Flatiron Lunch: More Curry Hill Lunch Options at Chote Nawab

Every Friday we go south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.

I recently had a cabbie that had just come back on duty in the Curry Hill area, so I felt compelled to ask the driver where he had eaten. He said “Haandi”. He even said everything was the best when I ask for dish recommendations. So why isn’t this post about Haandi?? Because it was properly covered by Jason in 2010 (with He-Man spotting and all). I thought about going back for a different angle (which still might happen), but in the meantime, I decided to try Chote Nawab which has has been on my list since it opened back in May 2012. And now I am one step closer to total Curry Hill Domination (aka trying every Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi restaurant in the area.)

When I placed my order with the bartender (who handles all of the to-go orders), I was still deciding between the chicken tikka masala and the dalcha, described as a Hyderabadi specialty with lamb and lentils. He said they were both great, so I went with the lamb (secretly, I was hoping he would make it easier to not order the chicken tikka masala which had been highly recommended by some reviews online.)

In disappointing news since I reported on Chote Nawab’s opening, the meat kabab lunch special was $10, but is now $11. Boo.

All of the lunch specials (minus the kababs) come with dal, rice and bread, which can be so filling. In fact, my take-out bag had three plates and three silverware packets, even though I only ordered two lunch meals. So clearly there is someone out there who regularly orders two meals for three people.

In the dalcha ($10), the spices and ingredients really brought out the flavor of the lamb. In fact, it tasted more like wild game. The meat was cut into cubes before being cooked, so easier to eat than on the bone. While maybe not as easily likeable as a chicken tikka masala, the dalcha had more layering of flavors, and I was really happy I tried it.

Since I haven’t met a saag paneer (aka palak paneer) I don’t like, I decided to give this one a try ($8 with dal, rice and naan.) Of course, it passed the test for me.

Dal traditionally plays the role of an inexpensive and easy way of filling up (for a large portion of the world’s population, at least). This dal was good, but pretty basic – the perfect filler.

THE + (What people who like this place will say)

  • Chote Nawab has spinach with cheese or lamb. Love Indian spinach.
  • Rice with a curry and dal is a traditional Indian meal.
  • The lunch specials are so big, Chote Nawab wants you to share.

THE – (What people who don’t like this place will say)

  • The dal is really basic.
  • Wishing and hoping that the meat kabab comes back down in price.
  • Chote Nawab isn’t the best Indian food in Curry Hill. Fact.

Chote Nawab, 115 Lexington Avenue at South East corner of 28th Street, (212) 679-4603


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