Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Amma


prasad2
 Share

Recommended Posts

Whatever "they" might say we had a wonderful meal at Amma last night. I swear that never again will I say that all Indian restaurants are the same. My husband and I took the tasting menu and every dish was a surprise, a pleasure both to see and to eat. Combinations of flavors were highly complex and sophisticated with several of the dishes adapted from old family recipes. We particularly enjoyed the salmon and halibut and the giant shrimp from Sri Lanka, cooked tandoori style. Our tandoori lamb chop was rare, as requested, and matched beautifully with a young Ravenswood zinfandel.

Our thanks to Suvir and Hemant who were so gracious and attentive and to sommelier Bikky,so knowledgeable and the antithesis of a condescending French sommelier:biggrin:

Ruth Friedman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure it was another favourable review.

I'm delighted that Amma is getting consistently good reviews. I wish I had the opportunity to travel to NYC to dine there and see and smell and taste what Suvir and Hemant have created.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Amma was reviewed today in AMNewyork.

I am home in Brooklyn and would love to know what they say.

I will do a google search now.

Did we fare OK?

Since you said nothing more, I am slightly nervous. :sad::unsure:

So how is the review?

Can't expect anything less, at least I didn't and a few days back I had the most memorable dinner at Amma.

As soon as we walked in, I was humbly greeted by Bikky, (Whom I came to know him as Bikky later) but my friend who was with me was disappointed to find out we had to wait 15 minutes for a table. We decided to stroll the street, had a cocktail next door Bar and were back and then the rest was a paradise.

Of course I had the advantage of knowing Hemant and his skills, but I didn't know how much to expect from the DUO Chef team partnered with Suvir Saran. Most fascinating dinner, course after course, simple yet very elegant presentations, mouth bursting flavors and intense in tastes. A simple spinach Pakora (Fritter) and Moong (Green lentil) Chat (Savory: A subtle Combination of sweet, sour and spicy chutneys and flavors).

One thing I must say the Cheese cake with Mango flavor was so light and flawless, the best I have had.

I tried to locate Suvir in the little but very pretty dining room and I was unable.

Ruth has said all about the food on how good it is and how it has changed her mind that "all Indian restaurants are the same".

To me, that's a great statement!

I had the pleasure of meeting Suvir's and Hemant's business associate "Divender" who has a great vision for success with tastes in food, decor and service. I enjoyed meeting and expanding horizons with Divender.

Amma will satisfy the most sophisticated Indian food lover as well as initiate and convert the most stalwart of skeptics. I wish AMMA a long life in New York, just like how one wishes for thier own mother. "AMMA"

Note: Amma in Indian Language "Hindi" means "Mother"

I shall return very soon to Amma with many friends.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Permit me to delurk...

My wife and I visited Amma for dinner on Saturday night. I would agree (enthusiastically) with the positive assessments. The room itself is elegant and soothing, albeit small. One caveat: there are a large number of small tables along one of the walls. These tables are cramped for two. Unaccountably they are all set with a third chair – it would seem to me to be impossible to fit a third diner at these tables and the extra chairs have the effect of making the space seem even more confined than it is. We asked our waiter to remove the extra chair at our table. Although he initially seemed puzzled at where to put it, he did quickly comply with the request.

The food is exquisitely prepared. We each had the tasting menu. The tasting menu is perfectly calibrated and is certainly neither “too rich” nor “too heavy”. Particular standouts included the “Crispy Fried Spinach” (a nice combination of different textures), and the “Tandoori Shrimp” (multiple layers of spice), but our favorite was the “Manchurian Cauliflower”. By the way, Suvir graciously came out of the kitchen to speak with us during the meal (I had never met him previously and my only connection with the food business is as a consumer) and he told us the secret to the Cauliflower. I leave it up to him to reveal it here! We felt this same grace and friendliness from all of the staff. Although this was our first visit, and although it was a very busy night, we were treated as if we were longstanding regulars. This, in itself, is a reason to return.

I had the wine paring with the tasting menu. Unfortunately although the waitstaff identified the varietal they didn’t actually identify what was being poured. Although this was a little frustrating we were having far too good a time to make an issue of it! Thus, all I know is that we had a large glass of Chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc, and (the highlight) a very peppery Zinfandel. The Chardonnay was paired with the first three courses of the menu, the Sauvignon Blanc with the second two, and the Zinfandel with the meat course. My own inclination for the future would be to skip the wine pairing and just order wines by the glass with dinner.

In sum, although there were some minor glitches, the service was warm and friendly, the space was relaxing, and the food was delicious and complex with feeling forced or overly cerebral. We will definitely return.

... Back to lurking!

Ken Stein

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good post Ken, and welcome to eGullet. Consider yourself encouraged to continue posting. (Tangent: Given your moniker, I guess you're a musician?)

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the service was warm and friendly, the space was relaxing, and the food was delicious and complex with feeling forced or overly cerebral. We will definitely return.

"The space was relaxing" is such a lovely way to put it.

Welcome, Ken. Thank you for posting in such detail.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did anyone hear mention of Amma on MPR's "The Splendid Table" this weekend? Toward the end of the show, Lynne Rossetto Kasper describes the delightful meal she enjoyed at the restaurant. There is a small write-up about the restaurant on the site:

http://www.splendidtable.org/whereweeat/st...tern_amma.shtml

You can also listen to the broadcast to hear Lynne's description on: www.splendidtable.org

Congratulations once again to Hemant and Suvir! :biggrin:

Matthew in Minnesota

Edited by hitchmeer (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've written an article on Amma in my college newspaper, the Daily Spectator.

I had an amazing time at this meal: it was AMAZING, and Suvir and Hemant are AMAZING. :smile: Apologies if the writing isn't so eloquent--I'm still somewhat of a novice food writer, and getting descriptions down can be pretty difficult. I hope I've done justice, however, to this AMAZING restaurant!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I couldn't wait any longer to publicly thank Suvir and the entire staff at Amma for providing a great send off the last evening of a recent trip to NY. The spontaneous tasting menu they provided was both comforting and sophisticated, the flavors clean and balanced. The company, as well, was most enjoyable!

Thank you Suvir, I look forward to next time!

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've written an article on Amma in my college newspaper, the Daily Spectator.

I had an amazing time at this meal: it was AMAZING, and Suvir and Hemant are AMAZING. :smile: Apologies if the writing isn't so eloquent--I'm still somewhat of a novice food writer, and getting descriptions down can be pretty difficult. I hope I've done justice, however, to this AMAZING restaurant!

Jayanthi, you are way too modest. Thanks for sharing your thoughts both in this forum and in the pages of the Columbia Spectator.

Anju, Hemant, Bikky and myself, all owe you many thanks for having shared thoughts that are largely similar to our own. Your mind actually understood what it was we were trying to share, and that you understood it and tasted it without our having to state it as such, is for us, something we feel happy about. Your own background and your love of food certainly has much to do with this.

Hemant and I wanted to create a menu, in which we can use the many regional dishes of India in ways big and small, but create plates where regions, textures, tastes and colors come together to show the diversity and unity of India. If literature, cinema, music and drama in India have succeeded in doing so, it was no challenge to us to try and bring that same diversity into the plate. I am glad you discovered and exposed what we have made an effort to achieve.:smile:

Tamil, Parsi, Andhra, Delhi, Rajasthan, Kashmir, Bengal, Sino-Indian, Maharashtra, Mewari, Kayastha, Lucknow, Karanataka, Misrani, and Mogul are some of the many regional or otherwise diverse groups whose foods can be found at Amma. Some of the regions or communities are only represented in a condiment or two (some with pickles, some with chutneys/pachadis), but we are trying to always be creative in pairing dishes with sides that are from other parts of India.

Thanks for taking time to dine at Amma. Thanks for writing a review about your meal. Thanks for sharing it on eGullet. :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pumpkin lover, we had a current Columbia University Undergrad student and also some very well known past students dining at Amma last night. It was as if almost each group of people had someone who had studied at Columbia, or was still involved with it.

I am sure your piece had a great deal to do with that occurence. :smile:

Thanks for that great piece you wrote. Hemant and I spoke about it again last night, and Anju, the owner, was sharing our enthusiasm about your writing and your experience. It was impressive that you were able to uncover the most minute nuances of what we had spent a couple of months putting together.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that I have seen this image taken by Tana that has charmed many on eGullet and around NYC.... (courtesy the AM review of Amma), and that I have virtually been blessed by Monica Bhide (saw her browsing this thread), I can continue with my recipe testing and writing.... :raz::wub: Little things like these, mean a lot when ones day ends late into the wee hours of the next morning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pumpkin lover, we had a current Columbia University Undergrad student and also some very well known past students dining at Amma last night.  It was as if almost each group of people had someone who had studied at Columbia, or was still involved with it.

I am sure your piece had a great deal to do with that occurence. :smile:

Thanks for that great piece you wrote.  Hemant and I spoke about it again last night, and Anju, the owner, was sharing our enthusiasm about your writing and your experience.  It was impressive that you were able to uncover the most minute nuances of what we had spent a couple of months putting together.

Re: the CU student--

That's amazing!! If well-known graduates were eating there, then perhaps it wasn't my piece that led them there (well-known graduates of Columbia, I hope, can fend for themselves :cool: ), but I'll believe it if the currently enrolled student suggested it to them. I'm still a young-enough writer to be wowed when someone listens to my writing. :laugh:

And, Suvir, you're completely welcome about the piece. I'm so glad you and everyone else appreciated it (and I'm also honored that it's being mentioned around your staff!).

It should be noted, though, that from beginning to end, the meal deserved nothing but praise. All the reviews I've read, especially that Grimes one, have been (almost) spot on. It was just a night of fantastic food, simple as that.

Personally, the best compliments that I got about the piece were from my twin sister (also a CU student)--she's definitely interested in trying out Amma. We may be back before X-mas. :smile:

That picture of the spinach chaat is perfect! - Jayanthi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife Sue and I (and our uncle Sy) had a memorable dining experience at Amma last night. I use the term dining experience because describing the food alone doesn't convey the warmth and graciousness of Bikky, Suvir and the rest of the staff. One can instantly tell that this is a labor of love as much as it is a business venture. The principals share their considerable talents with their guests with the same enthusiasm and pride as a painter showing his works to friends visiting his studio.

I can't add much more to the superlatives that fellow eGulletiers have used to describe the Spinach Chaat – fried spinach leaves topped with an Indian-style succotash (sprouted mung beans, corn, etc.); the heavenly Parsi Halibut with mint coconut chutney; the Tandoor Grilled Lamb Chops with sweet and sour pear chutney; or any of the other fabulous dishes that we sampled. However, I can offer how Amma fared using our food rating, er, methodology. If Zagat rates restaurants using a numeric scale (1 - 30) and Grimes uses stars, our ratings have a more experiential and even sexual spin. Well, if music is the food of love, then wonderful food is the music of our survival. In any case, our units of measurement for rating food are... FOOD ORGASMS. It happens when we taste something so absolutely unique and delicious that our jaws drop and we moan, "Oh my God". Although there are many fine restaurants in the city that put contented smiles on our faces, reaching a full-blown food orgasm is anything but commonplace.

Amma's rating would then be Simultaneous multiple food orgasms -- too many to count. :wub:

Edited by mikeyrad (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...