After a long stint in Gramercy, owner Avtar Walia decided to open a second branch of his highly-acclaimed Indian restaurant, Tamarind. The two-week old location, predictably named Tamarind Tribeca, features an impressive 11,000 square-foot space, a menu differentiated from the original location, lots of booze and a mostly ritzy crowd. While most praise Tamarind's authentic Indian food and its service, there are those who believe that there is still improvement to be made. Here's the lowdown:
The Great News: Let's cut to the chase - the consensus seems to be that the food is worth the price. A Yelper rejoices in the lamb, "I also had the Athirachi Kari, which is lamb in green chiles, onions, coconut, mustard seeds and star anise. This was only my second time eating lamb, and if all lamb is as soft and juicy and delicious as this one, I will be a convert."
If the prices are too high, a Chowhounder explains,"The prices are high for Indian food. But the quality of the food is far better than any Indian food I've ever had. The Tandoori chefs cook in their own little "booth kitchen". and the tandoori is so moist, usually its very dry. The lobster in coconut milk severd inside of a whole coconut is amazing....If you can get past the idea of paying double the price of E.6th St Indian restaurants or Curry in a Hurry, you will enjoy the creativity, the ambiance and the quality of really good Indian food."
And over at Menupages, the praising continues: "The lobster masala is heavenly; the goat curry superb. Uttapam with sambhar and coconut chutney = total comfort food! And best dal makhni in town! I will go again and again. And again." [Yelp; CH; Menupages]
The Atmospheric News: The consequence of opening a restaurant that exudes bigger and better is the upscale crowd that comes along with it. Perhaps the elegantly dressed space begs just that, as a Yelper admits, "And every customer just oozed "high class," with the exception of this reviewer, of course," while another one confirms, "I felt slightly underdressed in a purple hoodie over a t-shirt, jeans and pink sneakers as most people seemed to have thought they were going on a Titanic - black, gold, pearls and all." [Yelp]
The Flawless Service News:It seems like whatever it lacks in food, it can make up for in service. "The service was just outstanding. Our waiter really made us, or at least me, feel really relaxed, giving us suggestions about what to order, if the dish was too spicy for me, the yogurt he would bring out to help with the spiciness, etc.," boasts one Yelper.
Tribeca Citizen was similarly impressed with the service received: "The service is also rather grand. Maybe it was just because it was a Sunday night and I wasn’t in the mood for formality, but I was surprised when (a) I made eye contact with the waiter so we could order and he bowed; (b) we were presented with moist washcloths at the start and the end of the meal; and (c) our entrées were spooned onto our plates for us." [Yelp; TC]
The Boozy News: Perhaps alcohol isn't the first thing that comes to mind when considering an Indian restaurant, but Tamarind Tribeca apparently performs quite well in the booze department. A Yelper poetically describes, "The inherent charm of India is embracing diversity and making it part of the cultural fabric. Nowhere was it more apparent than in my specialty cocktail (Srini's recommendation) the Ginger & Pepper martini (Absolut Peppar, ginger, lime) that had notes of spice with the refreshing taste of lime. Though Rod found the blood orange cosmopolitan too strong for his liking, I did think the cocktails had something for everyone, evident from the buzz at the stylish bar and cocktail area."
As the lychee drink obsession continues, PX This affirms that the restaurant's lychee daiquiri is worth a try:"Anyway, the cocktail list is creative, lots of fresh ingredients here. And used well— the lychee daiquiri (with pureed lychees) is delicious; refreshing and not too sweet. [Yelp; PX This]
The Bad News: It seems like not everyone was swept away by the food. PX This thought it to be rather forgettable: "Well, I can’t recall the official Indian names so pardon my descriptions— Duck wrapped in crepe-something? : which turned out to be more like a big duck spring roll. Trite presentation— and execution not so good either. Rather bland and wholly unexciting. Spinach with broccoli rabe and corn : Sounds pretty weird, right? I though so too, so I was intrigued enough to order it. Oh boy. It turns out it’s corn "balls"— no really— drowning in some kind of spinach/rabe puree? Or is the rabe supposed to be in my balls? I have no idea. In any case, not so appetizing. Flavorless— and yeah: weird."
Meanwhile, someone over at Menupages admits, "The space is beautiful and the service is top notch. The food on the otherhand needs some work. Although flavorful and presented beautifully, my shrimp in coconut was so over cooked it was barely edible. My husbands chicken in the tiki masala was also way overdone." [PX This; Menupages]