The Himalayas are known not just for their towering peaks, but also for the rich cultures that have grown in their shadow. The all-Himalayan culinary team at Himalayan Yak Restaurant re-creates the best dishes picked from Tibetan, Nepalese, Bhutanese, and Indian cuisines. Their menu is subdivided by region and organized to indicate which dishes are vegetarian, letting chefs highlight classic dishes such as spice-laden chicken chili or exotic yak tongue sautéed in garlic and ginger and served with Tibetan bhaley bread. Most of the dishes can be customized with a choice of meat—including goat and buffalo—or vegetables. A live band plays traditional Himalayan tunes as diners dig into their meals, creating an atmosphere that mimics the serenity of the highest mountain peaks or the feeling of meditating at the top of several glued-together zen gardens.
Though its name suggests an exotic location in the Himalayan foothills, Delhi Heights is just a short drive from Manhattan in Jackson Heights. A menu that focuses on traditional Indian and Indo-Chinese fusion dishes makes the short trek worth it. One of the restaurant’s signature dishes is the dahi aloo papri chat, and one bite of the textured blend of crispy potatoes, chickpeas, and tamarind sauce shows why. Chefs prepare dozens of their other entrees in a tandoori clay oven, enhancing jumbo shrimp and achari mushrooms with smoky flavor without having to cook each individually on the tip of a cigar.
Gandhi Restaurant's earthen oven prepares a variety of meat and vegetarian dishes from a menu of authentic Indian cuisine. Samosas packed full of meat and spiced with tamarind and onion chutney herald clay-baked platters containing yogurt-drizzled tandoori chicken and skewered chunks of lamb. Existing as complete meals themselves, six types of biryani pack mixed veggies, lamb, chicken, and seafood into piles of basmati rice and raisins with cucumber raita on the side. The eatery also offers naan and whole-wheat paratha to soak up extra sauces or lure a flock of pigeons into the boss?s office.
Dosa Delight's chefs prep a menu of authentic Indian dosas, samosas, and sambar with an eye for vegetarian, vegan, and kosher options. The aroma of cooking spices wafts from the kitchen into the simple dining area, where servers deliver dosas—pancakes made from rice and lentil flours and stuffed with savory or spicy filling. In a dish of vegetable uthappams, chefs sprinkle thick pancakes with carrots, peas, chilies, and tomatoes. Desserts surprise sweet teeth with unexpected ingredients, such as the gajerla's caramelized grated carrots served inside an edible jack-in-the-box.
An entire marinated chicken on the bone, a succulent lamb chop, or a plate of paneer can emanate from Tawa Tandoor’s namesake clay oven. However, the eatery’s dishes do not originate exclusively from the tandoor oven—or exclusively from India. While traditional chicken, lamb, and goat curries swim in sauces from almond to vinegar-infused red pepper, the complementary Asian fusion plates delight palates with shrimp in hot garlic sauce or paneer marinated in soy sauce and chili. To accommodate dietary restrictions, the kitchen team prepares plentiful vegetarian options, crafted with veggies such as black lentils and okra, as well as fried rice and a variety of Indian breads, from flat naan to puffy poori. From the drink department, guests might select the classic mango lassi beverage, which is more refreshing than a Darth Vader appearance at a Star Trek convention.
In a kitchen that sits at the end of the long dining room, chefs at the Zagat-rated Mumbai Grill prepare a broad range of fresh, healthy, halal Indian cuisine. Diners can kick off meals with an order of onion bhajia—onion fritters dipped in chick peas and then battered, fried, and lightly tickled—before moving on to one of the eatery’s tandoori clay oven specialties. The house special tandoori shrimp is marinated in mint and coriander sauce and doused with white pepper before it enters the oven. Refreshing lassi drinks can refresh tastebuds in flavors such as strawberry, rose, sweet, salted, and mango.