Normal lagers please

3. Reviews (International)

Surya, New York, USA
(Review by the New York Curry Club)

Truly an All Saints Day for the books! If the Appleton sisters were alive today, they would surely be nodding their heads with pride at our wondrous celebration. After Malt House witnessed one of our more aggressive pre-games, Surya was definitely ill-prepared for its esteemed guests. Our waiter Leo (@pereiraleo308), blessed with chutzpah as large as his mullet, unwisely tried to force us into the Bira 91 promotional beer (disgusting). After berating him for a while, normal lagers magically appeared.

The food was remarkably good for an establishment offering a $12 lunch menu. A very tender mixed grill was followed by some perfectly acceptable curries, albeit lacking in spice for a more experienced palate.

As beer levels depleted (an all too common occurrence on the NYC Indian restaurant scene), excitement levels escalated. The banter was flowing, glasses were smashed, and an invasion of Oreo-selling rapscallions delivered a fitting end to a fine meal.

The Garrett was kind enough to host us post-dinner, and a selection of brave CC-ers found themselves at the Jane in the early hours. Better decisions have been made.

Surya score = 6 curry leaves

Food – 1.5/2 (Surprised on the upside)

Beers – 0.5/2 (The initial cheek to force us into their sponsors’ offering, and then a complete underestimation of the necessary volume for a CC sitting. Leo picks up half a point for going on a shopping mission for some extras.)

Décor/Ambience – 1.5/2 (Pleasant graffiti backdrop, and some seasoned curry veterans dotted throughout the restaurant)

Popadoms – 1.5/2 (Reasonable structure and prompt service. As ever in NYC, the accoutrements were very lacking in quality)

Je ne sais quoi – 1/2 (For some reason, I will probably consider a return visit).

Surya, 154 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012, USA. Tel: 212 875 1405.

Open: Monday to Thursday noon – 3pm and 5pm – 10:30pm, Friday noon – 3pm and 5pm – 11pm, Saturday to Sunday noon – 11pm.

Old Monk, New York

3. Reviews (International)

The Old Monk, New York, USA
(Review by the New York Curry Club)

A surprisingly quiet Mozambique Day of Peace and Reconciliation. We even managed to secure a large table for aperitifs on what is typically the most rambunctious celebration of the year.

Wheels suitably greased and blessed with a sprinkle of new faces, we ventured to Babu Ji’s old stomping ground. Now under new ownership, Old Monk aims for the same ‘contemporary Indian soul food’ vibe as its predecessor, but underwhelms. Using the Club’s traditional goalkeeper analogy, the tasting menu was a Petr Cech – solid, bland and probably used to be rated quite highly. You wouldn’t necessarily complain if the chairman secured him on a free in the January transfer window, but you’re not going to be thrilled when the ball’s at his feet.

For the price paid, you’d expect something a little sexier, a Jordan Pickford perhaps, offering an additional element of excitement to the build-up play and a more obvious passion for the game (curry). Indeed, many diners were unable to tell the difference between the chicken and salmon dishes and the only notable shift in flavours came with the dessert course. Nevertheless, the staff were welcoming, enthusiastic and nice enough that we will not curse them with a sub-5 leaves review.

Post-dinner drinks were somewhat scuppered by the heavy digestive requirements of the aforementioned cuisine.

Old Monk Score = 6 curry leaves

Food – 1/2 (disappointing for what was supposedly a ‘tasting menu’)

Beers – 2/2 (solid choice and service)

Décor/Ambience – 1/2 (lovely pachmina awnings, but could do with other diners for atmosphere)

Popadoms – 1.5/2 (reasonable structure but waiters again failed to understand the importance of a prompt race)

Je ne sais quoi – 0.5/2 (a hint of je ne sais quoi, needs work)

The Old Monk, 175 Avenue B, (Corner of 11th Street), New York, NY 10009, USA.
Tel: 646 559-2922. oldmonk175@gmail.com

Open: Sunday – Thursday: 5:30pm – 10pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm – 11pm. Brunch: 11:30pm – 3pm