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“An Unexpected Surprise. Fun and Delicious!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Amaya Indian Cuisine

Amaya Indian Cuisine
1900 Clinton Ave South, Rochester, NY 14618 (Formerly Amaya Bar and Grill)
+1 585-241-3223
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Ranked #21 of 1,108 Restaurants in Rochester
Price range: $4 - $18
Cuisines: Indian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Delivery, Buffet, Late Night
Description: Modern Indian flavors transformed into a contemporary gourmet experience! Pleasant, amazing dining experience.
Rochester, New York
1 review
“An Unexpected Surprise. Fun and Delicious!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

Our visit to Amaya was completely last minute, spontaneous, and our first. We walked in not knowing what to expect and we were both impressed by the décor, especially with respect to other Indian restaurants in Rochester. Having comfy chairs and a couch, in a living room like setting, to lounge in while waiting for a seating is such a nice touch. We were seated immediately but I can imagine a fun social vibe should there be a wait time. Past the ‘sitting room’ the bar prominently stands out, again a surprise for an Indian restaurant in this area…I can see enjoying drinks with Indian appetizers as a nice change-up for an evening out vs. going to a bar/pub. We did not order any drinks. The wine list seemed wide enough to fit most tastes. Same for the beer selection.

Not knowing what was on offer, we asked and were promptly given a quick tour of what was an extensive set-up for Amaya’s Sunday Brunch. The best way I can put it is that if you want to stay Indian in your food selection you can, or you can add a few ’American brunch’ offerings like the roasted lamb, shrimp cocktail, omelets, cake, etc. I tasted the roasted lamb and it was good. All the better for those in your party who might be timid to try Indian dishes.

The quality of the Indian dishes stood out. They were less heavy than the “typical” Punjabi food that many restaurants in our area serve. And the selection was different than one would find in a typical brunch offering. Yes, there was Chicken Makhanni, so fear not if you are longing for a standard. The lamb in a red sauce was excellent. The cubes were tender, high quality, melt in your mouth…an unexpected difference from the tough and chewy meats I‘ve experienced at other brunches. Here’s another example: the whole eggs in the egg curry had been lightly battered and very lightly fried, a simple step and one that elevates the dish. There were two fish dishes, one grilled whole in rubbed spices, something I have not come across in other local Indian restaurants for brunch. There was a small carving station for the lamb and fish, as well as an active cooking station for small dosas, omelets, and for tandoori/dry cooked chicken/lamb.

As for suggestions for improvement based on this visit: some of the dishes were not marked; one of the wait staff was new and needed more training/time; a simple hand-out of what’s included in the brunch and the dishes on offer for that day would help.

Additional points: Amaya’s staff were pleasant and informative, dishes were cleared regularly, water refilled promptly. The booth we sat in was comfortable… I mention this because some booths are too deep, making them uncomfortable for some, at least they do for me. The restrooms were shiny clean! Always a good indicator.

We had an enjoyable experience and a delicious brunch.

Overall: We will be going back! I encourage you to find out for yourself.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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106 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“A confused place. Food was superficial. Not authentic at all”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

DO NOT GO HERE IF YOU WANT TO ENJOY INDIAN FOOD!. Reading the menu and pitch, we went there as it sounded like this was at the cutting edge of Indian fusion cuisine. Wrong. The food was terrible. Shrimp starter was boiled shrimp with sauce poured over it (not marinated!). The Veg side had carrots that were soo old they were rubbery - see photo attached!!! DISGUSTING....
Main course was chicken but could not eat it as it smelt funny......Chef came to speak to us and his attire was covered in food/splashes it actuallty made us a bit uncomfortable.
Overall - maybe this used to be a good place but looks like the people who run it now have no clue.......

  • Visited August 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“A Pleasant Surprise”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

I have not been a frequent eater of Indian cuisine in the past, suffice to say, I was suspicious when my wife said she wanted to give Amaya a try -- and let me just say, very glad I did.

The interior was much better than I expected for a restaurant in a 70s style looking plaza -- but it was pretty cool and had a nice, modern city type feel to it.

Servers and staff were friendly, we had a drink at the bar and were seated inside of 10 minutes. I can't even tell you what it is that I ordered, other than, it was spicy, it was different, and it was very very good.

** Tip for those not familiar with Indian cuisine: Ask the servers! They were more than willing to describe the menu items as well as make recommendations based on my preference. Use them as a resource if you were like me and not knowing what the heck you were looking at.

If you are open to trying something different give this place a try. I doubt you'll be disappointed.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Absolutely Ridicules”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

First of all I would like to say that this is my first review ever. I simply felt compelled to share my experience .My wife and I went to Amaya for the first time and each ordered a Lamb Shashlik ($18 a plate) this is another word for shish kabob. When food arrived we first thought it was some sort of appetizer because of the small portion but then we realized it was our Lamb Shashlik. Among grilled veggies each plate had three tiny pieces of lamb and I would like to emphasize the words tiny and three. We called the waitress. She offered to take our plates away and maybe adding couple more pieces of lamb. I should say that I am very familiar with shashlik and a couple more pieces of lamb wouldn't make a normal portion. We also were left to feel like we were complaining for no reason. We decided to cancel our order and leave. I don't see how they could plan a dish of grilled veggies with three tiny pieces of lamb for $18. This is probably more expensive than Kobe Beef Filet Mignon. Even though we didn't have to pay we felt very bad and taken advantage of.

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AmayaBarAndGrill, Owner at Amaya Indian Cuisine, responded to this review, August 19, 2012
I am extremely sorry that the Lamb Shashlik did not meet your expectations. Our Shashlik is prepared with the best quality lamb which is marinated, and then skewered with vegetables and cooked in the tandoor. We stand by our commitment to quality modern Indian Cuisine. We invite you to come back and try Shashlik or other items on our menu. We take your comments seriously and will make sure that every aspect of our dishes meet the highest standard for value and quality.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Not just good--it's like reliving your first kiss!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

There are a thousand good Indian restaurants in New York and there have been many in Rochester, but Amaya is fantastic, and it is like nothing you have had. Some of the flavors and names of dishes are familiar, but everything has at least a variation on the usual style. Many of the dishes will be completely new and exciting. Going there is like reliving the first time you tried good Indian food.

You might try the Gobi Chili Chaat as an appetizer. It's not the typical greasy deep-fried pakora-type dish; it's battered and lightly fried with a gently spiced sauce, a little fresh cilantro on top and a side of some sort of sweet-pickled papaya salad.

My dinner tonight brought me back to the night I arrived in the "big city" to start college, and was stunned by the newness of good Asian food.

Service is friendly, sincere and professional, the bar is good, and I'm told the Sunday brunch is something to come back for.

They also cater, and your guests would be very impressed.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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