Before Indian Accent opened, readers who were familiar with the New Delhi original kept sending Pete Wells emails about how great it was. And now, after paying several visits to the New York branch of the restaurant, he agrees with those readers, for the most part. Wells finds that Manish Mehrotra and Vivek Rana are serving a style of freewheeling Indian cuisine that has been in short supply since Tabla closed six years ago. Here's the critic on some of his favorites:
I don’t know how to categorize the "sweet pickle ribs." They are not, in fact, pickled, but, in their tart mango sauce with strips of dried mango on top, these tender baby backs are so good I’d eat them under any name.
The soy keema is a marvelous thing, too. This version is less like the original keema, a stew of ground lamb and peas, than it is like an energetically spiced filling for a vegetarian sloppy Joe. I’m seeing a takeout window with lines outside on 57th Street. It’s possible I got the whole idea from the delicious tiny rolls, perfumed with lime leaves, that accompany the keema on a skewer, looking like marshmallows ready for a campfire.
A sea bass dish had a "muddy, bottom-feeder taste" one night, and a few items, like the Kolhapuri chicken, aren't very exciting. Wells also notes that there's a lot of "waitsplaining" in the dining room, partially because the prix fixe menu has confusing supplements. But overall, the critic thinks Indian Accent deserves a two star rating.