As I’m munching on a fiery Indian snack I picked up at a deli in Curry Hill/Little India, I ask myself how come I don’t visit that area more often. I love Indian food, I eat Indian on a regular basis, and I love Bollywood movies. Ok, the last part is not really true. But whenever I pick my Indian order at Basera Indian Bistro I find myself staring at some pretty neat Bollywoody action for a few minutes. I think over the years I’ve watched an entire movie 2 minutes at the time. Just like with Full House episodes at home as my kids watch it religiously for some time now. My favorite part of that Bollywood movie is when the bad guy dies, the pretty girl is rescued, and a huge dance-off unfolds which includes the dead guy.
Chhote Nawab (with the extra h there) was a Bollywood movie, a bad one looks like according the 12 votes on IMDB. Why on earth would they name a restaurants after a terrible movie that received 12 votes on IMDB. Bloomberg do something! Is it because owner, Shiva Natarajan who owns more than 10 other establishments including 3 on the same block as Chote Nawab simply ran out of possible names? Ok, lets get to business…
Fantastic meal! I’m not sure I’ve had better Indian in NYC including some of the higher end spots
Waiter was extremely delighted with my first choice of the Tunde Ke kebab (“Very good choice sir”) as an app but then things went south in a hurry as he got a little annoyed when we asked for 2 main veggy dishes to bring with the first course as well. With that said I prefer a waiter that speaks his mind and we proceeded to have a nice chat later on.
The Tunde Ke kebab (pictured on top) was interesting but after a few bites I felt the need to have something else with it like the veggies or some sauce, which doesnt take anything away from the dish. It came sizzling in a dutch oven, with a spoon sitting on top which we could have used as a potato in a hot potato game.
Bindi Sasuralwali – it says on the menu “okra you would eat at your in laws house” – Flat out lie! Not my in laws I’ll tell you that. I’m not even sure they know what Okra is. But the dish was good and so was the eggplant with a nice peanut masala (Baghara Baigan Mirchi)
Shrimp Pappas was another sauce dish. Not one of my favorites but enjoyable nonetheless. Its cooked with Kokum, an Indian fruit and came with one dried Kokum which didnt taste that great but the dish overall worked well.
Lamb Biryani was one of the better Biryanis I’ve had. Tastes much better thna it looks. Comes with 2 sauces but I didnt feel the need for any. The only thing I wished I had ordered the goat instead if the lamb. Loved the bread covering it – nice touch. BTW, the garlic naan is very good here
The highlight for me was the Chicken Kori Gassi which was packed with flavor. Couldnt stop eating it. The chicken was super tender and very tasty. And a decent amount of heat as with most of the dishes we got
Overall, lets just say I took my time before I washed my hands later that day. Thoroughly enjoyed Chote Nawab