I will make this one short and sweet and spare you the usual nonsense. East Village is kicking butt lately. What else is new. Already perhaps the best foodie neighborhood in NYC which makes it one of the best in North America, things are only getting more and more exciting, and deserving of a run-on sentence. Its almost like something new pops up in the East Village on a daily basis.
The title refers to Shiva Natarajan, not what you do when your goldfish dies (sit shiva). Malai Marke is the latest from Natarajan, the king of Indian food in NYC. Shiva owns more restaurants than I own boxer shorts and briefs combined (note: I know what you thinking and its really none of your business. Its between me, my wife and my briefs. I should have more briefs but mrs Z keeps throwing out all my “air conditioned” ones whenever she packs for vacation). While Shiva virtually owns Curry Hill including Chote Nawab and about 4 eateries on one block, his presence on “Curry row” is now firmly established with Malai Marke.
I’ve already been to Malai Marke twice now, sampling all sorts of complex deliciousness…
Garlic Naan fresh from the oven as good as it gets. German draft beer, major bonus.
Kurkuri Bindi – Okra. Fried and dry which was a surprise. I was expecting a saucy okra but it was still very good. Reminded me of one of those spicy Indian nut snacks.
Bindi Sasuralwali - I much preferred this Okra – “okra you would eat at your in-laws house.” as it says on the menu just like in Chote Nawab. If anyone here can introduce me to someone who’s parents can cook like this I might need to reconsider my status. My in-laws don’t even know what Okra is.
Chicken Xacuti – Outstanding! Had it twice already. Mild but subtle, with roasted coconut, peanut, and poppy seeds
Lamb Madras – One of the better Madras dishes I’ve had. Tender lamb and the dish overall was fairly similar to the Xacuti
Tand Mix Grill – Another must for me. Great chicken tikka, Tandoor, unique lamb kebabs with just enough heat
Lamb Chettinad – So good. Thicker and heavier than the others but in a good way. Again I expected more heat but was pleasantly surprised with just the right amount.
Chicken Tikka Masala – something I eat often but never in places like these even tho I’m always sure it would be much better. This was no exception. Creamy and perfectly buttery, tho I sort of liked it more as an occasional bite vs eating it continuously if it makes sense.
Chicken Rizzala – Green nutty korma almost dessert like compared to all the other dishes. Korma is another dish we eat often at home and this was like eating it for the first time.
As with pretty much any Indian restaurant I would not bother with dessert. East Village has too many great choices like Chikalicious, Big Gay Ice Cream, Sundaes and Cones
Add another one to your East Village list people. and excuse the horrific Iphone pictures please