Taking Another Stab At Diwan E Khaas For Its $5.50 Lunch Deal

The mini chain of Indian steam table restaurant Diwan E Khaas (Multiple Locations) doesn’t get a lot of love on this site, as anytime it’s mentioned it seems a commenter is saying the food is mediocre at best. I used to eat at the nearest location to me, on Nassau btw. Liberty & Maiden Lane, before I realized there were much better lunch options out there, and haven’t ever returned. A while back I noticed they had a sign up for their “winter lunch special” that got you a vegetable or chicken item plus rice or naan for $5.50-$5.99 which seemed like a pretty good deal to me. Would there be anything on the steam table to recommend though? To my surprise, yes.

It seems like this place is constantly busy, and the set up makes it nearly impossible to scope out the options on the steam table if there are a bunch of people in line. That meant the vegetable options were blocked from view, so instead I went for the chicken keema which looked the least soupy of the meat options. A co-luncher got the bright red¬†chicken tikka and we both¬†got our meat over rice. I’ve had their naan before and it’s decent – freshly cooked and the size of the paper plate it comes on.

The chicken keema reminded me of a thick chicken chili minus the beans. I added a couple of squirts from the bottles of mango and chili chutneys that were sitting by the counter and they helped add a little extra flavor, but the keema wasn’t entirely bland without it. The rice was pretty good too, although a tad on the greasy side.

The chicken tikka was good as well, my friend reported. It seemed like if it was chicken tikka masala, they were trying to keep it healthy because there was an absence of cream. Regardless, they thought it was good, especially for the price.

I’d say this was a fair amount of food for what we paid, although it seemed most people were going for the two or three item combos. If you’re not particularly hungry and only want to spend $6, the specials are a good deal.

Diwan E Khaas, 53 Nassau St. (btw. Maiden Lane & Liberty) (212) 571-7676; 26 Cedar St. (btw. William & Pearl), (212) 480-0697

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1 Comment

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    “Mediocre at best” accurately describes my feelings about the place. I guess you can add “…but at least it’s cheap” to the end of that coda. Shrug.

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