Indian Taj Jackson Heights Review
Indian Taj37-25 74th St
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Other NYC Indian & Pakistani Restaurants
Indian Taj Jackson Heights: Definitely Not for HumansIndian restaurants in New York City come in two forms. A small minority meant for humans and the vast majority aimed squarely at God's four-legged feline, canine, hircine, asinine, porcine, leonine, vulpine etc creations. We've graced the portals of the Indian Taj branch on Bleecker St in Greenwich Village (in downtown Manhattan). Since the downtown location serves sexy Indian food we walked into the 74th St Jackson Heights branch of Indian Taj nourishing hopes of a similar titillating meal here too.
Merciless AssaultAlas, the Jackson Heights branch turned out to be the bastard child of the Indian Taj restaurant group that operates multiple restaurants in NYC. For much of what we tasted at Indian Taj on 74th St in Jackson Heights is definitely not designed for biped, i.e. human consumption. What we encountered at Indian Taj was one brutal, furious, merciless assault after another on our taste buds. Be it Vegetarian or Chicken items, Indian Taj's kitchen lobbed one missile after another, lacerating not merely our palate but making sharp gashes into our tender soul at the thought that one Indian could be so perverse, so cruel, so heartless, so maleficent toward another.
Indian Taj - Horrid FareCan some sane individual explain to us how Chicken Chilli can be anything but spicy. You see, the beastly monsters lurking inside Indian Taj's kitchen decided that Chicken Chilli must be a spice-neutered, emasculated travesty. Not in the least spicy, the blandness of Chicken Chilli brought tears to our eyes over the absence of any heat from the chillies and spices.
With their effete palates, a lot of Americans may not have the testicular fortitude for spicy Indian food. But we certainly have the cojones for spicy food. Bring it on. Adding insult to injury, the Chicken Chilli was cold, just minutes after the restaurant opened.
The medium sized Vegetable Samosa was evenly fried and that's all we can say in its favor. The Potato filling inside, which is the main allure of a Samosa, was horridly tasteless. Worse than the bland mashed Potatoes that an American Grocery store deli peddles. By God, if you can't get the Samosa right you really have no place in an Indian kitchen. A Samosa is the equivalent of toasting bread. How difficult can it be to get a Samosa right!
Kadi Pakora with a surfeit of Turmeric Powder did not provide us any joy of eating this famed Punjabi delicacy. Pakoras in Kadi Pakora were so tasteless that we cringed after one bite.
Yellow Dal was hot temperature wise and that's it. Devoid of any flavor, Indian Taj's Yellow Dal in our opinion is not fit for any living creature's consumption leave alone paying diners. Where do crappy restaurants like Indian Taj pick up their clueless kitchen staff from? Are they Indians, Amigos or Aliens from a distant galaxy? We wanna know. Mercifully, Palak Paneer did not have the usual raw taste that you encounter at so many Indian restaurants in the NY/NJ area. But it was hopelessly flavorless and it felt like we were eating finely boiled chopped Spinach with fried Paneer than the North Indian creamy delicacy Palak Paneer. Navratan Korma was creamy but dominated by Chickpeas making us wonder why Indian Taj had two Chickpeas items on the lunch buffet. Navratan Korma is usually prepared with a combination of nine vegetables including some nuts. Compounding our irritation, the Indian Taj version of Navratan Korma was far too sweetish. Naan Bread came hot to the table. Usually it's served along with the buffet and not at the table. Since it was not ready, the waiter brought it to our table on his way to placing the bread on the buffet station.
No, even the hot Naan bread did not give any relief. For it was too crisp. Plain Rice with a sprinkling of Green Peas was alright. At some Indian restaurants, even Plain White Rice is a disaster.
The sole saving grace of our disastrous vegetarian encounters at Indian Taj was Alu Channa Masala and the so-called 'Maggi' Vegetable Noodles (we call it Maggi Noodles because when we asked a waiter what the unlabelled item was, he responded flippantly, "Noodles, you don't know Noodles. Maggi Noodles." Whether it really had its origins in the 69-cent Maggi packet or not, we were led to believe so). Set in a medium thick brown color gravy, Alu Channa Masala was a flavorful delight. Ditto with the Vegetable Noodles. With a sprinkling of Black Pepper powder, Carrot, Cabbage, Green Onion vegetables, Vegetable Noodles were hot temperature wise and tasty too.
The Assault ContinuesAll the chicken items we tried at Indian Taj turned out to be great disappointments. Tandoori Chicken had a slight smoky flavor but suffered from poor marination. Chicken Makhani didn't endear itself to us either.
Usually Chicken Makhani is a creamy, flavorful delight when prepared by a competent Chef. But not at Indian Taj in Jackson Heights folks.
Indian Taj Assault - Phase ThreePhase three of Indian Taj's assault on our palates came in the form of the most common Indian dessert, the Gulab Jamun.
Indian Taj's Gulab Jamun suffered from multiple issues:
- First, Gulab Jamun was rubbery inside
- Second, Gulab Jamun had no taste. It was like eating a partially cooked flour ball
- Third, the syrup that enhances the taste was watery and so low on sugar that we wondered whether any sugar was added at all.
- Fourth, the syrup had no flavor and it was like drinking warm water. Usually Gulab Jamun comes with cardamom flavored sugar syrup.