Now if we could only remember the name of this place …Photo courtesy Tabla
New York may be the culinary capital of the world, but ethnic restaurants here are usually held to our idiosyncratic standards, not that of the nation or people that inspired the eateries. As it should be. Still, we couldn’t help but devour an Indian newspaper’s take on Danny Meyer’s Tabla. The writer for The Hindu finds fault with the place’s Western airs and “meat-dominated menu,” observing that sometimes, “detecting the Indian touch is the culinary equivalent of hunt-the-slipper, only to find it in a coriander afterthought or a faint mustard seasoning.” Still, the paper reserves most of their criticism for run-of-the-mill Indian food: “Most restaurants in the bigger American cities steeped themselves in oil-slicked chicken tikka masalas and refused to budge. Tandoori chicken was always vermillion to the point of neon, food was always North Indian, and spices were always unsubtle.” What, ultimately, did we glean from this bit of cross-cultural criticism? Why, that there’s such a phrase as “hunt-the-slipper,” of course!
A Hint of Spice [The Hindu]