[All photos by Conor Rose]
New York City in general can be overwhelming to navigate, but take the area on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 30th streets (known to most as Curry Hill) and you’ll find yourself in over your head and swimming in Indian restaurants. How does one even begin to decide on one? There’s no shortage of traditional old-school places, and some sleek modern spots, but if you’re looking for something a little more hip and edgy, check out Tapa.
Led by Abishek Sharma (formerly of Swagat, Surya, Badshah), Tapa is a colorful and laid-back spot that is a combination of tapas bar, cocktail, and hookah lounge, and one of the newest additions to the neighborhood.
The cocktail list is crafted of a variety of drinks ranging from traditional combinations with cheeky names, like the summery, refreshing Sari Not Sari (a lot of tequila, plus lime, cucumber, mint) to cocktails with more Indian flavors, such as the spicier Flight to Mumbai (gin, lime juice, cardamom).
In an effort to stray from our typical path of Chicken Tikka Masala comfort in the crazy amount of Indian food we’ve consumed these past few months, we aimed to sample dishes we’ve never had. As you may have gathered from the name, tapas are a popular section on the menu, with a wide selection appealing to both vegetarians and meat-eaters. We went the route of the Aloo Tikki – a perfect portion to start off two very hungry people, with super spicy chickpea and potato patties, topped with more chickpeas, yogurt, tamarind, and mint.
For entrees, we chose two to share. Chicken Korma was a clear winner, with a saffron and cashew sauce so bright and creamy, we couldn’t stop ladling it over our rice and naan. Paired with the Skeekh Kebab (rolls of New Zealand lamb minced with green chili, rock salt, coriander, garam masala, and cucumber raita), the entire meal overall was more than enough for the two of us, leaving us happily satisfied. We didn’t try the hookah, but could imagine it being a great time out to start off your night. If you end up visiting Tapa, let us know what you think in the comments!
For more photos, click here. This meal was provided by Tapa, however all opinions are our own.