I go through these phases where I crave vegetarian food. Sometimes it’s as simple as a plate of roasted veggies or pasta, but other times I seek out Indian cuisine. In NYC we are fortunate enough to have a lot of Indian cuisine options, from many different regions in India. New York is a melting pot, and recently my cravings for vegetarian Indian cuisine led me straight to Vatan, NYC.
This spot is quite the lavish dining establishment with a large elephant statue greeting you outside to the interior, where you feel as if you’ve stepped out of NYC and into India! The walls come to life with uniquely painted murals of life in Gujarat, India while showcasing the ambiance of an Indian courtyard.
The menu here is all you can eat, which is a lot of fun and very filling. You receive Appetizer Thali, Entree Thali, Compliments for your entree, as well as Dessert and Chai. You can request more items from your tray at any time, and as much as you want. I usually enjoy Indian cuisine, and very much did I love the menu here. I started off with the Guava-Tini and the Appetizers of:
GARBANZO BEANS WITH ONIONS AND CORIANDER
PUFFED CREAM OF WHEAT FLOUR CAKES
STEAMED FLOUR WITH SPINACH
FRIED HOT PEPPERS WITH GARAM MASALA
FRIED POTATO BALLS IN A CHICKPEA FLOUR BATTER
POTATO CUTLET IN A WHITE BEAN SAUCE
POTATOES, GARBANZO BEANS, YOGURT, AND CHUTNEY FILLED IN A CRISPY BREAD
TRIANGULAR SAVORY PASTRIES FILLED WITH SPICY POTATOES AND GREEN PEAS
My favorites from the lineup were the Samosas, Muthia, Sev Puri, and the Chana Masala. I decided to go medium heat on this because I can’t handle HOT, however, even the medium was a bit spicy. It was certainly enjoyable, but spicy. For the entrees, we tried 1 mild and 1 medium again, because I wanted to compare the spice levels. The entrees include:
BOILED LENTILS COOKED WITH INDIAN SPICES
SAUTÉED SPINACH AND CORN
CAULIFLOWER AND GREEN PEAS SAUTÉED IN A SAVORY SAUCE
POTATOES COOKED IN A MILD RED GRAVY
CHICKPEAS COOKED WITH GARAM MASALA
PUFFED WHOLE WHEAT BREAD/WHOLE WHEAT FLATBREAD
THIN LENTIL WAFERS
RICE PUDDING WITH DRY FRUITS
The mild was certainly less spicy, so if you can handle some spice I even suggest the mild due to the fact that the food is so delicious, you don’t want to burn your palate by going too spicy. I felt the flavors were so much more present and enjoyable when eating the mild entrees. If you enjoy spice, however, do what I did and pair your dish with the Spiked Mango Lassi, which is essentially a regular Mango Lassi with alcohol in it. The Kheer was my favorite and was a lot of fun to eat in between the spicy dishes. The bread here is also delicious and offered in two varieties fresh made in-house. The compliments to the meals that were served were a delicious, especially the roasted garlic and the Kadhi.
I could only make a few rounds with some extra plates at this all you can eat $34/pp menu here, however, if you’re with a large party I say this is an awesome deal! You get a lot for your money here which is great for those that want to dive into the world of Vegetarian Indian cuisine because you get to try so many things at once.
For dessert, I really enjoyed all of the options, which include:
HOMEMADE INDIAN ICE CREAM
WAFFLE BALLS IN A SUGAR AND ROSE SYRUP
INDIAN TEA COOKED WITH CARDAMOM, GINGER, AND MILK
This is a sweet way to end a spice-filled dinner. I absolutely loved the service, decor, menu, and ambiance here. Vatan is a spot you will want to visit and take your friends too. It’s great for large parties and can accommodate up to 140 people for private bookings. Be sure to check out their fun cocktails, Indian beer, and so much more when you visit!