Nirvana Takes Indian Take-Out to Another Level

I’d walked past Nirvana (Lex btw. 39th+40th) tons of times on the way to my office, but it never struck me as the type of place that would do take-out, let along the type of place that would have take-out deals for under $10. Then one day I happened upon a menu and discovered that, indeed, Nirvana offers several lunch deals at the ML price level.

As with most other Indian restaurants, the lunches at Nirvana included a choice of meat with a vegetable, rice, naan, and raita. I ordered the lamb curry for $8.95, but they also have seafood ($9.95), chicken curry ($8.95), vegetable curry ($7.95), and tandoori chicken ($7.95). Even better, you get 10% off when you order online.

I expected good food when I ordered (Nirvana just has the look of a great restaurant), but my expectations didn’t come close to what I received. The lamb was cut in large chunks and, completely unexpected, it was on the bone. You just can’t beat meat cooked on the bone, and this lamb was tender and juicy.

I ordered my curry medium spicy, and there was a great level of spice to the dish. It was well-matched with the cooling cucumber raita, which had a nice tang from the yogurt. The menu said that my lamb would come with the vegetable of the day, but I got several. There was cauliflower, bell pepper, squash, onion, eggplant, and okra. The vegetables came in a nicely flavored, mildly spicy sauce. The naan was also great: pillowy, soft, and chewy. It was perfect for sopping up the last bits of lamb and sauce.

If I had one complaint about the lunch from Nirvana, it was that there was just too much rice. I realize that that’s a bit of a cop out, but tasty as it was, there was a ton of rice. Too much to finish. Together with the naan, it was a carb-heavy meal fit for a marathoner or triathlete.

I’ll definitely be returning to Nirvana. I’ve got to try the tandoori chicken. If you’ve got an easy day at work coming up and can afford slipping into a food coma, you might also want to eat in and have Nirvana’s 16-course buffet lunch for only $12.95.

Nirvana, 346 Lexington Ave. btw. 39th+40th St., (212)983-0000


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