Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 11/18/2015
Babu Ji. Photo: Mikey Pozarik
175 Ave. B, 212-951-1082, East Village, Manhattan
Monday night is the best time to hit Babu Ji, a perpetually packed, adventurous Indian restaurant in Alphabet City. The small, modern corner space saves half the room for walk-ins, though as the week draws to a close it means a long wait. Parties that reserve are signed up for the tasting menu ($50 per person), a good way to sample the full range of chef Jessi Singh's gifts. He's from Northern India and made his name with successful restaurants in Australia co-owned with his Brooklyn-born wife, Jennifer. Start with "nachos" of fried dough wafers covered in chickpeas, pomegranate seeds and tamarind sauce. Indo-Chinese-style cauliflower is cloaked in ginger, fiery tomato sauce and sesame seeds. Buttery chicken in fenugreek curry and slow-simmered leg of lamb with hints of coconut are also terrific. The wine list is heavy on Australian exports, and a self-serve fridge is stocked with global beers and ciders. When the check comes you'll be alerted to a 16% administrative fee in lieu of tipping.