I never eat Indian food in the summer. It just feels like a cold weather food to me, heavily spiced and rather rich, all in a good way. As soon as temperatures drop a bit, I’m ready for that over-stuffed feeling. My chef friend, Jen, recommended Delhi Palace 37-33 74th Street, Jackson Heights, NY 11372 so I expected the food would be good, and most of it was, but there’s something shady about this place.

It was just Lon, me, and my dad and we totally over-ordered as usual. We shared a deliciously fresh and fruity Mango Lassi and a more un-natural Strawberry Lassi. These are filling drinks so I suggest sharing a mango lassi for every two people. The huge platter, “Tandoori Special”, highly recommended by our waiter, is probably enough for 3 people when you include the rice and naan (which come with it). The chicken is so tender and juicy, one marinated in yogurt and herbs, the other classic red. The Seekh Kabab, made of heavily spiced minced lamb, practically falls apart with the touch of a fork. The Bihari Kabab, a thick slice of marinated lamb, ends up being tough and dry. I didn’t try the Tandoori Shrimp (again with my mercury limits) and the bed of onions works well with it all.

Tandoori Mixed Grill

Indian food isn’t that photogenic. It all tastes better than it looks. The Chicken Tika Masala had the vibrant tomato base without being overly sweetened. The Lamb Rogan Josh was earthy yet smooth. The Saag Paneer softly coats the tongue. Each is packed down with piles of basmati rice and breads. It starts getting shady when the waitstaff starts to tell us of the complimentary dishes they are giving us, a vegetable korma and some dal. Later when I reviewed the menu again at home, I found out that the tasty vegetables and milder lentil dish were both part of that “Tandoori Special” we had ordered.

Chicken Tikka Masala Lamb Rogan Josh
Lentil Stew Vegetable Korma

Still, I’ll admit that the food is delicious. Perfectly seasoned, fresh and hot, all well balanced flavors. Everything is above average with one exception, the naan. It’s good but not the main event it usually is for me. It was certainly fresh and warm but didn’t quite have the elasticity and alluring aroma of really great naans.


The Poori was better than most. Once popped, you could see the ultra thin crisp outer layer peel away from the softer inner layer, two distinct textures that pressed together.


We wanted to take all our left-overs to go and while the waitstaff cleans up, they drop a spoon of sauce on Lon’s jacket. It’s a nice mess but seeing how nervous they were, we tried to downplay it. Still, I did notice that the waiter put the spoon from the floor back into the dish, the one we were taking to go.

It took a long time before our food was packed to go and we were wondering what was going on. Later we realized that they had re-made the food packed to-go. It wasn’t our left-overs and no korma or dal was included. I’m not sure if it’s because they knew they put a dirty spoon back in the food or because they felt bad about dropping sauce on Lon’s jacket. Things were getting stranger…

I go over everything in detail when I get home to write these reviews so I pulled out the receipt and then hopped onto their website for the menu. Comparing notes, I realized that we were over-charged. Lon calls them to find out why there was an extra $12 charged (it should have been $68.12 but we were charge $80.65). The gentlemen on the phone said it was a service charge so we asked why the $80.65 on the bill says clearly, “pre-tip amt”. Unable to really explain, Lon requests a refund on the extra gratuity we paid, $16. They are unwilling to refund it on the credit card over the phone so we have to return to the restaurant to collect the money. Going out of our way to get the money back was definitely annoying but we wanted to make sure they were actually going to refund it.

Anyway, the food at Delhi Palace is very good, but I”m not sure I’m comfortable with going back. Maybe the $7 lunch special…I”ll have to think about it.

posted by jessica at 06:10 PM Filed under Asian, Basics, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.