When it comes to most Indian restaurants in New York City, the question to ask is how low can these shitholes go.
The answer: Really, really low.
Believe us, guys. Believe us.
First, these Indian restaurants should start hiring real chefs not clueless buffoons who don’t know their way around the kitchen.
Second, scumbags who own restaurants like Baluchi’s (W.56th St) should pay their employees a living wage and stop stealing from diners. Hey, you low-life owner of Baluchi’s why the hell do you impose a gratuity on dining parties of less than four when your menu clearly states in unambiguous language that the 18% gratuity is for parties of four or more. In our lexicon, this is a crooked, disgraceful practice. We are inclined to send a photo of your menu and a copy of our bill to the New York Attorney General’s office to investigate your restaurant for cheating.
Third, wait-staff at Indian restaurants like Baluchi’s (W.56th St) should be taught the basics like providing clean plates, offering knives and forks with the food, refilling water-glasses and stop texting/fiddling with mobile phones in the dining hall.
From the salty Chicken Curry to the sour Vegetable Jalfrezi to the God-awful Vegetable Biryani to the sugar-less desserts, Baluchi’s on W.56th St is a nightmare that we wouldn’t wish on our Pakistani or Chinese enemies or even on our bete noire like Abhishek Bachchan.
Our recent visit to the W.56th St outpost of Baluchi’s was our second trip there. A few years back, we entered its portals one evening around 5PM only to find two sleeping wait-staff members who seemed upset at being woken up and rudely told us that the restaurant would open only at 5:30PM.
This time, we walked in for lunch at which time all food items except desserts and drinks are 50% off regular prices.
Not bad, we thought little realizing the horror movie that Baluchi’s kitchen and wait-staff was preparing to screen for us in the next few minutes. 🙁
Decent Opening, Poor Middle and Bad Ending
As we walked in, we were greeted by a friendly bespectacled waiter from Mumbai (Kishore?) who offered a choice of tables. The restaurant was mostly empty with just two tables taken when we entered.
We quickly placed our order for appetizers and entrees.
A short while later, a bespectacled waitress in a sullen mood deposited a dirty white plate with black spots on our table (which didn’t have the white table-cloth unlike many others).
And to our surprise, the Pakoras appetizer came in just a couple of minutes suggesting they were just reheated before being rushed out.
The sullen waitress who got us the appetizer never cared to get us our silverware and quickly disappeared. After waiting for a while, we hailed another waiter (the grim-looking, non-spectacled guy) and asked him for silverware. The man looked shocked that we’d not been provided silverware but could still mutter only a ‘oh’ and got the forks and knives and no, he didn’t care to apologize for his colleague’s total indifference.
The Vegetable Pakoras had a rubbery texture and were not worth a penny let alone the $6.95 minus 50%.
For the non-vegetarian entree, we went by our Mumbai waiter’s recommendation Chicken Curry. Disappointingly, it turned out to be far too salty suggesting the kitchen was manned by chimps not those belonging to the homo sapiens.
Chicken Curry is one of the simplest Indian dishes and if a chef can’t handle it surely it’s got a tail curled up in the dress.
With its large sized carrot, cauliflower and broccoli pieces, Vegetable Jalfrezi was no less disheartening. Not in the least spicy but obscenely sour.
Garlic Naan was brittle and crisp while Roti landed on our table in a partially cooked state.
Would there be no end to our distress?
Easily the worst item of our meal was the Vegetable Biryani. One spoon of that monstrosity and we cursed the restaurant’s owner and chef to eternal suffering. Besides having zilch, nada, nichts of the wonderful Biryani flavor, the dish suffered from the addition of some red chili powder rather than the Biryani masala spices leaving an awful taste in the mouth. Again and again, we silently hurled the choicest imprecations at the two shanis (devils) – the moronic chef in the kitchen and the owner for hiring such incompetent creatures – responsible for our misery.
As if all the above were not bad enough, there were flies in the dining hall.
No Relief from Desserts
The two dessert items we tried – Gajar Halwa and Rasmalai – merely compounded our misery.
They failed at the fundamental, most basic level – both suffered from a lack of sugar. Further there was no evidence that any ghee had been used in preparing the Gajar Halwa oops boiled carrots.
Much as we hate wasting food given the hundreds of millions who go to bed hungry every day, we just couldn’t finish both the Gajar Halwa and Rasmalai.
Not Really Cheap
Although the Lunch Specials here are supposed to be 50% off, keep in mind that the lunch special entrees don’t come with either Rice or Naan bread, which have to be ordered separately.
Extend Your Middle Finger
Given its trashy food, disgusting service and cheap, crooked practice of adding a 18% tip to small parties of less than four, we strongly recommend you show Baluchi’s W.56th St your middle finger without any hesitation.
This worthless restaurant has no business staying in business and the quicker they pull the shutters down on Baluchi’s W.56th St the better New Yorkers are.
Starve to death if you must but steer clear of Baluchi’s (W.56th St).
This is not a real Indian restaurant though it claims to be one. Au contraire, Baluchi’s W.56th St is a dumpster unworthy of your patronage. Do not even consider dining at this disgrace.
N.B.: The only silver lining in this Baluchi’s is that the water faucet in the toilet produces very hot water, uncommon in NYC Indian restaurants.