Touch of India Earns Redemption With New Breed of “Kathi Rolls”
Remember when Kati Roll was the only place in midtown that served kati rolls. When they moved from 46th street to 39th street, the Biryani Cart jumped in and served their own version of the Indian burrito. (And we all know how that turned out.) They were followed by Indus Express’ naan wraps (on 48th btw. 5+6th), the standard kati rolls from Grill 44 on the East side, and even Spice Fusion (which is known for their all you can eat buffet) jumped on the bandwagon.
Now Touch of India (on 37th btw. 7+8th) becomes the latest to join the fray. I didn’t love their all you can eat buffet when I tried it last August, but for $9 it’s good enough. And there’s no reason a mediocre buffet would stop me from trying their “kathi rolls”.
The Touch of India kati roll menu is a little stranger than most. First, you don’t get the option of ordering two different kinds. An order costs $6.99 and according to the manager is “3 pieces”. (I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it became clear once I ordered.) The fillings are completely unique as well, with choices like palek paneer (cheese and spinach), potato and green peas, chicken and mushrooms, and chana dal (lentils). Not exactly the “solid” fillings that make up the bulk of the kati roll options in Midtown. And there is good reason for this…
Their “kati rolls” are rolled and fried like egg rolls! I tried the palek paneer, which despite my initial shock was amazingly delicious. How could it not be? What’s bad about spinach and cheese wrapped in roti and deep fried. The “3 pieces” ended up being the number of “rolls” you get, which after being fried are chopped into 3 pieces each. (So you end up with 9 pieces altogether.) It came with the pretty standard Indian tamarind sauce, green sauce, and yogurt sauce all for dipping, and all good. I guess the only complaint you could really register is that it felt more like an appetizer to be shared, than a complete lunch for one person. But I got over that pretty quickly.
There is one option that is more like a traditional kati roll (or at least similar to the ones served at Indus Express). If you order the “Kebab Roll”, that actually comes as one roll. Their chapli kebab (minced meat kebabs) gets wrapped in naan with salad and sauces. It was pretty tasty, with a strong curry flavor not just from the sauces- but from the heavily seasoned kebab. It was also super spicy, and had a sweet flavor as well (they probably added some of the tamarind chutney/sauce into the mix.) It’s much more like a lunch, and despite it’s nice girth was only $4.99. I liked it a lot, but obviously the little fried rolls tasted a bit better. (It’s just the advantage of being fried.)
I think they fry the kati rolls fresh, so I waited awhile for my take out order. Call and order in advance if you can. While I was waiting I took a second look at the all you can eat buffet, which looked pretty much the same- save for one new, and incredibly interesting addition.
Indian fried chicken! I wanted to call it “tandoori fried chicken”, but that would like calling it baked fried chicken- which would make no sense. But clearly the pieces of chicken are marinated in the same spice mixture as the tandoori chicken- but instead of being baked in the tandoori oven, they are deep fried. It looked amazing! It’s offered as a special, or part of the buffet on Wednesdays only- so I may have to hit up Touch of India one more time.
Touch of India May be the Last Under $10 Indian Buffet in Midtown (with Address Info)