It was a sunny Sunday morning and I had a craving for Indian cuisine. I was staying at the Belvedere on 48th, so I decided to walk up Ninth Avenue and see what looked interesting. Bombay Grill was closest, but was late opening, so I moved up just past 53rd Street and discovered Samudra, a tiny restaurant with less than a dozen tables. This hidden gem had a full lunch buffet for $14.95.
In I went...and sat closer to the kitchen beneath the shrine with multiple images of Ganesha...candles burning. I checked out the buffet and found just what I wanted. I started with nicely spiced tomato soup and then a few pakora consisting of sliced potato battered and fried. There was chicken korma with its nutty and pale almond sauce delicately spiced and quite good. I also enjoyed the cabbage, green bean, pea, and potato vegetarian entree. The sauce was red and seemed to include tomato and fresh ginger - nice. There was also boneless chicken Masala in a rich tomato sauce - my favorite. Also on the buffet was tandoori chicken, dal, rice, and a very nice eggplant dish, also vegetarian. Naan was served at the table.
I enjoyed my lunch, and encourage others to try this hidden gem. Enjoy!
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