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An enjoyable, filling meal last night with a couple of friends from out of town renting an apt. here for a month.  I like Aperol but, mixed with cantelope juice, it didn't click.  Other cocktails looked good but I don't think that's the drink of choice here.  Beers from then on.  Our friends are fine with high spice levels, I sweat but like them, & Ginny has a moderate tolerance.  Most everything was too hot for her, while I liked the heat level and admired that the various spices were discernible from one another and varied dish to dish.  We ordered small plates ("snacks") of the chat, the potato patty & the eggplant.  From the grill, we had the paneer tikka, the lamb ribs & the sweet peppers w/peanuts (comped).  From the mains, we had the mutton &, from the Pulao/Biryani section we had both the "Pressure Cooker Pulao (Chicken)" & the Goat Neck Dum Biryani.  Some paratha, chapati & the pao, and some extra raita.  With over 20% tip and all drinks (a round of cocktails & 6 beers), under $100pp.  And our friends got a reasonable amount of take home food.

Everyone was friendly & very competent.  Other than the spice level being too high for Ginny, I appreciated our dinner & thought all to be well prepared and interesting.  Nothing stood out as outstanding but everything tasted very good - that's not a complaint, but a compliment.  I think that's what they're going for.  However, the thought did occur to me afterwards that I had basically eaten (& drank) over a month's worth of carbs and had not eaten a substantive amount of red meat or chicken.  Yes, the "mutton" dish was the only main we ordered that was not from the rice dish section (and there was enough meat in there), but the rice dishes would've been better served with a bit more goat or chicken cooked in.  We should've noticed the imbalance when ordering and changed a couple of items.  Maybe the baby shark or a couple more grill items instead of a rice dish.

A couple of side notes: Roni M. came in for awhile near the end of our dinner and we spoke.  The Park Slope edition of Masalawala will open in the Fall on 5th Ave.  AND... the table behind us (a young couple) got the rabbit!  Looked like a substantial meal and they had leftovers to take home.  As much as I stared, I wasn't offered even a taste.

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look, the last time we indians trusted white people with cash transactions you stayed for 300 years and took over.

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Been a couple times now, once for snacks & cocktails at the bar and the other night for a full dinner. Oddly, had a very similar lineup as Steve -eggplant, paneer tikka, lamb ribs, sweet peppers (also comped) and mutton. And that chicken mince Scotch egg looking thing I can’t remember the name of. I also appreciate how while much of it was spicy no two dishes read the same on the palate, they were all quite distinct. (Though in the case of the chicken n’ egg dish, that taste was a bit heavy on the raw garlic)

So far the favorite has been the kidneys & testicles. Though I do wish it were more “unapologetic” - the offal was chopped up so small it could have been chunks of any meat. Flavor was banging though. Was really fond of the fried eggplant too, especially the egg yolk / mustard dippin’ sauce. Great bar snack.

By and large we’ve found the apps more exciting than the entrees. I didn’t detect much of a size difference between the dishes from the two categories, aside from a lot more sauce on the latter. After a couple visits I’m feeling like this is a place to order lots of snacks & apps and maybe pass on the entrees. 

Rice was way undercooked to my taste. It reminded me of an unfortunate dinner some years ago at an Italian restaurant (that will remain nameless for now) where the pasta wasn’t just al dente but straight up crunchy.

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6 hours ago, Seth Gordon said:

It reminded me of an unfortunate dinner some years ago at an Italian restaurant (that will remain nameless for now) where the pasta wasn’t just al dente but straight up crunchy.

Where if you said something about the pasta to someone on staff, they might say that's the way they serve it in Italy?

When it's not.

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3 hours ago, joethefoodie said:

Where if you said something about the pasta to someone on staff, they might say that's the way they serve it in Italy?

When it's not.

Exactly.

(Also I’m acquainted with one of the principals so I won’t dis them publicly, not that they’d ever see this.)

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I once accidentally cooked a rabbit for three and a half hours (I forgot it was in the oven). It was excellent. Five to six hours is a leap beyond. I admit it sounds interesting.

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i find the backstory of how the chef came up with the dishes more than a little dubious but harmlessly so. more likely, at some point they noticed that pan-regional restaurants had become common and successful in india and england, did some recipe research and gave it a test run at adda and then decided to push it further at dhamaka.

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Supposedly the rabbit isn't prepared every day (or at least not when Pete Wells was trying to get it, and I never saw it materialize) so the restaurant would need to procure it, which would take at least a day, and then magically still marinate it for two days before cooking for many hours. How they fit all this in 48 hours is anyone's guess.

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