A Palace At
AMAN PALACE: 41-23 29th St., Long Island City;
HOURS: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
CREDIT CARDS: No
There is a recent trend among restaurateurs to place more
emphasis on packaging than substance. Perhaps the Aman Palace is the exception that proves
the rule. Dont let the spartan decor fool you, the modesty of the walls is more than
made up for by the richness of the cuisine.
Amans modesty is exemplified by the understated demeanor of Chef Mohan Lal, as he
masterfully prepares traditional Indian dishes to your liking. What is even more modest is
the cost at Amans you get the Palace for the price of the pub.
The classic appetizers, zestfully prepared, are sure to delight. The Vegetable Pakora
($1.50) is packed with flavor, while remaining light and airy. The Vegetable Samosa
($1.50), stuffed with lettuce and tomatoes, is also tasty.
Chef Lal bakes arguably the best Naan Bread ($1.25) in the
Western Hemisphere. Piping hot from the oven, this popular standard makes the lifelong
prospect of bread and water seem appealing. Also try the Keema Naan ($2.50), stuffed with
minced meat, and the Onion kulcha bread ($1.95).
The Alu Matar ($3.95), with potatoes and green peas, is one
of the chefs specialties. Bathed in a wonderful Punjabi style gravy, this tangy
potato dish is almost enough to make you forsake the French fry.
The Saag Paneer ($3.95), a spinach dish cooked with cubes
of cheese, could make a Popeye out of even the most pusillanimous eater.
For the main course, Chef Lal recommended the Chicken Tikke Masala ($4.50), which is
cooked in a wonderfully rich tomato sauce with bell peppers. The Goat Masala ($4.50), in
an onion and tomato style gravy was a very satisfying variation.
The chef also suggested the Chicken Biryani ($4.95), which
is spicy chicken in several layers of rice and nuts. For those with a small spice
threshold, the chef is more than happy to tone the dish down.
Aman Palace may have only recently opened, but it has
already acquired a large following in the Long Island City area and beyond. With an
extensive takeout menu, the staff caters to diners in a rush and on the go. But if you
have the time, stay and savor every moment of an exquisitely prepared Indian meal with all