I have heard about Utsav so many times, my Indian colleagues liking this place and mentioning it very often when discussing the various Indian restaurants Midtown. So, I finally went there for lunch, benefiting from their buffet that, although pricey ($22) is still a good deal for the quality of food, especially since Balucci's and its 50% discount for lunch closed. Their dining room is quite big and I liked the fact that it was bright, but it definitely misses some charm, looking more like a restaurant you would find in a hotel.
Food wise, the buffet offers quite a nice selection of dishes, ensuring the heat level is bearable. My favorite there was the dal makhani, this black lentils dish that you can find on most of Indian restaurants menu. This one was thick as oppose to the watery ones I had in the past. Then, I loved the Murgh Shahi Korma, that is pieces of chicken smothered by a delicious cash nut and almond sauce. So creamy.
As far as vegetarian dishes are concerned, their veggie makhanwalla, made of assorted vegetables and cottage cheese, bathed in a creamy tomato sauce was also a winner. But I have to admit that the bhindi masala, made with okra was a option; I discovered okra in an Indian restaurant and, being mainly a non-vegetarian, I enjoy it very much.
Dessert was also good, with Gajar Ka Halwa, a sweet carrot pudding, or a mixed fruit mango mousse that was not too sweet, maybe counterbalancing each other. I was glad that they propose two options as I am always frustrated that in buffet desserts are sacrificed.
Here are other dishes I tried:
Rice pulao and vegetable biryani:
Chana Palak (chickpeas and spinach cooked in mild spices):
Delicious tandoori chicken:
Fish vindaloo (spicy):
Spinach fritters (my least favorite):
And of course, all the fixings: raita, tamarind sauce, chutney, onions, etc.
As well as naan:
It was quite good and I will definitely go back to Utsav. Maybe for their week end lunch special as they serve dishes like Dosa or Uttapam at that time in their buffet.
Enjoy (I did)!
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