5 new places to savor South Asian fare in New York City

Photo: Manchi/Yelp

Looking for your next great South Asian meal in New York City? These new spots will satisfy all your cravings. Here are the newest places to check out the next time you're in the mood for Indian, Bengali and Sri Lankan food.

Manchi


224 W. 35th St., Midtown
Photo: Manchi/Yelp

Manchi is a fast-casual spot offering healthy grain and salad bowls with Indian flavors. Located at 224 W. 35th St. (between Seventh and Eighth avenues) in Midtown, its cuisine is rooted in the Andhara region of Southern India, and is mostly baked rather than fried.

Diners can customize their own bowls or order from a selection of options like the Classic, with cracked chicken, rice and quino, eggplant, string beans and raita. You can check out the full menu here. At present, it's holding a deal for $5 off your order with a Yelp review.

Manchi currently holds five stars out of nine reviews on Yelp, indicating a warm welcome thus far.

"Got "the classic bowl" both times -- it's loaded with veggies, yogurt and a super fluffy rice and quinoa blend... but let's talk about the chicken! Dry rubbed with crispy bits and loads of flavor, it's almost like an Indian version of al pastor pork," wrote Yelper Ray G. "Pink hibiscus ginger drink is the bomb too!"

Cendy L. added, "I had the classic bowl with crazy sauce. I don't like eating veggies but this was so good. Definitely recommend the crazy sauce if you like adding spice."

Manchi is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. (It's closed on Sunday.)

Cardamom


43-45 43rd St., Sunnyside
Photo: Alwyn G./Yelp

Cardamom is an Indian spot located at 43-45 43rd St. in Sunnyside, Queens. Chef-owner Alwyn Gudhino is influenced by the recipes he learned in his grandmother's kitchen in the Goan region of India, according to an interview with the Sunnyside Post.

The house specialties include Indo-Portuguese dishes like the Xacutti curry, prepared with fresh coconut. Vegetarian and vegan diners too will find plenty of options, like the mashed roasted eggplant cooked with onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and spices.

Cardamom offers both takeout and delivery, and you can order online through its Yelp page.

The new arrival's current Yelp rating of four stars out of 29 reviews indicates the newcomer has received a solid response so far.

Yelper Lovereen K., who reviewed Cardamom on September 22, wrote, "The paneer tikka masala and chicken kadai was amazing and very flavorful. However the paneer tikka (appetizer) wasn't up to the mark."

"The malai kofta tasted great and the serving was plentiful for 2 dinners. For $12 you can't go wrong with that,"Vivek D. added.

Cardamom is open from noon-10:30 p.m. daily.

Jalsa


964 Coney Island Ave., Coney Island
Photo: Kazu S./Yelp

A new arrival to Coney Island, Jalsa is an all-halal Indian place with plenty of plant-based options. It's located at 964 Coney Island Ave.

The plentiful veggie dishes on the menu include vegan vegetable samosas with tamarind, cranberry and date sauce. Meat-lovers also have choices, like chicken kofte kebabs or chingri malai curry with butter shrimp.

Dine-in, takeout and delivery are available, through GrubHub and Seamless as well as for free with a minimum purchase of $15. For the moment, the restaurant is also offering a free soda or lassi with a check-in on Yelp.

The new addition's current rating of five stars out of 24 reviews on Yelp comes courtesy of an overwhelmingly positive response from users thus far.

Yelper Ace H. noted, "Sometimes it's the little things that conspire to make a dish unforgettable. The aggressive toasting of pungent mustard seeds; the char on singed red chile pods; the faint blackening of curry leaves flash-fried to a brittle, translucent crisp."

"In summary, the food was sublime," enthused Yelper Kari T., who reviewed Jalsa on October 6. "The chicken biryani is cooked with whole chicken parts and potatoes tucked into fragrant basmati rice with chewy pockets of caramelized onions. The paratha was a wonder of flaky buttery layers."

Jalsa is open from noon-11 p.m. daily.

Falguni Family Restaurant


1326 Newkirk Ave., Flatbush
Photo: Shahidul I./Yelp

Falguni Family Restaurant is an Indian joint specializing in family-style Bengali cuisine. Located at 1326 Newkirk Ave. in Brooklyn's Flatbush neighborhood, it's open early and late every day.

Due to its cafeteria-style service, the food on offer changes daily, but Yelp users describe food like chicken biryani, ground chicken kebabs, and lentils. Card-using customers be aware: the joint is not cash-only, but there is a surcharge for credit card transactions.

Falguni Family Restaurant's current rating of four stars out of four reviews on Yelp indicates the newcomer is finding its way, but it's still early days.

Yelper Suri M., who reviewed Falguni Family Restaurant on September 24, wrote, "They don't have menus or prices, but talk to the guy behind the counter and he'll fix you up something good. Told him I was vegetarian, and he put together a plate of all sorts of things -- rice, lentils, veggie curry, potatoes, okra, salad. There's a lot of meat on offer, that's the main attraction here."

And Yelper David R. said, "Best Bangladeshi food around. Tried many in the neighborhood. Plus they are friendly and very reasonably priced."

Falguni Family Restaurant is open from 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m. daily.

Sagara


98 Victory Blvd., Tompkinsville
Photo: Sagara Restaurant/Yelp

Sagara is a Sri Lankan, Indian and Chinese eatery located at 98 Victory Blvd. in Staten Island's Tompkinsville area.

The restaurant, which features a weekend dinner buffet, also serves a la carte options like string hoppers (steamed rice flour noodles) served with coconut milk curry and red or yellow coconut sambal.

Other Sri Lankan specialties on offer include deviled cuttlefish in a red chili and tomato sauce. You can check out the full menu and order online for take-out or delivery through its website.

Yelp users are generally positive about Sagara, which currently holds four stars out of five reviews on the site.

"Weekend buffet is beyond delicious," wrote Yelper Sid F., who was the first to review the new arrival on May 15. "The buffet had almost everything and almost feel I visited Sri Lanka. ... Really welcoming staff!"

Yelper Melissa S. added, "I wanted to try Sri Lankan food and was intrigued by the affordable ($13/person) Sunday night dinner buffet. While I didn't love everything on the buffet, I appreciated the selection and some things were quite delicious! It's a small restaurant but wasn't crowded at all. Service was excellent."

Sagara Restaurant is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and noon-10 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)
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