Badshah New York | The Foodies Indian Cuisine in Hell’s Kitchen

What Dali was to the surrealist art movement, Badshah is to the Indian food scene in Hell’s Kitchen, New York. This bold artful venture from Abishek Sharma (Surya, Swagat) and former Babu Ji Executive Chef Charles Mani is an experience not to be passed up. Badshah features dishes inspired by India’s street food, and includes delicious classics updated in creative ways with spices and flavors from all across Asia.

The contemporary designed restaurant is the third gem from Sharma, who has taken the reigns on the family businesses started by his father, Lala Sharma. With Badshah, Abishek combines his fresh perspective and passion with the knowledge passed down by his father.

The very welcoming Mani, leads the kitchen who before launching and rising to acclaim at Babu Ji, served as Chef de Partie and culinary trainer at Sheraton Hotel in Chennai in Southern India, and as a chef on Norwegian Cruise Line.

His philosophy of “tempering,” or layering and enhancing of spices and flavors, is evident throughout his “street to the plate” menu, divided into Appetizers from the Roadside, Tandoor, and From the Pots. We loved the delightful journey for you taste buds that the Chef’s Tasting Menu offers. Four unique appetizers and five divine selections of curries are served with bread, rice and sauces. Vegan or Gluten free? No problem here.  How you decide which is your favorite bite will be the most difficult part of your dining experience.

Appetizers from the Roadside are Gol Goppa, a popular street snack of semolina balls that explode with flavor and are served with tangy, savory chutney, and crispy Quinoa Tikki with, potatoes and black-eyed peas, with chutney of pineapple, mango and ginger. Not to be missed is the famous pan-fried Indo-Chinese Colonel Tso Cauliflower, coated in tomato-chili sauce, topped with sesame and onion seeds finished with sliced scallions.

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Tandoor choices include Boneless Tandoor Chicken, gently marinated in spiced yogurt and roasted whole spices, and Clove Smoked Lamb Chops with a unique blend of cardamom and clove masala, chargrilled in a clay oven for the true depth of flavor.

For selections From the Pots there is their signature Butter Chicken in a makhani gravy with a touch of fenugreek, and creamy Cheese Kofta in a curry of cashew nut sauce with cardamom, fennel and cumin, topped with edible orchid blossom and microgreens.  Also available as a vegan option with Roasted Butternut Squash.

Dessert though last is definitely not least with Gulab Jamun, these light spongy milk balls in rose-scented syrup, and Clay-Pot Kulfi, rich ice cream in pistachio and cardamom.

The beverage menu offers classics like Mango Lassi, and a full bar with all sorts of cocktails infused with Indian spices. There are six beers available on draft complete with some Indian selections as well as local East Coast brews. Ask the staff for wine or beer pairing.

In an area of the city where so many options have recently cropped up you won’t want to miss this team’s talent and down to earth yet refine hospitality. And just maybe while you relax enjoying every tasty bite of food and sip of your cocktail at your Badshah experience you will notice why it is Dali comes to mind…
Photography By Jason Greenspan