Everyone has a standby Indian restaurant – the one that satisfies that craving for the unique aromas and spices that delight all our senses. But Old Monk makes a strong case for you to add a new player to your rotation; this is the new kid on the block that is full of great ideas, and executes them all with a skillful hand. Restaurateur, Sushil Malhotra (founder of Akbar and Dawat) is taking the ‘soul food’ route this time, deploying Executive Chef Navjot Arora to create new spins on familiar dishes. A must have appetizer is the Wild Rice Jhaal Moori, best described as a savory puffed rice that harmonizes herbaceous and nutty elements to awaken the senses. Even more substantial is the Tikki Trio of spinach croquette, beet cutlet, and battered potato dumpling, each presented on top of perfectly paired sauces. Other standouts include the Coconut Curry Prawns, which satisfy that curry craving with velvety, ghee-smothered shrimp. The smoke and spice of the tandoor-fired Desi Butter Chicken is also perfect. But it’s when they go full vegan that the restaurant surprises – the Punjabi Power Greens, for example, is packed with flavor (and nutrients), and sheds the paneer cheese to its advantage. And even the gluten-free Missi Roti (courtesy of lentil flour) serves as an ideal alternative to naan. You can already hear the footsteps of the people who will be lining up to try the health conscious and simply delicious food here. But ultimately this is a place for anyone who loves Indian cuisine and wants to experience how far presentation and flavor can be pushed to a whole new level.
It’s almost tempting to chug this Punjabi Power Greens, so don’t forget to bring your manners.
The Tikki Trio (above) and Chicken Achari Tikka (below) are sure crowd pleasers and easy to share.
The chicly designed, airy space will make this both a destination, as well as a neighborhood favorite.
175 Avenue B, (at 11th St.), New York, NY 10009
TEL: 646-559-2922 | www.oldmonknyc.com | Sun-Thu: 5:30-10 pm, Fri & Sat: 5:30-11 pm