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restaurant, they serve AYCE "Gujarati- style" (in the words of the maître d') thali - a selection of different dishes served in small bowls on a round tray.
Rajdhani is a cleanly decorated restaurant on the second floor of a 1990s-built commercial building at the northwest corner of Pioneer and 186th Street. Inside the dining room, there is a bar and tables of varying sizes to accomodate everyone. The chairs are plush and I like the hefty stone dining tables with inlaid decoration. Outside, there is a patio with shaded tables for those who fancy dining al fresco.
Mexican restaurant. The papadum had a hint of asafoetida, which brought to mind rather frightening memories. Also at this time, the maître d' brought two beverages to the table: water and salted buttermilk. The salted buttermilk proved to be a good palate cleanser and appetite stimulant, being both tangy and salty.
As soon as I had started in on the introductory course, the bulk of the meal began to arrive. From a handy serving apparatus, a server filled my empty bowls with navy beans, bhindi masala (spiced okra), aloo bhindi (okra and potato), buttermilk curry, and sambar? (lentil stew). Another server brought the breads: Puri, chapati, and pakora made with dal? and curry leaves? Still another server placed a purple yam filled with minced coconut on my tray. What an overwhelming abundance of food it was!
And as if the former wasn't enough, a friendly, yet somehow sinister, Nepali spooned heaps of basmati rice and khichdi - a kind of rice-dal porridge - onto my tray, which pushed me over into the abyss.
I must not forget the condiments! There were two chutneys - sweet tamarind? and coriander - and intense, salty preserved items - okra, lemon, lime, and red bell pepper? These condiments added a lot of interest to the meal.
My favorite item of the thali? Probably, the buttermilk curry because I had never thought to combine the two. My least favorite item was the purple yam item.
opinion, two main ingredients should not be repeated from one dish to another (well, unless you're doing a special tasting or something similar).
I thought the FOH staff at Rajdhani were pleasant. The maître d' was kind enough to guide me through the menu upon arrival and he was attentive throughout the meal. The servers were friendly and generous.
Parking: There is a parking garage connected to the restaurant. The entrance is off 186th Street.
The Bill: 15.35 USD.
My Rating: An enthusiastic out of four stars (very good). Open daily for lunch and dinner. Major credit cards accepted.
Last Word: With all the vegetarian dishes, afterwards, I really felt the need for some murgh makhani, or butter chicken, to balance out my system. I am an unapologetic carnivore!
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