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.

THE +

  • 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

THE -

  • 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

20 Comments

  • I miss Joy Curry! I used to work across the street and I had takeout from Joy at least three times a week. There is no Indian restos where I work at now and I still crave their cabbage and chick peas.

  • I had the Chicken Tikka Masala from JoyCurry and I didnt like it too much. The chicken was hard…but the chapati was good.

  • Looks like a great deal but a little far from my location 51st between 5th and 6th. Is there a site that clocks NYC walking distances would be a great component to the midtown lunch.

    http://www.ilsvont.com

  • Ils Vont, I think you can choose options in http://www.hopstop.com to make it all walking, no subways, and the estimate should be right.

  • I eat at Joy fairly frequently, and find the quality to be quite good for the price. :)

  • I like the buffet at Darbar which is about two buildings away from Joy. They have a buffet (can’t remember the price) and take away lunch boxes for under $10 bucks. Never been to Joy, but don’t think I’d go anytime soon with the quality and prices at Darbar. Review Darbar! Let us know what you think.

  • That Bottom Pic……..is that before or after digestion?

  • I love Joy. It’s good. It’s cheap.
    Darbar might be better food but it’s definitively more expensive and the choice is much smaller.

  • Check out the Chicken Biryani specials on Wednesdays and Fridays. Its dope !!

  • Biryani dishes are meat/poultry veggies and spices cooked in a sealed (with raw dough) pot.

    It cannot with all honesty be served as a buffet item, as it’s a one pot meal..served in the pot.

    I need a lay down now.

  • Isn’t that dish called dumpahkt? Biriyani is rice with mix-ins, isn’t it?

    And why on earth would they put tofu in the paneer?

  • Sorry, I should have been more clear. They put chunks of tofu in the saag (the it), instead of chunks of paneer in the saag. It was a total fake out.

  • Are you sure it was tofu? Real paneer can have the texture of tofu.

  • I just ate at Joy and enJoyed it. I was tempted to go to the $11 all-you-can-eat buffet next door, but stuck with Joy and got the $7 rice/2 vegetables/naan combo. Nice to buy a coke too and still get over $1 change from a $10 bill. The meal was plenty filling, and delicious. I will definitely return.

  • I just went and got the 2 Veg & Rice lunch special (Saag & Spicy Dal), with 1 Roti and mango chutney. Total was $7.50. Totally satisfying, not greasy like the Indian joint in the Grand Central Food Court.

  • One week I ate Joy every day for lunch — I never got sick of it. I’m fairly certain I had it 2 or 3 days the following week too. That’s how good it is.

    Though I feel I should mention that I get the palak paneer all the time and if that’s not cheese, I’m completely clueless.

  • Worked on Park for over a year, had at least half my lunches and probably a quarter of my dinners there. Joy Curry is godly.

  • To Hallow: you are completely clueless. The palak paneer hasn’t had cheese for at least 9 months, but probably never had cheese. It’s beyond me that you can’t tell the difference.

  • Been to this place a few times the past month for lunch. Always get the Chicken Corma with chic peas and rice, and it’s always been yummy. My buddy who goes here once a week gets the spicy Vindaloo likes it too. You’ll see a good share of Indians eating here for lunch, so that’s definitely a good sign. It is packed during lunch but the line moves fast and not a bad deal for under $10.

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