Tamarind - New York City

Tamarind, a $$$ restaurant in the Flatiron district, is a popular business lunch venue that I happen to end up at more frequently than I care for. Most folks generally like it a lot and I must say that there isn't anything overtly wrong with Tamarind. However, it is also hard to be blown away either.

In a way it helps sum up everything that is wrong with Indian cuisine in New York City in a single word: BORING!

Tamarind gets all the basics right but leaves everything to be desired. Good but inelegant food, cordial but uninformative service and decent but bland ambiance. The meal is satisfying but only in the most pedestrian sense. The menu still reads like every other menu in every other Indian restaurant . Your regulation panir, baingan, aloo and kofta dishes. They taste good but not much different than your average $ restaurant. You find yourself screaming for some flavor -- throw some pudina or ajawain already. Do something. If nothing else then just add some spice in the presentation. Earn my money please!

The onslaught of right but wrongly done dishes continues with the dessert. For example, the Crème brûlée you order will be clearly picked from the fridge, quickly thrown in a microwave and duly presented to you in the most unimaginative presentation possible -- without any fanfare whatsoever. It will taste good but it would probably not mean much.

Tamarind commands respect for its consistency but is shockingly unimaginative and hence convincingly fulfills the unwritten commitment shared by almost all Indian restaurants in New York.