Joy Curry & Tandoor
I haven’t had Indian food for awhile, so I headed over to the East side of Midtown to a place I’ve walked by many times but never eaten at. Despite the sign, which mentions Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh (and the fact that the food is halal), Joy Curry & Tandoor is a normal steam table Indian food place, similar to Minar or Maharaja. The place is always packed, and frequented by a lot of Indian workers from the area, a clear sign that it must be good.
There is plenty of Indian food in Midtown, and while my favorite form of Indian is the all you can eat buffet, almost all of the buffets in Midtown are over $10. Luckily there are a bunch of places, like Joy, where you can get a very filling Indian meal, for under $10.
What I got, Indian porn and the +/- after the jump…
While Joy has a full menu, that it serves during off hours, the line is so long at lunch there is only time for a steam table. But it moves quick because the food is already cooked, and the choices are made pretty easy. Two vegetables with rice & naan, $6.95. One meat, one veg with rice & naan, $7.95. Two meats, with rice & naan, $8.95. Simple, quick and easy.
With food that is served out of steam tables, for under $10, the quality is never going to be as good as a sit down Indian restaurant… but Joy is just as good, if not better than most of the cheap Indian places in Midtown. Since the price is the same for all meats, I went with the Lamb Curry (a big money item), which was very tender and tasty. A little bit spicy, but not too much that my mouth was burning at the end of the meal.
For my veg, I went with Saag, a pretty standard Indian spinach dish. At most places like this, the saag is usually pretty watery, but at Joy it’s actually a pretty decent thickness. The flavor is not the greatest I’ve ever had, and they fake you into thinking there’s paneer (cheese) in it, by filling it with little cubes of tofu- but overall it was better than average. A lot of people seemed to be getting the cabbage dish as their veg, which looked pretty tasty.
Every combo automatically comes with naan, but you have to ask for the raita (white yogurt sauce), which comes in little pre-packaged plastic containers. They have a bunch of tables to sit at, and they fill up pretty quickly- but if you are just two people you should usually be able to get a table along the wall that runs opposite the steam table. If you are with 3 or more people, or you don’t like asses in your face as you eat, you may want to take your food to go during peak lunch times.
Not necessarily worth a trek across town- but if it’s in your hood, it will be your go to cheap Indian place.
- Good Indian food, for under $10
- Combos give you great variety, and you get a big piece of hot naan and raita
- Great selection. They had over 10 meat selections, and at least 4 vegetable selections
- They mark the dishes that are very spicy, and the ones that aren’t have a little kick without being too spicy
- With Indian you usually get what you pay for. It’s good, but there is probably better Indian food at more expensive restaurants
- If you like things very spicy, a lot of the food at this place may fall short
- It gets very packed during lunch, and if you go with more than 2 people, there’s a decent chance you’ll wait for a table, or have to take your food to go
Joy Curry & Tandoor, 148 E. 46th St. (btw. Lex+3rd), 212-490-1277