8 East 18th Street
New York, NY 10003
I am usually pretty skeptical to try high end Indian restaurants in NYC. In my experience most offer the same menu, with a higher price point, doing very little to differentiate themselves. When I first heard of Suvir Saran’s Devi, I gave the menu the quick look over and noticed the menu was not typical India. There was an inviting twist to Indian cuisine. Now the question… would Devi deliver?
I have to mention before going further, if you are looking for traditional Indian food, Devi is not the spot for you. The menu is a fusionized (yup I just made that one up) Indian menu granted you might find some more common dishes. I will also say we decided to dine at Devi via a deal at Savored.com, which gave us 30% off. I will provide a review of Savored at a later moment.
Enough of the background and time to talk about the meal. To begin the meal, I ordered a Mumbai Margarita mostly because of the name. It was a mango flavored margarita topped with cayenne pepper for a kick. If that does not get you interested in Devi, the food will. To complement the drinks we got Bombay Bhel, Shrimp and Crab Croquette and ready for this – Lamb Stuffed Tandoori Chicken. I must also thank our waiter who brought us Spinach Croquettes on the house. The Bhel was served finger food style, on a mini crisp. The Croquettes both veg and non veg were well made, personally I preferred the spinach ones. The Lamb stuffed tandoori chicken had me thinking where have you been all my life! Tandoori chicken stuffed with ground lamb, such a genius idea. It was unique, just what I look for in Indian restaurants.
After a filling round of appetizers came the entrees. This was interesting. We basically went by the waiters suggestions and ordered the lamb chops, Konkan Catfish Curry and Karachi Paneer. We also added a side of rice (thats right my brown people rice is NOT included), the Onion-Parmigiano Kulcha and the waiter comped us a side of Kararee Bhindi (fried okra). I was not impressed with the Karachi paneer at all, I can get this at any old Indian restaurant. The Konkan fish curry, had great flavor, not spicy much to my surprise. The star of the meal was the Lamb Chops though. They fell off the bone, were soft and full of the spice. Many of the reviews on Yelp will say this is a small helping, to these people I say greedy! There are 3 pieces, which is more than one could expect for an entree.
We ended the meal with some desserts which did not hit home at all. I honestly don’t think they are worth writing about. The best I can tell you is eat a meal here that you will enjoy and skip the desserts. I do feel Devi is on the pricey side, but had some dishes that will stick in my mind and warrant a revisit. I also felt the service was exceptional. I always appreciate a waiter who is willing to tell you their suggestions, throw in some side dishes and attempt to give you the finest dining experience.
My suggestion is giving it a shot with your non-veggie friends to truly enjoy the food. I also noticed that they change their menu seasonally, so some of the dishes I encountered might not be there on your visit.