Indian Accent Part 1: Traditional Flavors Reimagined
Hi Everyone! I'm pumped to talk about this new restaurant that just opened up in NYC. It's called Indian Accent and is an upscale Indian restaurant from New Delhi. It just opened in the Spring of 2016 and during our visit in May, it was packed. My mom loves eating Indian food so it made sense to try out this renowned restaurant during my parents' annual (or bi-annual) visit to New York. The restaurant is located in the Le Parker Meridien hotel and maintains a classy yet welcoming atmosphere. The menu is expansive with tons of options. The dishes are fairly small so I recommend getting, at the least, the three course meal and, depending on the size of your party, one or two extra dishes to share.
Overall, I would almost compare Indian Accent to Jungsik, in that they are both modern and refined in presentation but fairly traditional in its flavors. Jungsik is a bit more French though. Either way, they're both fantastic. I'm looking forward to taking Steph here! Look out for Part 2 of our review :)
Address: 123 W 56th St., New York, NY 10019
Shiso Leaf Chaat, Water Chestnuts at Indian Accent
Sweet Potato Shakarkandi, Kohlrabi, Crispy Okra at Indian Accent
Soft Paneer, Crispy Quinoa, Ramps at Indian Accent
Pathar Beef Kebab, Garlic Chips, Bone Marrow Nihari at Indian Accent
Duck Chettinad, Foie Gras, Idli, Pearl Onion Chutney at Indian Accent
Soft-Shell Crab Koliwada, Malvani Dried Shrimp Pulao at Indian Accent
Pork Belly Vindaloo, Goan Red Rice at Indian Accent
Tamarind Sea Bass, Herb Barley, Spinach Poriyal, Kerala Moilee at Indian Accent
Crispy Seviyan, Rice Pudding, Coconut Jaggery Ice Cream at Indian Accent
Since we ordered so much food, I have to split this post up into two parts or else you'll fall asleep. And, given that this is my first post on Indian cuisine, I have a lot to talk about! To start, we were given some amuse-bouches, which included a small bite of Blue Cheese Naan, a sip of Pumpkin Coconut Shorba, and a scoop of Bhel. The Blue Cheese Naan was amazing. I've never had anything like that before but it was perfect. You get the tangy, creamy taste of the cheese paired with the fluffy, garlicky goodness of the naan.
Next, was the Pumpkin Coconut Shorba (stew) which really woke up my taste buds after a long day at work. It was warm, thick, and full of flavor. Lastly, the Bhel was pretty good. It was made with fresh peas, crispy wild rice, and dried cranberries with a tomato masala. Bhel is usually made with puffed rice, veggies, and a tamarind sauce. Indian Accent's bhel was more subtle in flavor and revived our appetites.
For my appetizer, I got the Shiso Leaf Chaat. It was absolutely majestic. When it arrived, I knew I was in for a good meal. Shiso, also known as Perilla, is a super interesting herb. It's got a beautiful shape, almost like an ancient-looking fan or a peacock tail. The taste is also unique... like my good looks (just kidding). It's herbaceous and is often described to taste like a mix between basil, cilantro, anise, mint, and citrus. It's amazing. In Korean culture, Shiso is sometimes used as a wrap for Korean BBQ meats. Anyway, the Shiso Leaf was pretty light. It is just a leaf after all. The fried coating was thin. The Shiso felt kind of like tempura but crunchier. It came with some tasty pomegranate seeds and decorative waves of yogurt.
My mom got the Sweet Potato Shakarkandi (see first picture above) and my dad got the Kolhapuri Chicken. The sweet potato was solid. It came with Kohlrabi and Crispy Okra. Kohlrabi is an interesting vegetable with a taste that's hard to describe. I don't even know how or where to begin. It's like a radish fused with a cabbage. The result looks like an alien plant. It's pretty weird but it's frequently used in Indian cooking. Kohlrabi tastes like a less bitter version of broccoli. It's also super healthy for you! Kohlrabi is packed with Potassium, which helps in improving nerve functions and lowering blood pressure.
The Kolhapuri Chicken (see above) wasn't bad. It felt refreshing but the chicken was cold and the flavors felt a bit too tame.