What’s the vibe?
Of all the myriad international cuisines that New York excels at, Indian food has never been one of them. Well now Baar Baar is here to drag the city’s Indian dining options into the 21st century, with a modern glass-fronted restaurant with great design and a buzzing atmosphere. There are shades of London restaurants such as Hoppers, Tandoor Chop House, and Dishoom here – industrial polished concrete pillars mixes with more traditional patterned tiles and warm red and orange colours, and decorative murals to create somewhere that’s fun and exciting.
What to order?
A contemporary approach can be found in the menu too, with traditional dishes brought right up to date and made with real skill and care by chef Sujan Sarkar (who worked in London for many years). If you can, head here with a group and order as much as you can as there’s a lot to choose from and you’ll want to try as much as possible. Any good Indian meal should begin with breads and chutneys of course, so we duly start with a pillow-soft potato and bone marrow bread and an array of dips that include tomatillo and green mango, and ginger alam.
Next up, order at least three things from the small plates section – we can heartily recommend the ‘Cauliflower 65’ with Curd-Rice Mousse, Peanut Chutney, and Podi Masala; the pork belly with Pomegranate and Ginger, Pickled Mooli, and Masala Crackling Kurchan; and the lamb ribs, with meat so tender it falls off the bone.
From the mains, we loved the whole baked sea bream with a Bengal mustard cream, and the butter chicken curry was exceptional – rich and flavourful rather than the rather bland way it can sometimes end up. Dessert – often the downfall of an Indian meal – is also a winner here, with the carrot halwa cake narrowly beaten by the masala chai and chocolate pave for sweet supremacy.
Baar Baar is finally offering New Yorkers a taste of what Indian food can be and judging by how packed it was on our visit, the locals have welcomed Baar Baar with open arms.
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