Chola NYC Indian Restaurant
Chola NYC232 East 58th Street
New York, NY 10022
Chola NYC Review: Very Good Food; Average ServiceTo those disheartened by the overall pitiful quality of food dished out by Indian restaurants in New York City, we say take heart - There's Chola.
Located in Midtown East Manhattan on East 58th St, Chola offers a sumptuous array of delicious items that should please both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
Unlike most Indian restaurants in the U.S., Chola is a restaurant that does not stint on the spices. It is as Indian food should be, not the spice-less freaks we commonly see in most Indian restaurants in the U.S.
Chettinad VegetablesChettinad Vegetables (from the Karaikudi area of Tamil Nadu in South India) was a flavorful delight whose memories lingered long after our meal finished. Neither too spicy nor too bland, the Chettinad Vegetables were done just right.
Other Vege EntreesOther vegetarian items at Chola like Rajma, Punjabi Kadi and Sag Channa also left no room for complaint. Rajma Curry (Kidney beans, tomatoes, onions, yogurt and fresh coriander) had the nice smell of fresh spices. Eat it with either rice or Naan bread and you'll have no complaints.
Chicken BiryaniWith a fine aroma, our Chicken Biryani was beyond reproach and so tasty that we fell upon our plate like carnivores after a kill.
Chicken TikkaSet in a nice creamy and tangy sauce, Chicken Tikka was delicious with Naan Bread. If you think it's been good going till now, just wait till you try the heavenly Tandoori Medley (meat cooked slowly in an Indian clay oven).
Oh, Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive; but to be hungry at Chola was very heaven (Thank you, Wordsworth).
Chola is among the few Indian restaurants equally adept at both North Indian and South Indian food items. Far too often, most Indian restaurants in the U.S. are clueless about cooking South Indian food.
South Indian ItemsBut Chola's delicious Idli, Vada, Sambar, Chutney, Upma, Masala Dosa and Uttapam (Rice and lentil vegetable pancake) are adequate proof that this is a restaurant that takes its South Indian food as seriously as its North Indian fare.
Most Indian restaurants - even the South Indian ones - are lazy and serve cold, bland Chutney that's so offputting to us. Thankfully, Chola does not take this path and serves fresh, spicy Coconut Chutney. Go for it.
But Chola's kitchen isn't flop-proof.
Below Par Lamb AlooLamb Aloo (Lamb cubes cooked with potatoes) was one of the few items below par. It was not spicy enough for our hardened South Indian palates and the meat was way too hard.
DessertsRava Sheera turned out to be a disappointing dessert. It lacked enough ghee and was not sweet enough but the fine Vermicelli Kheer amply made up for it.
Our Masala Tea arrived lukewarm to the table but our waiters heated it for us. In a nice gesture, the restaurant did not charge us for the Tea.
The wait staff were also quick to clear off the finished plates from our table.
One distressing thing we noticed at Chola is that our waiters left one plate of Bhel Puri at our table of two people, a nasty and cheap practice that we've witnessed often at other Indian restaurants too.
Still, Chola's mostly fine food sets it apart from the gaggle of third-rate Indian restaurants dotting the Midtwown East landscape in Manhattan.