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Hampton Chutney


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I've been--I thought their dosas were comparable in quality to those I've had at several Indian restaurants, and I liked the choice of fillings.  I also thought they were a little too expensive;  $6.50 for a masala dosa struck me as a little high, and the one I had (with chicken, arugula, peppers, and onions) was $10.  If they were closer to $5 and I still lived in New York, I'd probably go there a lot.  In fact, I'd probably go there a lot anyway, and just gripe about the price.

They do seem to be treating the dosa format with a certain degree of reverence;  I'm not qualified to report on the authenticity, but they're not doing bacon-cheeseburger dosas or anything like that.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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I've been there several times and have yet to see what all the fuss is about.  It just goes to show ya what a few good reviews and well placed PR can do for an otherwise ordinary and overpriced eatery.

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and any other feedback?

Since you asked  -- Terrible. Since they go away in the island, they thought they could do so here too  :angry: My two bits. Not to say that many do like this place very much.

anil

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I haven't been to the one in Soho, but I frequent the Hampton Chutney in Amagansett. I normally shy away from Americanized/fusion places, but in the Hamptons, where there is little choice and everything is overpriced, HC is a godsend. I like the dosas and chutneys, and the service is friendly.

Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

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What a great name... easy to remember... but the Chutneys are terrible at best.  The other day we ordered 4 dosas and 2 of us went to the safest chutney option.. the Cilantro.  The other two wanted to try again to see if  they could find any other... mango and peanut were their choices.

After the meal, we all agreed that the Cilantro was the least worst choice.

How sad..... A restaurant with Chutney in their name could do well to study the art of Chutney making.. which is not very difficult.. there are a few tricks.. but the rest is in balancing the flavors.. sweet, sour, spicy and sometimes nutty.  How difficult can that be?  It is at Hampton Chutney.

I do not find thenm pricy though. IN fact I am happy paying that money for a dosa and eat it in a clean space with the knowledge that I am eating sitting in a clean place, eating food cooked in a clean kitchen by clean hands.  Refreshing to me actually.  I would be happy to pay t hat higher amount in many places.

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I've been there and had the masala dosa a few times-I had little desire to have any of the fusiony dosas.The dosa was ok,but the chutneys were boring-I wouldn't go back;not good enough,and the seating is very uncomfortable.

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I also eat only the regular Masala Dosa and you are right.. The Chutneys are bad.  

I have been meaning to work with the chef and teach her some Indian chutneys.  She is most open and ready.. I am to blame... I have to take time out and work with her.  It is my mistake.  But you know how it is... I have paying clients and work that beckons me when I have extra time. But I need to do for myself and others that enjoy a good Dosa and can be perfectly happy if this place could simply give better Chutney as well.

The Dosas are better than any I have ever eaten in NYC.  The filling maybe more authentic at a Pongal or even a Madras Mahal.. but the Dosa.. a winner at Hampton Chutney.

And yes the seats are not easy to work around if you are more than one person.

The chef makes a great hot chili pepper Utthapam when I request her to do so.. It is the best Uthappam of a life time.  She made it the first time for me as a gift from her.  I fell in love.  It was delicious and exactly like the chili Uthappam at Sagar the temple of Southern Indian cooking in New Delhi.

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And how could I forget the best Sambhaar in NYC.  It is made at Hampton Chutney.  While they do not serve it with the Dosas.. you can buy it as a side.  

Amazing saambhaar.  Not the nonsense that one if fed in way to many Indian restaurants in the US and also in Mumbai.  This is Sambhaar that would make pious old fashioned Southern Indian grandmothers smile a big smile.  

This Sunday she had made a Rassam.  A tomato rassam.  Perhaps she did not know what she had made.. but her trial and error had created what any Southerner (Indian) would see as delicious rassam.  I was ecstatic.  And here at the restaurant this amazing clear broth of lentil water and spices and vegetables (rassam) was called Soup.  But who cares.. I got amazing rassam.. and the crispiest and non greasy Dosa with good stuffing.  But only the chutney could have been better.. but it was not bad enough for me to discount the place.  In fact I love it enough to keep going back and I do.  But now.. soon I should go back to show the lovely chef some chutney recipes.  She is willing and wanting.. I am skirting.

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Do it for the good of all, Suvir. :wink:

"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

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I had lunch at Hampton Chutney today.  Crowded as any restaurant can be.  How does Patty (the chef-owner) manage?  

With a winning smile no less.

I ate the Classic Masala Dosa.  My friend had the #6 or #4 I forget now.  The classic with spinach and cheese added.

We took them to go.  We walked to the St. Patrick's cemetery where we found a place of quiet and calm to sit and eat.  Not far at all from the restaurant.  

The Dosas were great.  The stuffing was delicious.  The chutney (cilantro for each of us) tasty and the meal a perfect one for a sunny pleasant afternoon in NYC.

I told Patty to come visit egullet and let her know we are talking about her here.  She had no clue what egullet was.  I am hoping she will come so we can ask her questions here.  

I love Hampton Chutney.  I also love the fact that they are so clean.  I am weary of the Guru Maayi connection.  Since I leave religion and spirituality at home when I dine.  I would rather not see that in public places.  At Hampton Chutney certainly the images of their owners spiritual beliefs are on display for all to see, but no other mention is made.  The very secular person in me found the music upsetting the first time I ate there.  And now I actually like it.  So, once I moved beyond my initial distaste for the flaunting of any kind of religion publicly, I realized that here was not any action to coerce or affect or change, simply what inspired those that worked there to keep serving happily and with large smiles.

I go back more often to Hampton Chutney than any Indian restaurant.  For 3 reasons:

1) Great Dosas (my all time favorite food)

2) For clean and friendly environment

3) For that lovely smile I see on the face of the chef-owner Patty, even as she is making and endless sum of Dosas without any breaks.  

That smile in the chefs face takes me back to the smile on my grandmothers face as she labors at the age of 84 to make great Gobhi- Aloo- Mooli stuffed parathas (cauliflower-potato-turnip stuffed flat breads) and convinces all of us that it gives her great pleasure to feed us these most amazingly crisp parathas.  And I am talking at least a few dozen parathas made from scratch by a woman standing with the help of a walker and gravely ill.  But she has us all convinced that in serving home cooked meals to my grandfather and all family and friends, she is able to get exercise and a will to continue living.  In her feeding us these parathas she claims she finds great relief from a life that could seem hopeless in old age.  The strange thing is that I believe her.

And at Hampton Chutney, even as Patti makes Dosa after Dosa without a break she continues to smile and keep going at it.  When I was there last week I counted her making 15 Dosas before taking a break.  And that break was only coming to the counter, announcing the name of the party that placed the order, delivering the Dosa with a great smile and then going back to start making the remainder of orders.  Wow!  

She must love making these crunchy savory and most tasty rice and bean crepes.  Her smile makes me forget I am in NYC.  I feel I am in the home of my grandmother, eating a meal that all are enjoying. Me for its taste and the chef for what it gives them, a sense of fulfillment.

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And if anyone cares to know.. My maternal grandparents live in San Francisco in the Marina.

I get to visit them very often for that reason.  

My grandmother with the help of a walker cooks 3 meals a day.  

They have lemon trees in their yard, mint and cilantro growing and several other fruits and vegetables.

She uses them all and other great produce available in abundance in SF and cooks amazing meals.

She actually freezes lemon juice from the tree in the yard for months when they do not have fruits.  She says even the frozen juice from the lemons from the yard has more flavor. She makes pickles from them.

At her age, with a walker, she enjoys making Dosas and Idlis (steamed lenti and bean cakes) at least once a week. She says it gives my grandfather and her a good change from the North Indian food they eat the rest of the time.

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  • 5 months later...
I ate the Classic Masala Dosa.  

The Dosas were great.  The stuffing was delicious.  

In fact I ate 2.

And Patty made me a special Uthappam with finely diced hot green chiles, caramelized onions and roasted tomatoes. It was also superb.

She had made a Dal (spiced similar but not exactly) like a sambhaar and with spinach dumplings that was terrific.

The Mango Lassi was delicious. Not too sweet.

I can never get enough of her Dosas. They are perfect.

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I am still haunted by the delicious Sambhaar made by Patty at Hampton Chutney on Sunday. Have not had many spicy legume preparations that have left such an impact on my memory.

And the Dosas.... were heavenly.

If anyone does go there... Ask for Patty the chef.. Tell her you read about her Dosas and their crispy texture without the grease on eGullet through my post... I hope she will take a few extra moments and prepare you what she always does for me... the best Dosas of my lifetime. When I had not made acquaintance with her, the Dosas were superb.. And now, when she sees me, I know she makes even more of an effort.. And they are magical.

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I am still haunted by the delicious Sambhaar made by Patty at Hampton Chutney on Sunday.  Have not had many spicy legume preparations that have left such an impact on my memory.

Suvir, has your opinion of the cilantro chutney changed or is what's served in the restaurant different from what's sold at retail?

I used to enjoy their cilantro chutney as a condiment for grilled pork, but I haven't tasted it since you taught me the true way. :laugh:

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I am still haunted by the delicious Sambhaar made by Patty at Hampton Chutney on Sunday.  Have not had many spicy legume preparations that have left such an impact on my memory.

Suvir, has your opinion of the cilantro chutney changed or is what's served in the restaurant different from what's sold at retail?

I used to enjoy their cilantro chutney as a condiment for grilled pork, but I haven't tasted it since you taught me the true way. :laugh:

Their chutneys leave much to be desired. But even most served in other Indian restaurants are poor at best.

These are just even more removed from what they ought to be.

But her Dosas and the fillings are so good.. that I forget the chutney.

Also I love her Dals.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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