New Yorker

On the junction of Nungambakkam road and Mount road, across from the Brain Drain Black Hole (US Consulate), there is a vegetarian restaurant named New Yorker. Uh? My reaction exactly when I was informed of the complete lack of fauna on the menu. But truth be told, New Yorker has one of the most diverse and eclectic vegetarian menus on offer in Chennai.

There are 2 kinds of vegetarian food in the world.

The first kind is Vegetarienne Au Naturelle, where greenery is uprooted from the forests and fields, mildly warmed and served on a plate. Bovines and health conscious americans tend to prefer this kind.

The second kind is salted to hurt, spiced to kill and cooked to death. In short, Indian vegetarian food.

New Yorker serves food of the second kind, with a slight difference. It’s Indian food garnished with globalized nomenclature. Here is a sampler:

Mexican Pasta Salad

New Yorker Jain Assorted Platter

Jain Pasta Delight

What was missing however, was a menu card that could spin fantastic stories about the origins of these dishes. I am not referring to the lame 5-star method of using “Delectable Succulently Steamed Flavourful Rice Pancakes” to describe idlis. I am talking about tales, myths and dreamscapes describing something as exotic as a New Yorker Special Mexican Jain Fajita Sizzler.

This is what I am looking for

 It was the aftermath of the First Intifada, when Sheikh Al Bukhari migrated to Guadalajara and married Gloria Hernandez, a girl who worked in a roadside Burrito stall. It was in that heat of romance, in that melting pot of hearts, that the fiery jalapeno married the humble middle-eastern chickpea to concoct the delectable: 

Mexican Falafel                                                                    Rs 99

Legend has it that Shri Banwari Lal Jain, a pawn broker operating in Lower Manhattan was caught by his wife doing hanky-panky with their Mexican housemaid Chiquita. A household fight broke out and nachos, beans and garam masala were used as weapons by the protagonists. The proprietor of New Yorker happened to witness this sizzling display of domestic fireworks and convinced the warring parties to stop a while, while he notes down the amounts of ingredients used in the fight. He comes back to Chennai and serves, for your culinary pleasure:

New Yorker Special Mexican Jain Fajita Sizzler       Rs 139

Ok. 7/11 for the food. 5/9 for the ambience.

For the geographically challenged:

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Click here to read my other Chennai restaurant reviews. If you prefer traditional, sane, useful and informative reviews, click here

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6 Comments

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  1. Delectable Succulently Steamed Flavourful Rice Pancakes

    You almost sound like Janakaraj in that movie where he calls Thalaivar – Brother Mountain 😉

    And btw, isn’t New Yorker the same place where the Italian dishes are under the “Mexican” section and vice versa? I remember reading something about this years ago in another review soon after the restaurant opened.

  2. Brother Mountain, Dot King and Eye-Thousand are my fictional alter-egos. Their adventures will be revealed when the appropriate muhurtham arrives.

    And yes, its the same place. But the menu is now generally all over the place. There’s mexican and jain varieties of pretty much everything except the brownies.

    Thanks for the comments. Applying rule 10, sub-article 11 of the Blogosmriti, custom dictates that I add you to my blogroll. Done.

  3. Krish , i once went to this restaurant(friend’s treat – read naamam). All i could remember having what was an uncooked roti rolled in with uncooked vegetables with what looked like MuttaKoes in milk (or worse). I remember having one of the above and my friends had one dish each, totally three. He ended up coughing 1050 in the end 🙂 , not that he was concerned too much, but why does the “newyorker” serve mexican food?? we must all start a southindian restaurant and serve Chaat!!

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