Ayurveda Cafe NYC Indian
Ayurveda Cafe Indian706 Amsterdam Ave
(at 94th St)
New York, NY 10025
Hours:Daily - 11:30 AM - 11:30 PM
Ayurveda Cafe NYC Review: Obscenely Bad Food; Poor ValueEver since our ship sailed into New York many summers ago, we've developed a nostalgic affinity for all things Indian, particularly its famed curries.
This obsession with the subcontinent's addictive cuisine has taken us to many an Indian restaurant in the U.S.
From the Mexican border to the Canadian border, some of our happiest memories are of time spent within the warm cocoon of an Indian restaurant sipping a Mango Lassi and gorging on curries while listening to Bollywood songs playing in the background.
But never have we stepped out of an Indian restaurant with as much disgust as the Ayurveda Cafe on the Upper West side in Manhattan.
Save a clever positioning, Ayurveda Cafe is a restaurant that has nothing going for it.
Only those unacquainted with Indian cuisine would dare to describe Ayurveda Cafe as an Indian restaurant.
Tasteless Indian FoodAlmost every single item we tried at this Upper West Side dumpster of a restaurant was a disaster, hopelessly tasteless and bad beyond the limits of endurance.
A cramped place on Amsterdam Avenue (at 94th St) serving only vegetarian fare, Ayurveda Cafe offers pre-set Lunch ($7.95) and Dinner ($11.95).
You don't get to chose the food in this Gulag. You eat what they place before you. The only choice is in the beverages.
There were several free tables during our dinner visit the other day. Even as a middle-aged man (owner or manager?) seated near the entrance told us to take any table, our waitress/hostess ignored him and insisted on our waiting till she cleared a table in the corner.
During our visit, we appeared to be the only South Asian diners in the restaurant.
Horrid Vegetarian Dinner ThaliOur Vegetarian dinner thali came with Pappadam, Lettuce-Cabbage-Carrot salad, Potato-Egg Plant Curry, Mutter Paneer, Lentils, Boondi Raita, Upma, Basmati Rice, Naan Bread and Dessert.
Mutter Paneer and the overcooked Potato-Egg Plant Curries were tepid and horrendously tasteless. If any spices and salt went into the two curries, it was not apparent to us.
Ditto with the tasteless cup of Upma.
Just when we were getting confident that things couldn't possibly get any worse, we tasted the Lentils. It took a heroic effort on our part not to shriek at the horror show in front of us.
Who was manning the Ayurveda Cafe kitchen? Only a hopelessly incompetent chef would send out food so pathetic.
Lentils is a humble dish common to most Indian restaurants. While lacking the grandeur and sophistication of curries like Malai Kofta or Vegetable Jalfrazie, if cooked well Lentils can be a fine accompaniment to both rice and Naan Bread.
The sole saving grace of our dining misadventure at this so called Indian Restaurant was Naan Bread. The bread was fresh and soft. But what use is Naan Bread in the absence of a nice side dish or entree. It's like seeing a pretty girl on some other guy's arm.
Ayurveda Cafe's food was so bad that for the first time one of us left much of the food untouched and quickly declined the offer of refills.
These bozos couldn't even get the Mango Lassi ($3.95) right. It had far too much ice and lacked the thick texture of Lassi.
Our Almond Tea ($1.95) was alright but the Indian Spiced Tea ($1.95) was clearly an impostor.
Ayurveda - the 5,000-year-old Indian holistic system of well-being - advocates the need to pay attention to how and what we eat. What it does not advocate is badly prepared, flavorless food.
Ayurveda Cafe takes the name of Ayurveda in vain and makes a mockery of it.
In a meal where almost every dish is plain awful, it takes a mighty effort to pick the worst item.
Worst Coconut BurfiAfter much thought, our vote for the worst item at Ayurveda Cafe goes to the Coconut Burfi dessert. We confess to a sweet tooth and will gladly eat anything that has sugar in it. But Ayurveda Cafe's Coconut Barfi left us cold, literally and figuratively. Coconut Barfi was so disgustingly bad that it's hard to expunge from memory the lousy feeling in the mouth after the first bite of that white monstrosity.
If you have a sweet tooth and a fondness for Indian sweets, head for Sukhadia's in mid-town Manhattan to gorge on some yummy sweets (Sadly, Sukhadia's food is a letdown).
Ayurveda Cafe claims to "help you beat stress, increase energy and look great."