All Reader Reviews of...
8 E. 18th St., New York, NY, 10003
nr. Fifth Ave.
More Hype than Value
By brigdsouza on 6/20/2009
My husband (who is from India) and I tried out Devi as we heard it was comparable to Dawat (in the 50s on the East side) in terms of quality food and higher end ambiance. We were disappointed. The food was mediocre; I got the coconut shrimp biryani, and he got the Kerela Chicken & Egg Roast. My biryani had only hints of coconut in every third or fourth bite, and the presentation was very poor (the biryani came out sitting in a pool of raita...who thought that was a good idea?). The chicken my husband got was so-so; in his words "it isn't bad, but it isn't great". The service was very good, when I asked for a side of raita to correct my dish, it was brought promptly. The ambiance was very nice visually, but acoustically it is a very loud restaurant. So if you're looking for a low-key spot, don't go. Overall, our takeaway was that Devi is hyped up without justifiable value in the food.
pretty but pricey
By cabnyc on 4/24/2009
I completely understand the mixed reviews of this restaurant. Really comfortable setting, Lighting was ambient, Service was attentive but not pushy and although I know they were trying hard to provide an evening's experience we seemed to be bothered that they changed our cutlery so many times, in efforts of trying to save the planet ,the thought of all that detergent being used on our utensils felt slightly excessive...small things count right? Cocktails and Beers were very exciting and delicious Our appetizers were spicy and tasty Our entrees came and although they weren't bad they didn't live up to the prices .$27 was a lot to ask for an average chicken curry with a small salad a piece of naan. So I think my over all feeling is that the food fell short of the expense.
The worst New York dining experience I've ever had
By Emiltavo on 2/8/2009
Made a 9:00 pm reservation for a Saturday night and showed up 10 minutes early. After checking our coats, my date and I were told to wait at the bar for our table to open up. We still hadn't been seated by 9:45. Our complaints were largely igonred and we were told our table would be another 5 minutes. We said we would leave and that we would like our coats back. After a few more minutes they brought out the wrong coats...twice. After waiting for an hour for a meal that we never ate we had to go to the coat room to find our coats. If you want good Indian food while being treated like a human being, go to Nirvana on Lexington or Brick Lane Curry House.
Better Than Tabla
By JMG on 1/31/2008
It is shocking how difficult it is to find good Indian in New York City. I asked an Indian friend of mine (born and raised in India) to recommend to me a couple of places. She told me I had to try Tabla and Devi. After being very disappointed by Tabla just last week, Devi was my last hope. I was pleasantly surprised, and very happy with my meal. My date and I split our appetizers-- Lamb Stuffed Tandoori Chicken and some very nice mushroom brioche toasts (both delicious), and we both had the Masala Fried Quail for dinner. Although the potato salad and coleslaw type sides which accompanied the quail (a clever play on the traditional fried chicken meal) were a bit over-spiced for my taste, the quail was delicious. The only trick was that we had to eat it with our hands-- which felt rather uncomfortable given the nicely decorated space we were dining in. (Seats on the upper level of the restaurant yield a very nice view of the multi-colored lanterns which light the space.)
What a waste....
By ginmin on 5/31/2007
When the patrons of an Indian restaurant are mostly non Indians, you wonder if its the best kept secret that Indians do not know about or it is the other way around. Latter is true in case of Devi. Dishes sound and look exciting but dont pack a punch and the taste does not linger long enough to merit a return visit. The ambience is chic and fun but the lack of good music or BUZZ factor does not even merit recommendation for drinks only. Service was awful. Whether you are looking to impress your date or your palate go to Tabla, Chola or Tamarind.
By hgray01 on 5/16/2007
i never write reviews, but when i saw the negative reviews here, i just had to add my two cents. I'm not even a huge fan of Indian food, but this restaurant is really just lovely. My work colleagues and I have been on numerous occassions for business and we've tried and shared tons of dishes, sat in all the various areas of the restaurant, and I've never had a bad experience. The food is excellent. Even my friends who are real Indian food aficionados crave their food. The decor is lovely. The service good. Dont be detered by the negative comments. It seems as though almost every restaurant on this site has some negative comments. Try it for yourself.
Strike This Disaster OFF Your "Must Try" List
By dcurcio on 11/5/2006
My husband and I just returned from not only the WORST Indian meal we've ever eaten in NY, but probably the single most disappointing meal we've eaten anywhere in almost twenty years. The servers and front-of-room staff were ridiculously obnoxious and clueless 20-somethings. Despite a reservation we were shown to the worst table in the room when the restaurant was two thirds empty on a Sunday night, and told that "all of the other tables were reserved." (Only one other couple came in while we were there and they were told the same thing.) The dishes we ordered, including the much touted Manchurian Cauliflower, were ill-conceived, and tasted like they had been prepared days in advance and then merely warmed over in a microwave. One sauce had separated--an obvious sign of bad reheating--and one tasted spoiled. Portions were insultingly skimpy. We skipped dessert we were so turned off, and even without a bottle of wine this meal was well over $100. So glad we hadn't invited friends or opted for the $60 tasting menu we had originally planned on. What a waste of a pretty room.
By Pirospaprika on 12/22/2005
The food is mediocre, however the service was upsetting. First of all they do not accomodate with special table requests, they pushed us to a table with no privacy even though I requested some privacy. Our waiter was very pushy. There is a certain way of giving suggestions and being polite, which I missed at devi. It is not true what I read in another review that the food could be compared to Tamarind. Not even close.
Water, water and more water
By Foodlover2 on 11/18/2005
We brought clients from San Francisco to Devi. When one ordered a large bottle of water, they brought an already open bottle (yes, open), then kept bringing more open bottles for the whole table, even though we just were sipping water. Then the waiter vigorously pushed an expensive wine before we chose the meal, saying, "This wine goes with everything." The water charges on the bill were outrageous. Next day I called the manager. "He's having lunch. He'll call you back." Never did. I wrote a letter and an owner called me. Said, "We're high class, not like other Indian restaurants. We open water in kitchen before serving. [Sure you do, I thought.] Fax your check to me and I will take care of you." Faxed check twice. He never called back. Food was so-so; actually the lamb chops were. I should have asked to take the water home.
By Rainie205 on 11/3/2005
This is the most interesting restaurant i've been to recently, four times to be exact. The flavors and ingredients used put it in its own class among indian restaurants in NY. The lamb chops were outstanding, as well as the =desserts, well everything was perfect, especially the saffron martinis which i tried to duplicate at home but failed miserably. Beautiful place, too.
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