- READER REVIEWS
This venue is closed.
Kalustyan’s Café is both an offshoot of and a showplace for Kalustyan’s, the renowned spice store on lower Lexington Avenue...The food is “Indian-influenced,” as opposed to Indian, which means the waitresses bring little wheels of nan bread flecked with rosemary to the table, and flat, buttered corn-bread rotis that taste like a not entirely happy marriage between pita bread and a corn-bread taco. To whet the appetite, there are pastries stuffed with curry and coriander-flavored chicken (with a yogurt-and-cilantro dipping sauce), and helpings of peppery tandoori shrimp and thyme-flavored pieces of chicken tikka, both served on swanky glass trays shaped like long bars of soap. The architect of these interesting dishes is Mohan Ismail, who joins the mini Kalustyan empire after stints at Spice Market and the Indian fusion restaurant Tabla. Every cook grapples with the urge to embroider his recipes with too many spices, but Ismail does a solid job of displaying the impressive variety of the Kalustyan catalogue without sending his customers bolting for the exits.
Chicken Puffs, $9; Tellicherry Tandoori Shrimp, $10-$19; Chicken Tikka, $9-$17; Sambal Brushed Skate Wing, $17; Vindaloo of Braised Veal, $19; Duck Breast with Frik, $9-$17; Roasted Chicken and 1,001 Nut Sauce, $19; Lobster Inspiration $23; Chokalaka Baby, $7; Ice Cream Trio, $7; Betel-Leaf Panna Cotta, $7
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