Andaz Indian NYC
Andaz NYC1378 First Ave
(Bet 73rd & 74th St)
New York, NY 10021
Andaz Indian NYC: Average Indian Food; Mediocre ServiceWhen the waiter doesn't greet you as you step into a NYC restaurant and eyes you at best with a sullen expression and at worst with a hostile glare for disturbing his reveries, you can be sure it must be an Indian restaurant.
Who else can render such poor service.
Not surprisingly, we encountered a sullen, morose Nepali waiter as we stepped into Andaz on the Upper East Side (1st Ave., between 73rd St and 74th St) of NYC the other day.
You see, we were walking around E.75th St and 5th Ave near Central Park around noon and suddenly heard a loud bellowing from our stomach signalling pangs of hunger.
We quickly checked our iPhone 4 for nearby Indian restaurants and that's how we ended up at Andaz Indian restaurant.
When we walked into Andaz around 12:30 p.m., the restaurant was near empty with just an elderly diner sitting in a corner. The near empty restaurant left us a little uneasy. But famished as we were, we ventured in after checking out the day's menu on the black board outside the restaurant.
We were met at the door by a middle aged Nepali waiter with a sullen look and silently shown a table. The same waiter poured water into the glasses and enquired whether we'd like to have the buffet or order a la carte. Since we were famished, we chose the buffet route.
Andaz's lunch buffet during our visit was not a lavish spread but adequate. It included Imli Baingan, Potato Salad and Green Salad for appetizers, Saag Kofta, Dal Makhani, Lauki Masala, Chilli Chicken, Chicken Korma, Tandoori Chicken, Naan Bread and Pulao rice for entrees and Gulab Jamun for dessert.
Andaz - Tangy Flavorful Imli BainganRound slices of eggplant with tamarind sauce and sev sprinkled on top made for a tangy and flavorful item. It was so flavorful that we unabashedly took a generous second helping. We have had Khasta Baingan, Baingan Pakora, Eggplant with Cheese for appetizers elsewhere in other NYC Indian restaurants, but Andaz's Imli Baingan is peerless and in a class by itself.
Potato Salad was tasteless despite a creamy dressing and ditto with the green salad. In any case, who cares about Potato and Green Salad in an Indian restaurant.
Good Lauki Masala, Saag Kofta, Dal MakhaniHaving struck gold with Imli Baingan, we quickly turned our attention toward the entrees in hopes of striking more gold.
Lauki Masala prepared with Lauki and yellow lentils or Tadka Dal was flavorful though we'd have liked it more were it a tad spicier. Ditto with Saag Kofta with its lentil based gravy.
Hey, even the Dal Makhani that gets shortchanged at most NYC Indian restaurants was delicious at Andaz.
Disappointing Chicken EntreesNon-vegetarian items at Andaz were not on par with the vegetarian fare.
Chiilli Chicken was anything but spicy. Even effete American palates would rebel at such a travesty.
Chicken Korma in a thick sauce was bland and not pleasing.
Barely able to conceal our disappointment, we turned to Tandoori Chicken.
Unlike in most NYC Indian restaurants, Tandoori Chicken at Andaz was not unlimited and just one piece was served at the table. That's a cheap, unscrupulous tactic given that the restaurant charges diners on the promise of an "All You Can Eat" buffet.
Tandoori Chicken came hot to the table and overall we'd place it just in the ok category because the marination could have been a lot better and spicier too (by lightly daubing a hot masala paste on it).
Fine Naan BreadNaan bread like Tandoori Chicken was served at the table. Naan bread came hot to the table and was soft, evenly cooked and relished with the entrees. Ditto with Pulao rice which was hot and had a freshly prepared taste and texture.
Yummy Gulab JamunGulab Jamun was the sole dessert on the buffet table.
Jamun balls at Andaz NYC were evenly cooked and set in a warm rose petal flavored syrup.
Mediocre ServiceThe waitstaff at Andaz overall were brusque and wore a morose, constipated expression throughout our meal.
They were also on occasion too quick in trying to remove our plates before we were even finished. We saw them doing the same with a Caucasian lady at a nearby table.
Also, one of the waiters didn't seem pleased to see us taking a second helping of Imli Baingan appetizer. Adding to that, he did not respond when we told him that Imli Baingan was really good making us wonder as to what Andaz really means by "All You Can Eat Buffet".
Andaz NYC Indian Restaurant Rating - Average FoodLike a lot of NYC Indian restaurants, Andaz too is playing safe on the spice level in an effort to pander to the delicate palates of Americans.
Given our disappointment with the Chicken dishes, sullen mood of the waitstaff and the overall not-spicy Indian food we would place Andaz on 1st Ave. on the Upper east side of Manhattan merely in the Average category. - © NYIndia.us