One recent afternoon found me wandering midtown in search of lunch. A quick call to Beer Boor, who works in the area, and I found myself at Minar, one of the favored Indian restaurants. I’d heard that it was pretty good, but what intrigued me was… well, I tend to avoid this style of cafeteria/steam table Indian restaurant because I never find my favorite dishes. I’d never realized that you could order off the menu instead of just picking from what was in the steam table, so when I discovered that you could do this here, I was pretty happy. My standard Indian dish isn’t really Indian; it’s a British Indian dish, so it’s not always out there on the table at a place that might cater more to people who are actually interested in eating real Indian food.
In any case, after placing our orders, a brief wait and $7 later (the naan costs another dollar on top of that) and this was my tray.
Beer Boor, who informed me that just the rice would be more than enough food for me, ordered the chicken saag bhuna, and also agreed to split the naan with me, since I wanted to try it. The chicken saag bhuna looked like the kind of creamed spinach I don’t like: very whipped to an almost froth.
This was a bit too spicy for me, from the one tiny swipe I tried. But Beer Boor seemed to enjoy it greatly though, and mentioned he always orders this from Minar
My lamb korma worried me slightly when I received it; it was orange in color and fairly thin. I actually see this more often as an almond color, slightly thicker, creamy even. But I dug in eagerly – I was hungry – and was rewarded. Though it was not thick and creamy quite the way I’m used to, there was a lot of spice – I don’t mean heat, I just mean spices that I couldn’t name if my life depended on it – and it was really quite delicious.
The smaller chunks of lamb were tender and not gamey at all, though some of the larger pieces were a little chewy, a little gamey. But honestly, considering the dish cost $7, there was a lot of rice, a lot of food, and I was very full by the end of the meal.
Especially considering the naan we’d ordered and proceeded to polish off, dipping into our respective curries. Fluffy, puffy, airy, and delicious, ripping off hunks of this to stuff into our mouths while we chatted away was great. Since it was later in the lunch timeframe, the place wasn’t too busy, and I would totally go back for this again. The price is right, and it filled me up very happily. (Though for a few bucks more, my ‘secret place’ in Little India has table service and will give you appetizers to dessert…) Yum!
Yvo says: If I worked in the area or were around more often, I totally see going here once a week for a very filling lunch – perhaps even one that I’d take to go and save half for dinner (because I kind of overdid it that day – a little uncomfortable finishing everything). Reasonably priced for such a large amount of food, and really quite tasty. I’d say “I’ll go back to try more things” but that’s a lie, I’ll always get the same thing because I don’t really branch out when it comes to Indian food… though perhaps next time I’d try the mango lassi. I love mango lassi. Mmm… when am I returning?
recommended for lunch