Jump to content


Photo

Southern North Jersey Indian Food


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 ghostrider

ghostrider

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,543 posts

Posted 27 June 2010 - 06:33 PM

This thread title refers to Jersey geography, not Southern Indian Food in North Jersey.

I've long been distressed by the lack of good Indian food - make that any Indian food at all - anywhere near where I live, which is pretty much in the center of the area defined above. After two decades of nothing, last week I read in the local weekly that we finally have a new Indian place open close to home: Kamal Palace, in a little strip mall at 623 Ridge Road in North Arlington, just two towns away.

We drove down last night. It's promising. It's a small place with a lot of booth seating along the front window. The staff is pleasant & cheerful. Water & a plate of papadum with dipping sauces came out immediately. Mulligatawny soup was light & refereshing, served with a lime wedge & sprinkled with fresh cilantro & a few chunks of toasted roti.

I had the Chicken Dhaiwala, described as a North Indian dish with yogurt, onions, tomatoes & mild spices. I asked for it medium; it had plenty of fire, & I have some tolerance for heat. Mild next time, I think. I liked it a lot; the onion/tomato aspect was very light & the spice blend really shone through.

S had the Chicken Tandoori Biriyani, which she thought was just OK, though she couldn't explain why. I thought that the little I tasted was decent; I didn't try enough of it to have a solid opinion.

The Tandoori Paratha was a treat, nicely baked with enough charring to give it the proper flavor & texture.

I am glad that these folks are here. I will do my best to keep them in business.

Until now, our best options for Indian food have been in Ridgewood & Montclair. (Montclair has faded lately due to attrition & fires.) Bhoj, up in Elmwood Park, is pretty good but a pain to get to via a maze of back roads; Ridgewood feels like an easier drive even though it's twice as far. Folks have said that the Indian place inside National Wholesale Liquidators warehouse in Paramus is quite good; we have yet to try them because that seems an equally painful drive. I've also just learned of two Indian restaurants up in Teaneck that I didn't know about; that's not an awful drive, but again, Teaneck is not local for me.

It's been a mystery to me why there are so few Indian restaurants in this area when every other ethnicity is well represented, in some cases over-represented. Maybe they just don't go over in Jersey without a large local Indian population base, unlike Thai, Turkish, Mexican, etc.
It was hard to avoid the feeling that somebody, somewhere, was missing the point. I couldn't even be sure that it wasn't me. - Douglas Adams

Please come visit my rock concert blog: Tantalized.

#2 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,118 posts

Posted 27 June 2010 - 09:18 PM

It's probably not any closer for you than the Elmwood Park etc places, but I've enjoyed several visits to Saffron on NJ 10 eastbound in East Hanover, next to Gogel Tire and across from Home depot and Hillside Nissan, Excellent food, good service, very accommodating.

Nice place, nice people, if you're interested, I'm always up for a trip

Saffron

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#3 ghostrider

ghostrider

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,543 posts

Posted 27 June 2010 - 10:18 PM

QUOTE(Rail Paul @ Jun 27 2010, 05:18 PM) View Post
It's probably not any closer for you than the Elmwood Park etc places, but I've enjoyed several visits to Saffron on NJ 10 eastbound in East Hanover, next to Gogel Tire and across from Home depot and Hillside Nissan, Excellent food, good service, very accommodating.

Nice place, nice people, if you're interested, I'm always up for a trip

Saffron

Thanks for the reminder. I seem to recall that they got some good notices on eG as well.

That is a good haul from here, but it's also a spot that would combine nicely with our next excursion to Frelyinghausen Arboretum or Riker Hill or someplace like that. I'll send you a PM next time we're planning an outing in that direction & we'll see if we can get together at Saffron.
It was hard to avoid the feeling that somebody, somewhere, was missing the point. I couldn't even be sure that it wasn't me. - Douglas Adams

Please come visit my rock concert blog: Tantalized.

#4 double 0

double 0

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 40 posts

Posted 29 June 2010 - 08:20 PM

Not specifically in NNJ but close enough is Kavavilli. In a strip mall behind the Nanuet Mall, this place covers all the regions of India. They have a good selection of vegetarian food. The heat range can be dialed as you like it. The room is nice and allows conversation. They also have decent selection of beer which seems to go well with Indian food.

#5 OTB

OTB

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,206 posts

Posted 30 June 2010 - 04:27 PM

QUOTE(double 0 @ Jun 29 2010, 04:20 PM) View Post
Not specifically in NNJ but close enough is Kavavilli. In a strip mall behind the Nanuet Mall, this place covers all the regions of India. They have a good selection of vegetarian food. The heat range can be dialed as you like it. The room is nice and allows conversation. They also have decent selection of beer which seems to go well with Indian food.


Karavalli is indeed a nice Indian restaurant but I wasn't really happy with their weekend lunch buffet. The quality was heavily compromised. Their dinner offerings were very good though, the one time we went. We need to get back at some point, with a larger group.

http://www.flickr.co.....=62968083@N00
Jason Perlow
Food Blogger, OffTheBroiler.com
Sr. Technology Editor, ZDNet / CBS Interactive
My Flickr Stream: Click Here for Food Photos

#6 double 0

double 0

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 40 posts

Posted 30 June 2010 - 06:58 PM

QUOTE(OTB @ Jun 30 2010, 04:27 PM) View Post
QUOTE(double 0 @ Jun 29 2010, 04:20 PM) View Post
Not specifically in NNJ but close enough is Kavavilli. In a strip mall behind the Nanuet Mall, this place covers all the regions of India. They have a good selection of vegetarian food. The heat range can be dialed as you like it. The room is nice and allows conversation. They also have decent selection of beer which seems to go well with Indian food.


Karavalli is indeed a nice Indian restaurant but I wasn't really happy with their weekend lunch buffet. The quality was heavily compromised. Their dinner offerings were very good though, the one time we went. We need to get back at some point, with a larger group.

http://www.flickr.co.....=62968083@N00

The other thing I like about Karavalli is that if you don't want to get a full meal there are enough choices in the apps and street food to satisfy anyone.

#7 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,118 posts

Posted 30 June 2010 - 07:37 PM

More info, and details


Karavalli
416 Nanuet Mall S
Nanuet, NY 10954
(845) 215-9794

For folks so disposed, it looks like it could be reached by the Pascack Valley train. The Nanuet station is about two blocks south

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#8 mongo_jones

mongo_jones

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 21,680 posts

Posted 30 June 2010 - 10:25 PM

QUOTE(OTB @ Jun 30 2010, 11:27 AM) View Post
a nice Indian restaurant but I wasn't really happy with their weekend lunch buffet. The quality was heavily compromised.


you don't say.

my annoying opinions: untimely whisky reviews and occasional cultural commentary

 


facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson




#9 OTB

OTB

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,206 posts

Posted 01 July 2010 - 01:51 PM

QUOTE(mongo_jones @ Jun 30 2010, 06:25 PM) View Post
QUOTE(OTB @ Jun 30 2010, 11:27 AM) View Post
a nice Indian restaurant but I wasn't really happy with their weekend lunch buffet. The quality was heavily compromised.


you don't say.


Well, I'm not saying that Indian lunch buffets are an indication of quality overall. They are for the most part simply affordable ways to eat. However, I've been to more than a few that were pretty decent, particularly in parts of Jersey and in other states with strong Indian populations This restaurant in my opinion is not one where their buffet is their best strength. Very nice presentation though.

Jason Perlow
Food Blogger, OffTheBroiler.com
Sr. Technology Editor, ZDNet / CBS Interactive
My Flickr Stream: Click Here for Food Photos

#10 ghostrider

ghostrider

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,543 posts

Posted 01 July 2010 - 04:26 PM

I'm never going to consider driving to Nanuet for Indian food when Edison/Iselin is just as close. It's nice to know that there's a decent place up there if I'm ever in the area & have a sudden craving, but that completely misses my point about the dearth of Indian food where I live.
It was hard to avoid the feeling that somebody, somewhere, was missing the point. I couldn't even be sure that it wasn't me. - Douglas Adams

Please come visit my rock concert blog: Tantalized.

#11 ghostrider

ghostrider

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,543 posts

Posted 13 February 2011 - 06:43 PM

Time for an update here. First, I'm wondering if anyone has been to Mausam in Secaucus. They're offering a coupon deal at restaurant.com. We'll likely take a chance on it. I'll report back.

Second, there's news on Baristanet that a new branch of Brick Lane will be opening soon in Montclair. This could be promising.

Third, Clove has opened at Liberty Commons in East Rutherford, on Rt. 17 South. We've gotten takeout there 3 times because they're so close to home; unfortunately they're pretty ordinary. Their sauces are tasty & have some complexity, but there's been no attempt to cook the chicken / lamb / shrimp in the preparation so that there might be some flavor absorption. It's frustrating. The breads have tasted flat, even for a takeaway.

One might fare better at their buffets. I also have to note that every time I've gone to pick up food, the place has been well packed with Indian families. One night there was a birthday party for a bunch of kids in the adjoining banquet room, folks clearly having a great time. The place seems to be filling a local gap quite nicely. As noted above, you still have to drive out of this area to find other options.
It was hard to avoid the feeling that somebody, somewhere, was missing the point. I couldn't even be sure that it wasn't me. - Douglas Adams

Please come visit my rock concert blog: Tantalized.

#12 ghostrider

ghostrider

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,543 posts

Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:17 PM

We dined at the Brick Lane in Montclair a few nights ago. (It's a mini-empire, there's also one in Ridgewood.) Much was good, but they stumbled badly on one point.

First, the good stuff. The onion bhaji appetizer was very good. Mulligitawny soup was fragrant & soothing.

The breads were exceptional; a naan with ginger & another with nuts were truly among the best we've ever had.

S's tandoori chicken was very good. My chicken bhuna was a flop. The sauce, sweet & spicy with a hint of cinnamon, was excellent. However, the chicken, all breast meat, had been overcooked to the point of near inedibility; dry, stringy and tough, it was really terrible. I could tell that it had started out as a very fresh piece of chicken, but the cooking had destroyed it.

Many Indian restaurants seem to have the notion that they need to serve white meat to Americans or they won't like it; I know we've had that discussion before. This is where a place like Dhaba in Manhattan gets it right by offering leg & thigh meat in various curries; what a difference that makes.

The general quality of the food at Brick Lane was high enough that I will give them another try & hope that I simply encountered an aberration on a busy night. I crave another taste of those naans; yes, they were that good. It's nice to have a new option for Indian food in the area, that's for sure.
It was hard to avoid the feeling that somebody, somewhere, was missing the point. I couldn't even be sure that it wasn't me. - Douglas Adams

Please come visit my rock concert blog: Tantalized.

#13 Daniel

Daniel

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9,103 posts

Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:49 PM

Wow, Brick Lane seems to be taking off. They have at least two locations in Manhattan. Always nice to hear of people growing in these horrible times..
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#14 Eatmywords

Eatmywords

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 649 posts

Posted 13 December 2011 - 05:28 PM

I used to do the EVlg Brick Lane brunch semi often. The ingredient quality and spins on classics made them my favorite Indian buffet. (I havenít been in a few yrs unfortunately. Is it still good?)

#15 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,118 posts

Posted 13 December 2011 - 06:11 PM

I've noticed that a new Indian or Afghan restaurant seems to be opening every week or two on the stretch of Route 27 between New Brunswick and Kendall Park. There are probably 10 places, plus two Patel groceries and one Subzdi Mandhi.

It makes sense as the Franklin Township / North Brunswick area is relatively close to Edison / Woodbridge, schools are good, and homes are reasonably priced by NJ standards.

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman