Curry Hill is an area within the Murray Hill neighborhood where a number of Indian restaurants have lined up. I have yet to visit all of the major players on this little strip, but Haldi has been high on my list for a while now. Indian cuisine is so much more than just cheap take-outs or Seamless orders. It can display a diversity of regional influences, and Haldi specializes in the cooking of Kolkata (formerly named Calcutta) in West Bengal, drawing influences from not just Bengalis but also Baghdadi Jews. What comes out of the kitchen has turned into a very satisfying meal on my recent visit.
A meal at Haldi must start with cheese samosa, a mini dumpling of cheese, garlic and tomato sauce that was absolutely pleasant on each bite. Among the kebab options, I very much enjoyed the tandoor fired mustard chicken that was tender and displayed a bit of spicy and sour kick to it. The restaurant has a wide range of Kolkata-inspired dishes, and both dishes that I tried didn’t disappoint. Shrimp that came with coconut and mustard gravy had that addictive quality to it, with such aromatic flavor that I couldn’t stop digging the broth with a side of basmati rice and onion and chili naan. While the seasoning for lamb with okra and tangy was a bit more on the aggressive side, it was still a very solid dish that my dining companion and I were able to nearly empty. I was able to tell that a lot of thoughts have gone into the preparation of dishes, and the flavor was definitely more elevated than the typical Indian joint churning out Americans’ favorites like chicken tikka masala.
Getting a reservation wasn’t particularly challenging, and you could probably try walk-ins as well, although the dining space was close to full in the course of my meal. It is really a great place for a large party to dine together and share a variety of different dishes. There are typical wine and beer selections as well as Asian-inspired cocktail offerings. I always need a fix of Indian food every once in a while, and Haldi is the type of place I would like to come back again and sample other dishes that I hadn’t tried.
- Creativity: 7.5/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 8.0/10
- Flavor: 8.5/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
Address: 102 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Telephone: (212) 213-9615