Looking for delicious Indian food without a passport to South Asia? A long-standing pioneer of traditional Indian food in Manhattan, Vatan serves a prix fixe vegetarian thali style menu that is distinct to Gujarat (Northwestern Indian state). Owner Prashant Shah, a veteran entrepreneur who has opened cafes, sweet shops and liquor stores, took over Vatan in 2014, maintaining the restaurant’s authentic cuisine and quality service, while adding a Kosher certification, expanded wine and liquor selection, and additional options for augmenting the set menu.
The sole menu option at Vatan is a $34 prix fixe, which includes an appetizer, entrée, dessert and chai. The restaurant is all-you-can-eat, meaning at any point, guests can reorder dishes they enjoyed for no extra charge. The entire menu is vegetarian, and is available vegan, gluten-free and nut free.The appetizer thali includes 8 unique dishes, like Chana Masala (tender garbanzo beans spiced with onions and coriander), Sev Puri (crispy bread filled with potatoes, garbanzo beans, yogurt, and chutney), and Khaman (puffed cream of wheat flour cake), among others.
The entrée includes dishes like Toor Dal (boiled lentils in Indian spice mixture), Bhaji (sautéed spinach & corn), Ful-Cobi (cauliflower & green pees sautéed in savory sauce), Batakanu Sak (potatoes cooked in mild red gravy), and Chole (chickpeas cooked with garam masala). The entrée course is accompanied by Pulao (boiled white rice with peas), Khichdi (lentils mixed with rice and assorted vegetables), and Kadhi (soup with yogurt and spiced chickpea flour). For dessert, try the homemade Indian ice cream, Gulab Jamun (waffle balls in sugar & rose syrup), and Masala Chai (Indian tea cooked with cardamom, ginger & milk).
The beverage program was designed to complement the spices and flavors found in the cuisine, featuring classic, Indian-inspired cocktails like a Lychee Martini and Highway Lassi. A global wine list features reds and whites by the glass and bottle, kosher labels, and a selection of champagne and sparkling wine.
By NJ Dean, STYLE & SOCIETY