Embrace Your Inner Cabbie By Eating Like One At New Shezan

There is a row of restaurants on Church St. that tend to be frequented by cab drivers, and you can add New Shezan (btw. Duane & Reade) to that list. This Pakistani/Bangladeshi steam table place seems to be popular with all sorts of people, judging by the crowd there for a late lunch. Like all of the others (Bangal Curry, Taste of Tandoor) and Pakistan Tea House, which is directly across the street, this one is no frills. They apparently have regulars, as I witnessed the girl who had dished up my food head out the door with a bag, which she handed through the passenger window of a cab. Hey, sometimes you want McDonald’s and sometimes you want goat.

The service, much like the place itself, is no frills. You walk up, specify which combo you want (meat or no meat) and whether you want rice or naan. The day I was there they had chicken and goat, and I am not one to pass up eating a gamy animal so I went with the meat option. The tough part was choosing the two vegetable sides. A sign on the outside says the combo is $6, but I was charged $7, so you might want to ask the price before ordering.

They fill the bottom of the plate with rice and then put the goat and two choices of vegetable on top. I went with the spinach and a mixed vegetable, although I probably should have taken a little longer to decide because I think they had daal, which is one of my favorites.

The goat was just OK. There really wasn’t much meat on it other than one solid chunk, and I wouldn’t recommend getting this if you don’t like picking small bones out of your food or gnawing on a goat bone in public.That being said, the meat was well seasoned and spicy.

The spinach was the best part of my meal by far, and the vegetables mostly served to add some moisture to the rice. Speaking of that, the rice was pretty delicious. It was like what you’d find in biryani and wasn’t dry at all.

This was better than my previous encounter with steam table Indian downtown and the amount of food is decent for the price. It’s about the same or slightly more food than you’d get from a street meat cart, but since they have to pay rent I don’t mind paying the extra $1 or $2.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • The food is well-seasoned, which is not always the case with steam tables.
  • It’s approved by only the finest…cab drivers.

THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • The service is a bit on the brusque side.
  • You have to pick little bones out of your food.
  • It’s a little on the dirty side, and I’d rather go to Paki Tea House anyway.

New Shezan, 183 Church St. (btw. Duane & Reade), (212) 964-6259



  • Yeah, goat is usually that way with the bones. It’s a very indian/pakistani/bangladeshi thing to take a bite of goat or fish and skillfully separate out the bones.

    It’s a cultural thing I’ve managed never to pick up. Though I love goat and curried fish. Sigh.

    I’ve not really found any worthwile downtown Indian joints. I really miss Curry Hill!

  • oh my god. i’ve been trying to remember the name/location of this place for years. I vaguely remember stumbling here at 3am after a ridiculous MePa bender and having a totally awesome meal (at least to my booze addled mind). Oh the power of food blogging…

  • This place has been on my radar for a while… after reading this I can’t figure out if I’m encouraged or discourage to give it a go…

  • ive passed by this place and never once considered going in there.

    Might have to make a trip…

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    @MWinston: You should be encouraged! If nothing else, go for the non-meat platter as the two vegetable dishes I got were good, especially the spinach.

    @dbdtron: I was self-conscious about picking through bones, but then I realized everyone else was doing it and didn’t care.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I live around the corner from this place for 10 yrs and worked in the area for over 15 and never went to this place. I was always recommended PTH across the street.
    thanks for the tip on the veggie combo, they have the same pricing scheme as PTH, the price on the banner is not the price they charge. though this place appears to a buck or so cheaper. Oh, I love spinach.
    The semi new Japanese restaurant next door is pretty good, too. I hope they stick around.

  • Went here for lunch today. Not overly impressed. Food was passable, nothing great. Portion was good though… especially for 2 veg and 1 meat over rice for $6. The girl behind the counter was totally unhelpful.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.