Lo and behold, on the 20th of March, 2011, I found myself wandering around near the New York Public Library looking for an affordable place to eat.
Crossing this way and that, I eventually spotted this place called Curry Dream. Hey, I figured, Indian food. Let me check out the menu posted on the window. I was with my boyfriend at the time, and we were both very hungry. My first mistake was looking for affordable food in Midtown West that wasn’t McDonald’s or Subway.
My second, and by far the BIGGEST mistake, was standing in front of the restaurant reading the menu.
A waiter came out and practically dragged us into the restaurant, insisting we come and take a seat. Tired and delusional from four hours sleep the night before and standing out in the cold for over an hour previously, my mind interpreted this action as insistent hospitality.
Oh how wrong I was.
As soon as we come in and we sit down, we’re given a menu each. A waiter comes by and I ordered a soda ($2). My boyfriend ordered a mango lassi ($4) at the waiter’s encouragement. This was when my first red flag went up. When the waiter asked if we were ready to order yet, I looked over the appetizers. He immediately insisted to my boyfriend that he order the grilled vegetable appetizer. I nudged my guy under the table. So glad he got the hint. That appetizer was $9. Instead, we opted to have Chana Chat ($5) and Samosa ($4).
I made sure to ask the waiter if the food was mild in flavor for someone who’s never really indulged in Indian food before. He said it was VERY mild with a sweet smile, and went to get our appetizers while we looked through the menus for our entrees.
I got Chicken Makhani ($12) and my boyfriend got Chicken Sag ($12). We also got a naan each ($2 per). I requested butter with my naan.
I got the appetizer. It was so hot I was crying almost. My soda was gone in an instant. This was when my second red flag went up. The waiter had declared war!
The SAMOSAS were more mild than my Chana Chat.
We ran out of our drinks fast, and the waiter was there immediately to suggest to us that we may want to refill our drinks. I knew better now, unfortunately all my food had been ordered. So we asked for water. It took them a good fifteen minutes to get us water.
Our food is taken away, and we’re given our meals. The time between our water and our meals is about 20 minutes, mind you. Our naan is alright at best… but it came with no butter, even though I had requested it. There is only one bowl of rice. There is a small portion for each of us of our meal. Again, my chicken is BEYOND SPICY for my poor tongue. The chicken was oily and looked like a mess slopped into a metal bowl. Biting into it, it was mostly chicken fat.
We waited for our check and got the crap out of there once we got it, but not before getting hit with the damage…
Wait, rewind. $47.45?
If you round all the prices up to the nearest dollar, as I have done, and then include the tax, it totals $46.82.
However, if you use the actual prices, it totals $45.24. That was my final red flag.
While we were waiting for our check, a woman was there with someone who she wanted to introduce the restaurant to, and she expressed her disappointment at the waiter – her waiter was ours – at the fact they were given only one bowl of rice even though there was two of them, and she wanted to give her friend a similar experience to what she had. Their response?
“These are hard times economically, I’m sure you understand.”
I’m never going there again, and Gods bless anybody who decides to go to what will always be in my mind as “Curry Nightmare”. There is next to no decor, there is no feel for the restaurant, the wait staff aren’t interested in you unless you’re going to be dumping a large sum of cash into their restaurant, and I can’t help but hope that nobody makes the mistake of going to that restaurant.
If you get the urge to visit them because you’re a masochist…
66 West 39th Street
New York, New York 10018
(Between 5th and 6th Avenue)