118 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014
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Karahi NYC Indian: Below Average Indian FoodAfter a vexing 20 minute-search for a parking spot at the intersection of Bleecker St and Christopher St in downtown Manhattan, we were devastated that our meal at Karahi was not worth all that trouble.
With stray exceptions, the food at Karahi Indian restaurant in New York City turned out to be disappointing and below average.
Microwaved PakorasFirst, it was the sight of Vegetable Pakoras (fritters) being taken out of the fridge and microwaved. While the Pakoras were crispy we were uneasy about their lack of freshness. Spinach, Gobi and Alu fritters (total 8 pieces) tossed with lettuce were served with Tamarind Sauce.
Located in DownTown Manhattan, Karahi offers a variety of vegetarian, Chicken, Lamb, Tandoori and Seafood dishes but has resisted the temptation of adding South Indian fare such as Idli, Dosa, Uttapam to its menu.
Among the Vegetarian fare, we tried Palak Paneer, Navratan Korma, Dal Makhani and Cucumber Raita. Our selection on the meat side included Lamb Rogan Josh, Tandoori Murg and Murg Tamarind.
Vegetarian ItemsWe also dug into Garlic Naan, Onion Kulcha and plain Basmati rice.
While Palak Paneer, Dal Makhani and Cucumber Raita were just about average, Navratan Korma tasted more like a mixed vegetable curry.
When cooked well, Navratan Korma - a vegetarian item comprising of nine types of vegetables cooked with freshly ground spices and finished with a touch of cream - is a dish for the Nawabs. What landed on our table was not even a fifth cousin of the real Navratan Korma.
Chicken and LambThat our lunch was not a complete disaster we owe thanks to the Murg Tamarind (chicken curry cooked in Tamarind sauce), which came with spicy and tasty gravy, and the fine Cucumber Raita.
Tandoori Murg was so so while Lamb Rogan Josh had far too much sauce on it and was just average.
Garlic Naan and Onion Kulcha were fresh but lacked sufficient garlic and onion flavour respectively and tasted no different from ordinary Naan.
DessertsBesides the Murg Tamarind, the other items that satisfied our tasty buds were two desserts - Rice Kheer and Rasmalai. Rice Kheer had right amount of sweetness unlike many Indian restaurants where it's usually low on sweet. Rasmalai was also good and we gobbled it up fast.
Indian style Masala Ginger Tea was nothing to write home about.
Karahi offers diners vegetarian thali ($16.95) and non-vegetarian thali for ($21.95), both of which we tried.
Also available for dine-in during lunch time are Business Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Lunch for $6.95 and $8.95 respectively. Both include a choice of one entree, rice and naan.
Karahi ServiceKarahi is clean but does not have any fancy ambience. A few Ganesha handicrafts and paintings serve as the interior decor for this small Indian restaurant.
Although it took a while for our meal to be ready, the service was good thanks to our cheerful waiter/manager Rajeev. Our water glasses were refilled promptly and used plates removed quickly.
We do not know whether such good service is the norm at Karahi or we were pampered because there were just four customers during the peak lunch hour at 1:30 PM.
Karahi moved to this new location after loosing its lease on Broom St right outside Holland Tunnel. - © NYIndia.us