Thursday, September 12, 2013

Just Say “Aah” To Aangan: Classy Indian Fare On The Upper West Side!

By: Anne M. Raso

My recent visit to the classy Aangan was an exceptional experience. It is a clean, modern space with only about a dozen tables and an exquisite multicolored Indian chandelier on the ceiling. The service was super-attentive, the location was super convenient (right in view of the 1 train stop) and the portions were well-sized. All dishes seem to come out of the kitchen in ten minutes or less as well. I started out with my favorite Indian drink of all, Mango Lassi ($4.95) that was rich and tasted like it was made with fresh mango puree. You can get rum put in it for a couple of dollars more and this was the first time I have ever encountered and alcoholic Lassi! Quite good and strong, but I prefer the original. The regular Lassi was so thick it barely went through my straw and the paper umbrella was a cute touch.
Assorted Appetizers

I love Indian breads so I could not resist ordered the Bread Basket ($11.95) where you get more than a dozen pieces of your three favorite breads. I went for Garlic Nan, Onion Kulcha and Aloo Paratha. They were all piping hot out of the oven, soft and chewy in a good way! Aloo Paratha was my favorite because not only of the soft, sweet mashed potatoes inside but because it featured several lovely fresh herbs.
Saag Panir
My appetizer was the Aangan Platter ($15.95) which is for the most Herculean of appetites and included Dahi (Vegetable) Kabobs, Paneer Pakora (cottage cheese fritters) and Vegetable Samosa. Everything was served piping hot and fresh and I was intrigued about how they got the cottage cheese as firm as tofu and then managed to batter it and fry it to a perfectly golden color. This platter is a winner but it fills you up so much that you can’t progress to your entrees—especially if you have hit the bread basket!
Tandoori Lamb Chops
I tested out several of the lamb and chicken dishes as my entrees, but not before having a lovely Saag Panir ($12.95), my all-time favorite Indian vegetarian item. I must get it at every Indian meal I have and this version featured very soft spinach and unbelievably fresh homemade cottage cheese in the mix! I fell in love with the fresh and juicy Tandoori Chicken & Lamb Kebabs ($14.95) and the Tandoori Lamb Chops ($19.95), which consisted of three very large herb-topped chops that I was told is the most popular item on the menu. (The second most popular is the very healthy Tandoori Salmon ($19.95), which I was too stuffed to try but I hear featured the wonderful flavors of garlic, ginger, lemon juice and coriander.) Speaking of the popularity of lamb at this fine UWS eatery, Aangan makes a Lamb Biryani that is tender and moist and extra-lovely when topped with Aangan’s homemade Cucumber Raita ($3.95)
Lamb Biryani
The Murgh Korma ($14.95) was in the traditional style with tender chunks of chicken breast placed in an extra thick and creamy almond sauce while the Murgh Xacutti ($14.95) was a Goan chicken curry cooked with coconut milk and served with mint rice.
Murgh Xacutti
I concluded this breathtakingly beautiful and fragrant parade of dishes with Malrova Pudding (4.95), a classic Indian mango pudding that had just the right amount of fruitiness to end a gut-busting meal! It had a lot of coconut in it that was the perfect contrast to the mango deliciousness!
Malrova Pudding
Needless to say, I highly recommend Aangan. Not only are the waiters ultra-attentive as mentioned before, but the portions are large and two people can easily be filled up on three appetizers or two entrees. It’s tiny size makes for the most intimate of dining and it’s fun to get the front window table and do some people watching while you eat. There is not a lot of high-end Indian dining on the Upper West Side, and the time is right for a place that’s quiet and that you can call your own. I was able to tell that many people dining were regulars who fell in love with this new restaurant from the first time they stepped through the door!

2791 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
(212) 280-4100
Cuisine: Modern Indian

Aangan on Urbanspoon

Photos: Anne Raso

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