On Friday it was clear we were in store for a rainy weekend so we wanted warm comfort food. Now that my Mom enjoys [some] Indian food, I decided it was the perfect time to introduce her to nearby Curry Hill. I had recently read a very positive NY Times review of newcomer Sahib, so we decided to try it out when we found a wait at our go-to Dhaba (which happens to be next door).
While Pete Wells (a man I respect and typically agree with) gave Sahib a “Critic’s Pick” and two-star rating – very high praise – I still have to say I prefer Dhaba. Overall, the food was very good, but when I compare two standard dishes (butter murgh masala and mutter paneer methi) I find Dhaba’s versions to have more of a punch of flavor. That said, Sahib did a good job and seems to excel in those dishes that may be less than standard on your take-out menu.
Nothing was bad (like I said, I just thought Dhaba does those two dishes better), but now let’s talk about what was particularly good. First off, the restaurant’s design. I loved the look of it. Pale blue, dove gray, and whitewash give this restaurant a more mature and tranquil feel than its neighbors.
Now for the food: we started with mushroom kebabs, which were patties of chopped mushrooms. It wasn’t what we were quite expecting, but they had a nice spice and were very filling. If you were a vegetarian (or vegan?) this would be a very good option. It was packed with flavor and was something other than cheese and sauce. Another hit was the amuse bouche. They offered us a taste of sweet potato (or squash – not sure) soup that was divine. I feel like there’s a sweet potato/squash/pumpkin soup everywhere in the fall so I’ve tasted plenty, and this may be the best I’ve ever had. I strongly suggest they put it on the menu. Another thumbs up on the menu is their large selection of rices. In most cases, your rice choice consists of “yes or no”, but here there are five different rices. We went with a lemon rice that had pine nuts. Loved it. The rice had more flavor than the sauces we were topping it with.
Bottom line, Dhaba is still my #1, but with that rice and soup, Sahib is a good backup. I’ll definitely need to give Sahib another shot and branch out from my regular butter chicken and paneer with peas and fenugreek sauce to try some of the dishes that came so highly recommended by Mr. Wells.