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Pete Wells Goes Nuts for the ‘Lusty, Full-Throated’ Indian Cooking at Adda

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Spices and meat shine at the Long Island City neighborhood restaurant, the Times critic says

Junglee maas at Adda
Junglee maas at Adda
Photo via Adda

The critically acclaimed team behind innovative Indian restaurant Rahi has received more accolades, this time for the new Long Island City neighborhood restaurant Adda. The Times’ Pete Wells doled out two stars for the simple Indian restaurant from owner Roni Mazumdar and chef Chintan Pandya, celebrating the fact that it’s a rare newly opened Indian restaurant in NYC that makes no attempt at modernization.

Mazumdar and Pandya mine family recipes for the menu, Wells writes, yielding food made “with care but no pretense.” He highlights the restaurant’s various chaats, or street snacks, as well as the saag paneer, which he describes as “coltishly energetic” at Adda, made with “gorgeously soft” housemade paneer. On tandoor offerings, Wells writes:

Anything that passes through Adda’s tandoor is worth investigating. Seekh kebabs, made with lamb that’s coarsely ground by hand, come out of the tandoor juicier and pinker than the usual; Mumbai-style tandoori macchi, a skewered pompano rubbed with ground mustard seeds and cilantro, is lightly charred and smoky after roasting, but still moist; bhatti da murgh, a double-marinated chicken thigh and drumstick, is so thickly crusted with coriander and cumin that it crunches when you bite it.

It’s a place for spice lovers, Wells says, with Pandya preferring the more intense flavors of the cuisine as opposed to softer cream sauces. It’s for meat lovers, too: “And while Adda does serve some vegetables, it would not make my list of the 20 best local Indian restaurants for vegetarians,” Wells writes.

The restaurant opened at 31-31 Thomson Ave., near Van Dam Street in September. Two stars.

Adda Indian Canteen

31-31 Thomson Avenue, Queens, NY 11101 (718) 433-3888 Visit Website