ADDRESS: 211 East 46th Street
Between 2nd & 3rd Avenues
New York, NY 10017
OVERVIEW: Tulsi is a high-end Indian dining destination in midtown Manhattan, serving lunch and dinner as well as innovative bar bites in a relaxed, modern setting. The 55-seat restaurant and bar showcases authentic regional Indian cuisine prepared by chef/co-owner Hemant Mathur and his culinary team. “Tulsi” means divine basil and is pronounced TOOL-see.
CUISINE: Regional Indian
EXECUTIVE CHEF: Chef and tandoor master Hemant Mathur has been internationally recognized as one of the leading Indian chefs in New York and beyond. In 2004, he and Suvir Saran opened Dévi, located in the city’s Flatiron District, where Mathur reigned in the kitchen for six years. Prior to Dévi, he was the opening co-chef at Amma in 2003, the executive chef at Diwan Grill in 2002, and worked under the late Raji Jallepalli to open Tamarind in 2000.
CHEF DE CUISINE: Dhandu Ram, formerly the chef at Yuva, who first worked with Chef Mathur at the famed Bukhara Restaurant in New Delhi. He was also the chef at Bukhara Grill in New York.
PASTRY CHEF: Surbhi Sahni, who created the ethereal Mango Cheesecake and other Indian-inspired desserts at Dévi. She was the pastry chef at Amma; developed the concept and menu for the Tea Room at Tamarind; and worked in the pastry kitchens at davidburke&donatella, Picholine and Between the Bread.
GENERAL MANAGER: Sandeep Solomon, formerly the general manager at Dévi, who has over 15 years of front-of-the-house experience at such New York restaurants as Geoffrey Zakarian’s Town; Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market and Mercer Kitchen; and Terrance Brennan’s Artisanal.
Consulting Mixologist: & Beverage Manager: Nirupama Srivastava
Architect: Kamal Patel & Associates
Photos by Melissa Hom
Dinner: Monday to Saturday, 5:30 to 10:30 pm; Sunday, 5:00 to 10:00 pm
Lunch: Monday to Saturday, Noon to 3 pm
Bar: Nightly, from 5 pm
Reservations can be made by calling 212-888-0820, or on OpenTable
$12 during lunch and dinner hours (maximum of 4 hours)
Parking lots at 127 East 46th Street and 135 East 47th Street
(both between 3rd and Lexington Aves.)
Tel: 212-888-0820 | Fax: 212-888-0827
THE LOOK IS A KNOCKOUT, Combining Subtle Colors and Clean Lines:
This 2,000-square-foot venue, with a bar/lounge area that seats 14 and a dining arena that seats 55 people, is modern yet gives a cultural nod to traditional Indian motifs – designed for comfort, relaxation and the enjoyment of food, drinks and conversation. Hues of green based on its basil namesake, beige and brown are part of the subtle but striking interior created by a balance of art and artifacts, lighting and the use of wood, stainless steel, glass and porcelain tiles. Extra allure is created by a Fosted Glass Picture Window Etched with Sanskrit Sloka Sayings.There is Shamiana Seating Designed with Modern Touches and a Tableside Chaat Trolley.No other Indian restaurant in New York offers such elegance and refinement in which to enjoy superlative cuisine.
Tulsi features distinctive regional Indian cuisine created by Chef Hemant Mathur, critically acclaimed for his clean, distinct flavors and a master of tandoor cooking – from savory street food and breads to tantalizing vegetable specialties and fragrant curries, to signature tandoor-grilled meats and seafood.
Guests may also enjoy a seven-course Chef’s Tasting Menu (also a Chef’s Vegetarian Tasting Menu) and bar snacks, as well as a thoughtful list of spice-friendly wines and handcrafted cocktails.
THE FOOD HAS THE WOW FACTOR
The a la carte Menu Includes:
Bar Snacks – Tulsi Tandoori Aloo; Shrimp Kati Roll; Crispy Cod Bites
Starters – Street Cart Chaats, served tableside; Walnut Chicken Roti Roll; Trio of Momos
Seafood Entrees – Tandoori Prawns; Parsi Fish of the Day; Semolina Crusted Monkfish
Meat Entrees – Goat Rogan Josh; Duck Moilee; Tandoori Wild Boar Chops; 12-Spice Chicken Curry
Vegetable Entrees – Stuffed Baby Eggplant; Roasted Pesto Portobello Mushroom
Sides – Tulsi’s Dal, Butter Paneer, Kulcha, Parantha, Family Naan
Desserts – Ginger Panna Cotta; Eggless Pistachio Cake; Banana Pitha
Shrimp & Crab Stuffed Pappadum (Below)
Seven-Course Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Chef’s Tasting Menus
Chef Hemant Mathur’s seven-course tasting menus (omnivore and vegetarian options). The Chef’s Tasting Menus are available at dinner nightly. Price is $65 per person; $95 with wine pairings. For reservations, please call 212-888-0820 or book online at OpenTable.com.
Our table of four chose two tasting dinners (one omnivore and one vegetarian). Each allows a choice of entree and dessert, but the entire table is obliged to do the tasting, for purposes of pacing. This technique is highly suggested so that guests can sample the full range of the kitchen’s prowress.
While every morsel was sheer perfection we urge you not to miss Gobi Takatin | Sautéed cauliflower, bell peppers, tomatoes, cilantro from the a la cart menu, a cauliflower creation bound together with the secret ingredient of catsup that is worthy of a visit to Tulsi on its own merit. Other must-haves from the main menu include Parsi Fish of the Day | Steamed in banana leaves, with coconut, cilantro & sesame paste, a succulent Duck Moilee | Coconut-curry leaf sauce, South Indian potatoes, and okra chips and the lovely Street Cart Chaats | Savory regional snacks.
Tasting menu standouts included a remarkable Pumpkin Ginger Soup with Fenugreek and Onion Seeds; Calamari Chaat with red onion, tomato, cilantro and chaat masala and the subtle Hyderabadi Fish Murtabak, a casserole, layered with seafood, cilantro, green chilies and parmesan.
Roasted Pesto Portobello Mushroom, stuffed with Paneer-cheese in tomato-fenugreek sauce and Achari Tofu, marinated in mustard pickle and tandoor-grilled were balanced winners from the vegetarian options.
While Tandoori Wild Boar Chops were outstanding, Goat Dum Biryani, baked with rice, ginger, garlic, cardamom, mace and saffron and encased in Indian bread that is broken open tableside is as dramatic as it is delicious..
All desserts are the best you will sample in any NY Indian restaurant: Favorites include BLACK CARDAMOM CHOCOLATE TORTE, PISTACHIO CAKE (Pictured Below) and BANANA PITHA Banana fritters, caramel sauce, salty pecans, and butter-crunch ice cream.
There is a beautifully selected wine list, as well as a terrific paring by the glass, thanks to Beverage Manager: Nirupama Srivastava. Price points are fair and there are bargains to be found. If you ever though Indian food required sweet wines, think again. The house has a fine mixologist, if you want a perfect martini or some inventive house crafted cocktails.Service is smooth and attentive and the room is impeccably managed by General Manager: Sonny Solomon.
If you are seeking out fine dining that is affordable. glamorous and exotic, you needn’t be an Indian food aficionado to appreciate Tulsi. Here is global Indian cuisine at its finest. The experience is elegant; prices are affordable and to repeat a point:Tulsi is divine in any language. It is already stealing the show from its competitors and Chef Hemant Mathur is a master of his craft. Make your reservations soon. You won’t be sorry.
The Walman Report Award: One of New York’s Great Restaurants: A Major
Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved