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punjabi can be written in shahmukhi or gurumukhi scripts but if that's the source of this confusion i'll eat all the hens and dal within a 50 mile radius.

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Do we think they're striving for authenticity? I see putting up some "Indian" signifiers as something different from that.

 

Jessi and Jennifer Singh, the team who created three acclaimed Australian restaurants, Dhaba at the Mill (sold in 2013), Horn Please and Babu Ji bring their signature creative and modern approach to casual Indian dining to NYC’s Alphabet City.

 

 

 

 

they're striving for "authenticity" in "modern/contemporary/creative" ways. hence all the kitsch, in the restaurant and on the website. not to mention the weird name of the restaurant.

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punjabi can be written in shahmukhi or gurumukhi scripts but if that's the source of this confusion i'll eat all the hens and dal within a 50 mile radius.

 

I was just asking. I can scarcely believe that someone who didn't know the script in question would try to reproduce it from a transliterated version. But who knows?

 

As for authenticity, what with all the burgers and franks on the menu I guess I'm thinking of a different kind; maybe the non-kitsch version. (None of this is to say they shouldn't have got the script right.)

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occam's razor. the english transliteration, "murgi" is very likely to be read/pronounced by non-native hindi speakers with the "murg" rhyming with "burg". and that's how they've spelled it. (well, actually they've spelled it as though the word were pronounced "maragi" -- the "r" is wrong too.)

 

similarly, no native speaker is going to render the word pronounced "shakkar" as "shakhar", which is how they've written it. similarly for "ki", the length of whose "e" sound a non-native speaker has guessed at.

 

why they didn't just get the original source to write it all out for them in hindi, i don't know.

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Okay, got it, and I can only echo your closing question.

 

Wouldn't be surprised if it just got copied over from their Melbourne restaurant, which looks much the same.

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that there is an original native hindi source is clear because they've managed the far trickier gender of the word "ghar" (there's no consistent logic in hindi as to which nouns are masculine and which feminine).

 

 

eta: scratch that--the gender of "ki/ka" comes from the murgi/hen not the ghar/house.

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Do we think they're striving for authenticity?

Not at brunch.

 

BURGERS, BUNS & FRANKIES ALL SERVED WITH MASALA SPICED FRIES

 

Indian Style Scrambled Eggs 12

 

Indian spiced scrambled egg, tomato, onion sandwich.

 

Samosa Burger 12

 

Crisp samosa, slaw and chutney on a bun. College canteen food that Indians crave for a lifetime

 

Butter Chicken Frankie 14

 

Free-range butter chicken roll

 

Lamb Rogan Josh Frankie 14

 

Spiced lamb roll

 

Mumbai Vegetarian Burger

 

Mustard seed and curry leaf spiced potato burger with slaw, mint and yogurt chutney 10

 

Burgers. And Frankies. Maybe they're really good but certainly the owners aren't trying for authenticity.

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Something can be good and not be authentic. And something can be authentic and not so good.

 

The beef meatballs I had at Chiang Mai were absolutely authentic but a bit rubbery like all Thai meatballs. I'd order them again because they tasted good but the texture isn't their strong point.

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i'm not sure how you understand "authenticity". in this context it doesn't mean serving chicken tikka masala; it means trying to send signals that no matter what you do you're authentic but not in the stodgy way of places that serve chicken tikka masala. this is why you give your restaurant a recognizably indian name which doesn't include the words "mahal" or "tandoori" or some food name, and why you plaster your restaurant with signifiers of indianness that aren't pictures of elephants or the taj mahal.

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in other words you can signal "authenticity" even when trying desperately to not seem "traditional"; and maybe you need to do so because you're very consciously trying not to signal "traditional".

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i'm not sure how you understand "authenticity". in this context it doesn't mean serving chicken tikka masala; it means trying to send signals that no matter what you do you're authentic but not in the stodgy way of places that serve chicken tikka masala. this is why you give your restaurant a recognizably indian name which doesn't include the words "mahal" or "tandoori" or some food name, and why you plaster your restaurant with signifiers of indianness that aren't pictures of elephants or the taj mahal.

 

What I meant in this context is a New York restaurant trying faithfully to reproduce some or other cuisine of India or an Indian region, and backing that up with whatever signifiers might be appropriate. This looks like a cheeky Aussie venture to me (although there are plenty of mainstream dishes on the menu).

 

If someone tells me that an authentic Yunnan restaurant has just opened, to take a random example, I don't expect Yunnanese hot dogs or blurbs about a "creative" approach to Yunnan cuisine.

 

I think you're using the term somewhat differently, but that's fine. I think my usage is common enough.

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The style and nomenclature (but not the brunch menu) just reminds me of Masala Wala on Essex Street, but maybe it says something different to you.

Within Indian culture, the MasalaWala is the purveyor of spices whose colored and textured stalls are ubiquitously found across every market. The design of The MasalaWala restaurant in the Lower East Side of New York City was influenced by the local traditions from which it originated. Upon entering the space, numerous lights hang from the ceiling at various heights, mimicking the vibrancy and chaos of India's all-night street markets. The entire space within the restaurant is a developed around a contemporary take of the traditional spice cabinet that holds all the essential elements relevant to the recipes. A wooden system of shelves wraps the interior, culminating into a wall of sensory imagery creating a modern feel. This grid becomes the palette for displaying the colorful tradition of street food culture in South-Asia, and is punctuated by highlights of gold details throughout. The end result is a textured, contemporary space built on incorporating a variety of colors, foods and textures that are reminiscent of India’s vibrant culture.


Authentic or allusive?

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