It's been a while that I wanted to eat in an Indian restaurant in Jersey City, keeping a list of places in my notes gathered during conversations with my coworkers. I ended up at Raaz on a Saturday for lunch, going with one of my colleagues who was visiting from India. He went to this place few times and liked it, even if some of the taste was a bit Americanized.
Raaz, meaning secret, is conveniently located across the Newport path station. It is a fairly big place that serves a buffet during the week, and also on week ends. And it is a quite good buffet, offering a nice number of dishes, vegetarian or non-vegetarian as well as, this time, some Chinese dishes. Ok, I went back four times to get food, but it was to try a bit of every dish...
Besides the usual red onions for additional heat and raita to cool down the palate, there was:
Samosa chat (a bit spicy and interestingly cut in half - I love eating it with tamarind sauce):
Dahl makhni (I was surprised to see beans in it):
From the tandoor oven that we could see behind the buffet, we got Tandoori chicken (deliciously cooked, moist and with a nice kick):
I guess they were also making the fluffy and buttery naan we also got in the tandoor oven.
There was rice, but I admit that I ate most of my dishes with that delicious naan.
An interesting dish was idli sambar, idli being a sort of rice cake that you either eat with coconut chutney (hot) or sambar that is like a soup made with lentils, tomatoes and turmeric to name few ingredients. It is apparently more a breakfast dish.
I admit that I did not really like the idli part of the dish (a bit bland, even when dipped in the soup), but enjoyed the sambar.
Other dishes included:
Mushroom mutter, mushrooms and peas cooked in onion gravy with spices (great vegetarian dish):
Paneer in gravy (I cannot remember the name, but it was a creamy gravy that was fantastic):
My least favorite was Dhaba murgh or chicken curry, the chicken being dry.
Last was Aag Gosht or goat cooked with khada masalas in an onion based gravy with coriander, cinnamon, clove and chillies. A fairly good dish, not that spicy.
And guess what? they had my favorite dessert: gulab jamun. I had to control myself not to go get more as they were so good, heavenly sweet.
To accompany my meal, I had a mango lassi that was perfect.
I liked the food at Raaz: it was tasty, varied and not too spicy with the right balance of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. I would surely go back, maybe for dinner!
Enjoy (I did)!
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