Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
Some of you might know Surya, an Indian restaurant located on Bleecker. It used to be in another location on the same street before closing in 2012 because of a rent increase as well as damages caused by Hurricane Sandy. Three years later, the Sharma family restarted the adventure, in November 2015. At Surya, Chef Lala Sharma crafted a menu inspired by Colonial India, with the basis that, during the colonial years, the Indian culinary scene has been influenced by waves of settlers from England, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands who arrived to the subcontinent and brought with them flavors unknown at the time. I met Chef Sharma who showed me how a nan bread is made in their tandoor, a sight that I always like watching as I never imagined before that it was done this way. First, you shape the dough. Then, you stick it on one side of the oven and wait for couple of minutes. You will see it bubbling and getting that char that is so delicious.
Surya means Sun and also refers to the Sun God in Hinduism; no wonder why the main color for this place is yellow!
For beverages, Surya proposes a good selection of beers as well as some cocktails. I decided to go with a cocktail called The Cricket Club, composed of Goslings Black Seal rum, ginger beer, fresh squeezed lime and sugarcane. It was a quite refreshing drink, with not too much alcohol in it.
We also tried their mango lassi that was quite good and perfect when there was some heat in the dishes.
Our meal was a culinary experience across India, going from North to South. We started off with some succulent appetizers. The first one was the Samosa Chaat, a traditional street food made with a samosa, chickpeas, tamarind sauce, yogurt and mint sauce.
The second appetizer was onion bhaija, or onion fritters, that were both crispy and delightfully greasy.
Then was the crab cakes, served with mint chutney. I admit that I was disappointed by this dish, the crab cakes being made with lots of fillers, losing the taste of the crab.
But the best appetizer I got was definitely Surya's famous baby lamb chops. Often, when I get lamb chops in an Indian restaurant, they are overcooked and a bit dry, if not tough. These were fantastic, perfectly cooked medium and tender, bathed in a delicious house sauce.
Then, for the entrées, we tried the Malabar Papas that are shrimp cooked in a spicy coconut sauce (not so spicy). This dish is one of their best sellers and I admit that it was pretty good.
Then we went for a classic: Chicken Tikka Massala. I know that it has nothing extraordinary because you can find it anywhere, but I love this dish and could not resist. It was so good: creamy, flavorful with lots of delicious pieces of chicken in it.
If you are vegetarian or do not like chicken, I recommend Paneer Makhni that is the same sauce as chicken tikka massala. Know that at Surya's, they make their own paneer that is cottage cheese.
Our last entrée was the Dal Surya that is close to Dal Makhni, made with black lentils, but also few beans, cumin, ginger and some cream.
With the dishes, we got some rice, as well as breads: nan (left) and roti (left). My favorite was definitely the nan that was fluffy and deliciously charred, with what I believe was a touch of butter on it.
Last was dessert. We went for some of our favorites: Kheer that is rice pudding.
As well as Gulab Jamun, these milk balls that are deep fried and then dipped in a syrup.
Both desserts were delicious. The gulab jamun was, as expected, on the sweet side, however, I truly appreciated the fact that the kheer was not and it was difficult not to eat all of it. But, with all the food we had before, I had to resist...
I like Surya: they have some very good dishes with amazing flavors. This is definitely a place to know, outside of the well known curry hill. Would I go back? Definitely, and I will for sure re-order the lamb...
Enjoy (I did)!
If you like this post, the photos or the blog, please feel free to share it or post a comment. Merci!