Indian Vegetarian dinner at Vatan in Murray Hill

Please note that the event was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!  

 Vatan in Murray Hill

Vatan in Murray Hill

Serving an all-you-can-eat vegetarian menu inspired from Gujarati cuisine, Vatan is the kind of restaurants that a non-vegetarian person like me would rave about: the food that they serve there is so good and full of flavor that you will forget you are having a vegetarian dinner. I love the concept: for $34 you get a full meal: an appetizer thali (slightly spicy), an entree thali (you can choose between mild, medium and hot) with its sides and desserts. As it is all you can eat, they ask you if you'd like more but trust me: it is so filling that you will not order as much as you think! 

Vatan is quite big with its two rooms (the main dining room and the mezzanine) that have no windows but with a decor that gives you the impression you stepped into a place in India, with its paintings on the wall,  its 20 foot tall banyan tree, thatched roofs and big lord Ganesha in the center of the main dining room.

 Main dining room at Vatan in Murray Hill

Main dining room at Vatan in Murray Hill

 Mezzanine at Vatan in Murray Hill

Mezzanine at Vatan in Murray Hill

 Main dining room at Vatan in Murray Hill

Main dining room at Vatan in Murray Hill

 Painting on wall at Vatan in Murray Hill

Painting on wall at Vatan in Murray Hill

Know that drinks are not included in the prix-fixe. They have a nice selection of alcohol from India, from beers to whisky, as well as sodas (Jodi got their lime soda that was nice) and the must-have mango lassi that is very good and perfect to soothe your mouth if you have eaten something spicy. 

 Lime soda at Vatan in Murray Hill

Lime soda at Vatan in Murray Hill

 Mango lassi at Vatan in Murray Hill

Mango lassi at Vatan in Murray Hill

They then served us some snacks as we were waiting for our dishes. Crunchy, they were made with rice flour.

 Snacks at Vatan in Murray Hill

Snacks at Vatan in Murray Hill

 Snacks at Vatan in Murray Hill

Snacks at Vatan in Murray Hill

Next was the appetizer thali. As I mentioned before, you cannot change the level of spiciness. But, at the exception of the Mirchi Bhajia, that is a fried hot pepper with chaat masala, it was not that spicy.

 Appetizer thali at Vatan in Murray Hill

Appetizer thali at Vatan in Murray Hill

Here is what the thali was composed of:

Chana Masala - Garbanzo beans with onions and coriander:

 Chana Masala at Vatan in Murray Hill

Chana Masala at Vatan in Murray Hill

Muthia - steamed flour with spinach

Batatavada - fried potato balls in chickpea flour batter:

 Batatavada at Vatan in Murray Hill

Batatavada at Vatan in Murray Hill

Khaman - wheat flour cake:

 Muthia at Vatan in Murray Hill

Muthia at Vatan in Murray Hill

 Khaman at Vatan in Murray Hill

Khaman at Vatan in Murray Hill

Samosa - filled with spicy potatoes and onions.

 Samosa at Vatan in Murray Hill

Samosa at Vatan in Murray Hill

Mirchi Bhajia, that is a fried hot pepper with chaat masala

 Mirchi Bhajia at Vatan in Murray Hill

Mirchi Bhajia at Vatan in Murray Hill

I admit that I do not remember this one: it was like yellow dal but had potato in it.

 Appetizer at Vatan in Murray Hill

Appetizer at Vatan in Murray Hill

Sev Puri - garbanzo beans, yogurt and chutney (my favorite):

 Sev puri at Vatan in Murray Hill

Sev puri at Vatan in Murray Hill

The appetizers came with some sauces like the mango chutney that was my favorite, adding a nice sweetness to the dishes. Needless to say that I asked for more sev puri and batatavada that I really liked.

 Sauces at Vatan in Murray Hill

Sauces at Vatan in Murray Hill

Then was the entree thali that we both asked mild. 

 Entree thali at Vatan in Murray Hill

Entree thali at Vatan in Murray Hill

It was composed of:

Puri - fried puffy bread:

 Puri bread at Vatan in Murray Hill

Puri bread at Vatan in Murray Hill

Toor dal - lentils cooked in spices

 Toor dal at Vatan in Murray Hill

Toor dal at Vatan in Murray Hill

Chole - chickpeas cooked in garam masala:

 Chole at Vatan in Murray Hill

Chole at Vatan in Murray Hill

Bhaji - sautéed spinach and corn:

 Bhaji at Vatan in Murray Hill

Bhaji at Vatan in Murray Hill

Roti with butter:

 Roti bread at Vatan in Murray Hill

Roti bread at Vatan in Murray Hill

Kheer - rice pudding

 Kheer at Vatan in Murray Hill

Kheer at Vatan in Murray Hill

Ful-Cobi - sautéed cauliflower and peas:

 Ful-Cobi at Vatan in Murray Hill

Ful-Cobi at Vatan in Murray Hill

Batakanu sak - potatoes in a mild red gravy:

 Batakanu sak at Vatan in Murray Hill

Batakanu sak at Vatan in Murray Hill

There was also a papadam that I forgot to take a photo of that was a bit spicy...

The entrees came with some sides: raita (perfect when eating spicy food as it is made with yogurt and soothe a mouth on fire), rice as well as a twice cooked rice that was phenomenal with the raita!

 Sides at Vatan in Murray Hill

Sides at Vatan in Murray Hill

 Rice at Vatan in Murray Hill

Rice at Vatan in Murray Hill

 Raita at Vatan in Murray Hill

Raita at Vatan in Murray Hill

 Twice cooked rice at Vatan in Murray Hill

Twice cooked rice at Vatan in Murray Hill

Last was dessert. I admit that we did not ask for more of the entrees as we started to be really full, and were looking forward for the desserts. It was a Malai ice cream that was very good (it had cardamon in it), gulab jamun, one of my favorite Indian desserts, and a masala chai.

 Dessert at Vatan in Murray Hill

Dessert at Vatan in Murray Hill

 Gulab jamun at Vatan in Murray Hill

Gulab jamun at Vatan in Murray Hill

We had great time at Vatan: the food was very good and the service on point, courteous and ensuring that we had everything we needed. When we went last year, I had the exact same experience but thought that going there often might not be necessary as they do not change their menu: I was wrong! I would in fact go back there often and, if you think that these are small quantities, trust me: you will need a walk after eating there!

Enjoy (I did)!

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Vatan - 409 3rd Avenue, New York, NY10016