Indian Accent Part 2: Traditional Flavors Reimagined
Hi! This is Part 2 of our Indian Accent review. You can check out Part 1 here, where we talked about the amuse-bouche and the first course! Today, we'll move on to the rest of the meal. As a quick reminder from the previous post or if you didn't get a chance to read it, Indian Accent 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.
Funny story... During our visit, our waiter accidentally tipped over my glass. I watched in fear as the ice cold water, in slow motion, made its way towards my lap. That was a bit unfortunate but it woke me up a bit after a long day without coffee. Regardless, they were apologetic and helped clean up my area (as in my table setting area, not my private area). Good thing I was born extra hot, so the water evaporated quicker than one would think.
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. Thanks for reading!
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
OK. Let's stop kidding around and start talking about delicious food. The two 2nd courses I want to talk about are the Pathar Beef Kebab (see above) and the Duck Chettinad. The Pathar Beef Kebab came with Garlic Chips and a Bone Marrow Nihari. Traditionally, Nihari is a stew that is made with slow-cooked beef and bone marrow. In this case, it was more like a curry/sauce for the Beef Kebab.
Speaking of the beef, it had a lot of fat but it was still good. "Pathar" describes the way it is prepared. Usually, it means that the meat was marinaded and cooked on a hot stone. I'd say it was cooked pretty well but it was missing a bit of that burnt charm that makes BBQ so addicting. One of the main benefits of cooking on stone is that the food has less risk of burning as the heat is more diffused.
I got the Duck Chettinad, which was pretty damn good. It came with a piece of Seared Foie Gras, Idli, and a Pearl Onion Chutney. The duck was delightful. It seemed to be prepared "Chettinad" style, which implies that it was made to be hot and aromatic. Chettinad cuisine of Southern India is known for its spicy and pungent flavors through the use of masala, a blended mix of herbs and spices. The duck was sandwiched in between two idli's. An idli is a savory cake made by steaming a ground mixture of fermented lentils and rice. It's considered to be a classic breakfast food, kind of like a pancake but it's fluffy and grainy in texture.
Lastly, it was topped with a beautiful chunk of seared foie gras, which totally made my day. This is a perfect example of how Indian Accent is able to pair a traditional breakfast snack with a concoction of spicy, meaty goodness with the explosively silky taste of the foie gras to seduce your taste buds in submission. This one was a winner.
Lastly, the Tamarind Sea Bass was really, really good. That fish was prepared so well that I thought I was dreaming. This fish could be the next Guardian of the Galaxy. This is proof that anything is possible. The Sea Bass probably had no idea it was going to transform into our light in the dark. Sea Bass is a milder tasting fish that has a lot of room for added flavor without being too overwhelming. The fish was flavored mainly with Tamarind, which gave it a nice tangy, sweet coating. It was also sitting in a bath Kerala Moilee, which tasted a lot like a coconut curry.
FUN FACT: Tamarind is an ancient and exotic fruit with a series of medicinal uses, including easing stomach pains, helping with digestion, and calming fevers. It's a good source of iron, HCA (good for inhibiting enzymes in the body that store fat), Thiamine (good for nerve functions). I loved this one!