Delhi Heights NYC Indian Restaurant
Delhi Heights Queens37-66 74th St
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Delhi Heights Review: Mediocre Food, Lousy ServiceOur insatiable appetite for Indian food takes us on one culinary odyssey after another.
It's our passion for Indian food that took us the other day to Delhi Heights, located on 74th St in the Indian market area of Jackson Heights in New York.
Delhi Heights has gained some buzz and we were curious to sample its fare.
We skipped breakfast in fond hopes of a tasty, early and heavy lunch and headed out to Jackson Heights.
Little did we know the disappointment that lay ahead of us.
Cold ReceptionHaving foregone our breakfast, we were famished and decided to have the lunch buffet instead of ordering from the a la carte menu and waiting.
The restaurant which is supposed to open at 11:30AM according to Delhi Heights web site opened about 10 minutes late on the day of our visit. This made us all the more to go in for the buffet than order a la carte.
As we walked intoDelhi Heights restaurant around 11:45AM, there were no other diners. Instead of greeting us or showing us to a table, the tall dark waiter said 'yes' with a hint of displeasure as if we were somehow intruding into his personal domain. We were perplexed by the cold reception and gingerly asked him whether the restaurant was open for lunch. At that point, the sullen fella mumbled that it was open and showed us to a table.
Hey, maybe Delhi Heights should put out a board warning prospective diners - 'tresspassers will be prosecuted.'
Tasteless Cold AppetizersAppetizers in our meal included the usual Onion and Cauliflower Pakora and Alu Bajji that are standard fare at most Indian restaurants in the U.S.
While Onion and Cauliflower Pakoras were not well cooked, Alu Bajji was a tasteless abomination. The appetizers were not even warm although the restaurant had just opened.
Unimpressive Vegetarian FareMoving to the main course, on the vegetarian side we tried Methi Malai Mutter, Alu Gobi, Dal Makhani, Vegetable Ball Manchurian and Vegetable Pulao.
Methi Malai Mutter was a travesty, an inedible salty mess that sent us into a high dudgeon.
Boy, it does take a lotta chutzpah to describe this disgrace as Methi Malai Mutter. One of the best Methi Malai Mutter we've had in NYC was at Brick Lane Curry House.
Alu Gobi was palatable but the humble Dal Makhani was a tasteless monstrosity that would not be served even to inmates in the nearby Riker's Island prison. We just could not swallow this punishment either with Naan bread or the plain rice.
Indian-Chinese cuisine is a perennial favorite of ours. So it was with mucho anticipation that we gravitated toward the Vegetable Ball Manchurian.
Vegetable Ball Manchurian came in a medium thick tangy gravy. While the gravy was yummy, the Vegetable Balls had a raw, partially cooked taste robbing us of the pleasure of this popular Indian-Chinese item.
Vegetable Pulao was no more than mounds of rice with vegetable pieces and had none of that gorgeous pulao flavor that usually transports us into a salivating frenzy.
Plain Naan came soft and hot to the table and boy did we savor this bread. Delhi Heights' Naan bread was just delicious.
We ordered Garlic Naan as well.
In retrospect, we would have been better off sticking with the Plain Naan Bread that came with the buffet. The Garlic Naan that landed on our table was hot but not fully cooked in the middle. As a result, we were forced to nibble at the edges and abandon the middle portion (for some reason, we were not charged for the Garlic Naan).
Horrible Tandoori ChickenOn the non-Vegetarian side, we tried Tandoori Chicken, Kadai Chicken and Chicken Makhani.
A well marinated Tandoori Chicken with all the fine Indian spices seeped into it can provide diners with glimpses of nirvana.
Alas, the Tandoori Chicken served at Delhi Heights was an impostor that tasted more like plain chicken grilled in a Tandoor and lacked any of the exotic flavor that comes with proper marination.
No self-respecting kitchen would place such embarrassments in front of diners.
Kadai Chicken and Chicken Makhani were decent fare although Kadai Chicken was not as spicy as we'd have liked it to be.
By now, one thing was crystal clear to us: Delhi Heights is most certainly not the place in Jackson Heights for standout Indian food either on the vegetarian or on the meat side.
DessertsWe were offered a Hobson's Choice for desserts in our buffet lunch.
Rice Pudding was palatable but did not provide much relief to our disappointed palates.
Masala ChaiWe topped off our overall unedifying meal with a cup of Masala Chai only to encounter further disappointment.
Most Indian restaurants in New York and New Jersey area serve strong watery tea with little milk in the name of Masala Chai.
But Delhi Heights' Masala Chai went off in a different direction. Masala Chai at Delhi Heights had nice masala flavor and came with right proportion of milk and water. But, alas, very little tea powder had gone into it making the hot beverage taste like Masala Milk rather than Masala Chai.
Lousy ServiceMuch of the service at Delhi Heights Indian restaurant in Jackson Heights was below par. First, there was the cold reception. Then, although there were no other customers in the restaurant, the wait staff took 15 minutes to pour water into our empty glasses. They never bothered to refill the empty glasses.
Naan Bread came 22 minutes after we started our meal.
When we started our lunch, there were some empty dishes on the buffet table. Chutneys, Chickpeas Chaat, Vegetable Ball Manchurian and Vegetable Pulao were added to the buffet table in the middle of our lunch but we were not alerted about the addition of new dishes. Also, the dishes were not labeled causing some confusion about the vegetarian and non-vegetarian items.
The wait staff were clueless about the curries. For instance, we were first told that one of the non-veg items was Lamb Rogan Josh when it was actually Kadai Chicken (another waiter confirmed our suspicion subsequently that it was Kadai Chicken).
Further, though the restaurant during the time of our visit had few diners, the folks there took 15 minutes to get us the bill.