These are troubled times for Shiva Natarajan, numero uno Indian restaurateur on the U.S. East Coast and Bollywood actor.
The New York City Health Department has come down heavily on Shiva’s Dhaba Indian restaurant citing mice, vermin, sewage, garbage, pesticide, prohibited chemical and a host of other unpalatable issues at this restaurant on Lexington Avenue in Murray Hill area of Manhattan.
Yes, Dhaba failed the February 10, 2009 NYC Health Department inspection.
Besides Dhaba, another Indian restaurant Shiva is associated with in the NYC area – Tadka – is also facing serious, serious sanitation problems.
Whining and More Whining
After our recent restaurant review on Dhaba, we got an earful from Shiva.
In our review, we made no secret of the fact that the food and service at Dhaba (Shiva’s newest Indian restaurant in New York City) were crappy and crappier respectively.
You know what. Shiva got agitated and whined and whined and whined over the phone.
Because we made a reference to Shiva’s Bollywood connections and his name in the headline, the fella suggested to us that our review took an ‘unprofessional approach’ and implied that it was a ‘personal attack’ on him.
Folks, by his association with Bollywood, Shiva is a celebrity. So, what’s wrong in putting his name in the headline.
Citing a lot of appreciation from the American press and dropping names like the New York Times, Shiva boasted:
Today in New York City if you see the variety of food that I have got and the acclaim that I have got from the American press…you should be proud of what I’ve done.
Really, Shiva? So, we should be proud of your mice, vermin, sewage, garbage and other sanitation problems at Dhaba?
Shiva, remember all these problems were uncovered by the NYC Health Department after our conversation last month.
Evidence of Mice in Food and/or Non-Food Areas
Dhaba located on Lexington Ave in Murray Hill area of Manhattan is not vermin proof and there is evidence of mice or live mice in the facility’s food and/or non-food areas, says the New York City Dept of Health following its inspection of this restaurant on February 10, 2009.
The NYC Health Dept. also found plumbing not properly installed or maintained, sewage disposal system in disrepair, pesticide use not in accordance with label or applicable laws, prohibited chemical used/stored and use of open bait station at Dhaba.
Guys, we don’t know about you. But such serious sanitation issues in a restaurant make us nervous.
Dhaba received a total of 48 violation points, a significant deterioration over the 20 Violation Points in the previous inspection of September 28, 2008.
To pass the NYC Health Dept. inspection, a restaurant must receive 27 violation points or less. By receiving 48 violation points, Dhaba failed the NYC Health Dept. inspection of February 10, 2009.
Sanitary Violations observed at Dhaba during the February 10, 2009 inspection:
1.) Other general violation.
2.) Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained.
3.) Lighting inadequate. Bulb not shielded or shatterproof.
4.) Plumbing not properly installed or maintained; anti-siphonage or backflow prevention device not provided where required; equipment or floor not properly drained; sewage disposal system in disrepair or not functioning properly.
5.) Food contact surface not properly maintained.
6.) Pesticide use not in accordance with label or applicable laws. Prohibited chemical used/stored. Open bait station used.
7.) Garbage receptacles not provided or inadequate. Garbage storage area not properly constructed or maintained; grinder or compactor dirty.
8.) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to vermin exist.
9.) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.
10.) Cold food held above 41°F (smoked fish above 38°F) except during necessary preparation.
The NYC Dept of Health said a Notice of Violation was not issued as a result of this inspection and that the violation point total received by Dhaba is above the average violation point total of 16 for all NYC restaurants on their most recent inspection.
But Dhaba requires Compliance Inspection according to NYC Health Dept’s February 10, 2009 inspection report.
No, We don’t Believe You
We did not speak to Shiva Natarajan after the latest NYC Health Department inspection report came out but when we spoke to him in February, he blamed the sanitation issues generally on the older buildings and garbage collection policies of New York City (he complained about lack of garbage pickup on Sunday in NYC).
This is what Shiva told us over the phone before the recent inspection:
No owner wants to have a problem in terms of health and other issues or even with the food….We’re trying hard. Believe me.
Well, if the February 10, 2009 NYC Health Dept. inspection report for Dhaba is anything to go by it doesn’t look you have tried hard enough, Shiva. No, we do not believe you either. Read your Dhaba inspection report again, Shiva.
Problems at Tadka Too
Tadka, the other NYC Indian restaurant Shiva is involved with but claims that he ‘gave’ to his chef to manage, is also facing mice, vermin, potential food contamination and other serious sanitation issues and failed the NYC Health Dept. inspection on February 6, 2009.
Dhaba Indian Restaurant Previous NYC Inspection Reports:
Date | Violation Points
Bollywood Actor Shiva Natarajan Loses Hygiene War at Dhaba NYC
Dhaba NYC Review – Shiva, Screw Bollywood; Fix Your Crappy Food & Crappier Service
Tadka Fails NYC Health Dept. Inspection; Again
Rats, Mice, Flying Insects Mar Dhaba Restaurant in NYC