana Leaf was a good experience. I will go there again next time I'm in "Curry Hill" and I'd recommend it to people looking to have a nice evening with excellent service and decent food.
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