I am really proud of the fact that I’m finally accustomed to eating Indian food. I love to taste food from different countries, because that’s the best way to learn more about their culture right? Or maybe that’s just me. Being that I can’t eat spicy food I was very pleased with the quality, taste, and the variety of dishes available at Haldi. Not only was I able to taste dishes from the newly renovated menu by Michelin-starred chef Hemant Mathur, but I also had a chance to enjoy the renovated and beautiful restaurant itself.
Haldi is co-owned by chef Hemant Mathur who is also the co-owner of five other New York City restaurants: Malai Marke, Chola, Dhaba, Kokum, and Chote Nawab. For Haldi’s newly revonated menu, Chef Hemant Mathur was inspired by Calcutta and incorporates a variety of unique and flavorful Bengali-Indian dishes to the menu.
Both the interior and the atmosphere at Haldi is very relaxing. The dim lighting inside the restaurant makes for a romantic date night or a great place to catch up with some friends where you have no distractions. The staff itself is very attentive to your needs and very pleasant to speak with. If you can’t eat food that is too spicy Chef Hemant Mathur will tone it down for you.
Every dish that was brought out was more amazing than the last dish. Chef Hemant Mathur chose a few dishes the from the renovated menu for my guest and I to taste; the dishes were an eclectic mix of flavorful, succulent, and very well prepared Bengali-Indian cuisine. From this menu, my guest and I enjoyed eating Bengali Bites like the Jhal Muri which is puffed rice, peanuts, green chutney, and tomatoes; the Luchi Aloo Dum which is an amazing puffy bread that is stuffed with baby potatoes, onions, and tomatoes; and the Chingri Malai which consists of Shrimp, coconut, and tamarind.
Following the Bengali Bites we had some Dak Bunglow Chicken Curry; Lal Maas, a red chili paste with ginger-garlic and tomatoes; and Vegetable Biryani, which is a rice dish that is packed with vegetables. This dish was served with boondi raita, which is a popular Indian dish that is like a dip and contains plain yogurt and boondi (fried chickpea flour). Not only were we not done, but Chef Mathur saved the best for last with the Mustard Chicken Kebabs served with a tomato Chutney; a Flounder Fish Kebab with an apricot chutney; and Baby Lamp Chops with a mango chutney. All three chutneys were cooked and served to perfection. The taste, texture, and the thickness were unlike any other. For dessert we had Chenna Payesh, which are steamed cheese dumplings, saffron cardamom milk and roasted almonds; and the Rum Balls which were made with fig and chocolate cakes, semi-sweet calibut chocolate roasted cashews.
The most memorable dish is the Chingri Malai. The combination of shrimp, coconut, and tamarind is just heavenly! The first impression is always important to me especially when it comes to food, and it’s hard when I’m not used to eating a specific cuisine like Indian Food. But Haldi is really one of the best ones out there! If you have not made reservations yet, then you need to pick up a phone and check out the restaurant. Haldi has a great atmosphere, amazing food, and is affordable? What else do you really need?
If you are intrigued and want to try out the newly renovated menu make sure to visit Haldi at 102 Lexington Avenue; reservations can be made by calling 212-213-9615.
Twisted Talk: Are you a fan of Indian Cuisine? Will you be going to Haldi in the near future? Discuss below!