229 East 53rd St, between 2nd and 3rd Ave.
Once ordered, the food only took about six to seven minutes to come out.
The lone waitress didn’t come around much after that, but personally that’s how I prefer things. If you’re looking for someone to top up your water every two minutes, you might be disappointed.
I ordered the Lamb Saag lunch special (meaning it comes with rice, naan and daal) and an Aloo Roll (spicy potato roll) as an appetizer.
The lamb was a little gristly, but otherwise delicious. The naan was very fresh, and clearly hadn’t been sitting on a hotplate waiting for someone to order it. The potato roll was somewhat dry and is best consumed immediately. I’m not really a fan of daal, I always find it a bit bland, but it made a decent filling for the naan.
The restaurant, if you can call it that, is remarkably small. A review on the wall said it can seat no more than 12 people, which is probably why most of its trade seemed to be take-out.
The upshot of this is that there’s not a lot of space if you’re looking for a discreet conversation. If you are intent on dining in, though, try to get the one table near the window.
The front door is very heavy. Give it a good push/yank.
Value for money
At $9.95, the lunch special is very good value. The portion sizes are solid, expect to be more than satisfied.
Tadka is one of well-regarded chef Shiva Natarajan’s stable of Indian restaurants throughout the city, which also includes Bhojan, Bombay Club and Chola.