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July 2021

Hooray for Bollywood!

Hipster and Indian cuisine do not often play together. But at this Curry Hill newcomer, they’re best friends.

dhaba-restaurant Dhaba Restaurant is a breakout star among the Indian offerings in New York’s Curry Hill. In India, a dhaba is a truck stop serving up bright food and dark corners for napping. But there’s no napping at this hopping joint.

Fun and modern, this hidden gem has steady lines down the block with young urban professional Indians. We felt like extras on set for a hipster club in a Bollywood movie—was it the scrumptious appetizers (traditional street food like tale huay kaju or chole batura) and décor complete with vibrant silk walls and a pole full of colorful bangles? Maybe it was the mix of funky Indian and other international music and the top-notch service.

Dhaba’s extensive menu covers Northern India but also includes traditional British curries and many vegetarian options. We especially loved the paneer taash kabob (skewered spiced cheese) and chicken bharta (minced chicken, eggplant, spices). And if you like it hot, go for the phaal, the spiciest form of curry available. But be forewarned. You’ll need to drown the fire with a delicious mango lassi (a traditional Indian drink made with yogurt).

In keeping with India’s truck-stop tradition, there is a large banquet table down the center of the restaurant, perfect for large parties or communal eating. But be sure to make a reservation, unless you happen to be a Bollywood star!

For more information: www.dhabanyc.com

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