Corner Delhi with Gillian Tozer

Our latest edition features a cozy Anglo-Indian restaurant in Prospect Heights called Corner Delhi. Owned by chef Tariq Haq, dishes served at this eatery tell the story of Tariq’s mother and grandmother’s culinary life in London with traditional Indian cooking. We headed down to Corner Delhi on a rainy Sunday evening with our good friend Gillian Tozer, co-founder of TRUSS, a handbag line of beautiful, handwoven styles from Oaxaca, to shared a delicious meal of curries, chutneys, and decadent desserts. She was gracious enough to tell us a little bit about what she does and some of her food favorites. Check out our little interview with her below.

To start our meal we ordered a few drinks from the restaurant’s selection of Indian-inspired cocktails, which are enriched with spices and fresh herbs. We especially loved the Indian Summer ($14) made with bourbon, sage, lemon and apricot preserve. The Viceroy Martini ($14) with Old Raj gin, vermouth and cardamom is also a great choice for martini lovers. For appetizers, we chose Poori & Chutneys ($10) and Goan “Ora King” Salmon Tartare ($14). The Poori (pictured), a deep-fried bread, came out hot and fluffy, accompanied by three incredibly fresh chutneys: coconut, cilantro, and tamarind. From the main Tandoor section of the menu, we ordered the Malabar Shrimp Curry ($19 pictured) and Old Delhi-Style Butter Chicken ($19 pictured), as well as from the Stove, the Mushroom & Chickpea Masala ($16 pictured). We fully enjoyed the smoky char on the shrimp paired with the sweet mango-coconut base of the Malabar curry and were pleasantly surprised by the freshness the vine-ripened tomatoes brought to the usually decadent and heavy butter chicken. The masala featured mushroom and chickpeas covered in a bright fire-roasted red pepper harissa, topped with a perfectly cooked fried egg.

Of course, we couldn’t forget to order some dessert. The Krishna’s Chocolate Cake ($10) was a dense cake with a slather of cardamom cream cheese and rose whipped cream. But the star of the show had to go to the Coconut Tapioca ($11). Anyone who loves bananas or fried plantains will not be disappointed. A rich, creamy interior of coconut tapioca is covered in a delicately thin layer of caramelized banana (highly, highly recommend!).

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do:
Australian living between New York and Oaxaca right now. I am the cofounder of TRUSS, an accessories brand that works with artisans throughout Mexico. I also do a little consulting on the side just to maintain the hustle 😉

Favorite dish at Corner Delhi:
I’m a sucker for Butter Chicken and New Dehli’s was amazing. To me, butter chicken at Indian’s spots is like the pad thai of Thai restaurants or the spicy tuna roll at most sushi restaurants—if you mess this dish up then there’s not much hope for anything else! Aside from the chicken being super soft and nicely portioned, the tomato cream curry was perfectly seasoned and yes, we ordered extra daal to soak every last drop up. Major shoutout goes to the salmon tartare starter! This was a completely unexpected option and remains my 2nd fave item on the menu!

Favorite food memory:
Food is pretty much linked to all my happy memories! A few summers ago, I was on a boat in Turkey where we tried our hands at spear fishing and almost immediately after catching the little guys, the cook on the boat prepared and served them. The meat was just like butter and needed virtually no seasoning.

Last September I was in Paris for work and was of course on the hunt for the perfect croissant. Going off a strong tip off, I found the most buttery, crispy croissant I think i’ve ever had. Walking through sunny Paris, listening to music, and crunching on my croissant is def a recent food highlight.

Last Australian summer, I went back home to go camping, well actually it was more like glamping due to the excess of delicious food my best friend prepared throughout!! There’s nothing like slow cooked lamb shanks and a Negroni while staring at the stars in the Australian bush.

And finally, Mexico! Outside of the amazing restaurant scene, the food of Mexico is unparalleled and in my opinion this is due to two elements: the sauces and the corn tortilla. I have eaten some of my favorite meals in this country and usually from the humblest of kitchens that only have a clay comal and an open fire to work with. As soon as I leave Mexico, Oaxaca specifically, I immediately begin to crave the black mole, the coloradito, the tinga, the… OK i’ll stop now.

Spirit food:
Something stupidly extravagant and delicious, IDK… I often stare lovingly at Lady M’s Mille Feuille cakes and think, you complete me. I’m sure most people would say something spicy that at first sends your mouth into a rampage but eventually eases off, giving you a nice warm buzz 🙂

Favorite NYC restaurant:
Aye aye aye… to be honest, there are so many popping up these days, I can’t keep up! The classics include Locanda Verde, Raoul’s, ABC Kitchen but also Olmstead, Paulie Gee’s, and Uncle Boon’s.

Go-to meal on a busy day:
Sweet Green or Juice Gen for a protein smoothie.

Next food destination:
Korea! I don’t know nearly enough about the culture and I figure the food is the best place to start!

Corner Delhi
447 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 576-3056
cornerdelhibklyn.com

Tsurutontan

We wanted to show our love for noodles with a special feature on a restaurant that does the udon variety very well. What exactly is udon? Udon noodles are thick wheat flour noodles that originated in China and were introduced to the Japanese over 1200 years ago.

With the short history lesson aside, let’s introduce you to TsuruTonTan. Originally from Kagawa prefecture in Japan, TsuruTonTan opened its doors in 1979 to the city of Shikoku, offering authentic, handmade udon noodles. The restaurant is known for its extensive research on different types of udon throughout Japan and its particular focus on finding the best bowls for its presentation.

The name TsuruTonTan represents the following: “tsuru” is the sound of slurping noodles, “ton” is the sound of kneading and shaping udon, and “tan” is the sound of cutting the udon. The menu represents Japanese classics, as well as more innovative dishes. Each bowl of noodles comes in a beautifully super-sized bowl, black for the warm noodles and mint green glazed for the cold noodles. Located where the original Union Square Cafe used to be, TsuruTonTan offers an upscale atmosphere with its dimmed lights, high ceilings, and wooden interiors. We headed over to the restaurant with friends on a Monday night (making reservations is always a nice way to avoid wait time). For appetizers, we ordered Edamame ($6), Crispy Corn Kakiage ($8), and Soy Garlic Fried Tatsuta Chicken ($12). We loved the crispy corn that were fried into little corn chips. For main dishes I ordered the Mentaiko Caviar Udon ($17) and Naomi ordered the Tsurutontan Deluxe ($24). Although slightly on the salty side, the cold mentaiko caviar noodles were perfectly chewy with a hint of spiciness. The deluxe bowl was a warm version with a variety of tempura vegetables and shrimp, as well as thin beef slices, chicken and an egg dropped. The noodles were again, super chewy, and the broth, a heart-warming bonito base.

Some honorable mentions include the Tsuruton Créme Deluxe ($24) for those looking for a rich meal and the US Wagyu Shabu Udon ($21) for all truffle and beef lovers. All in all, TsuruTonTan is a great way to enjoy authentic Japanese udon noodles, whether it’s your first time or if you’re a long time lover.

Tsurutontan
21 E 16th St, New York, NY 10003
www.tsurutontan.com

Bar B

Japanese-Italian food, also known as Itameshi (Italian food), is a particular sub-cuisine within Japan, which features unusual twists on classic Italian staples like pasta, pizza, and risotto. Its origins date as far back as the 1920s, when spaghetti first appeared in Japanese restaurants, along with ‘red sauce’ popularized in the 1940s by Italian-American GIs after the war. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Italian cuisine really took off in Japan as a more”friendly, cheap, and cheerful” option compared to French food.

There aren’t as many Japanese-Italian food joints in New York compared to the booming ramen scene, but among the few in the city, Basta Pasta rings a superior note. In 1985, restaurateur Toshi Suzuki opened the original Basta Pasta in Tokyo, and five years later, in New York, located in the Chelsea neighborhood. His New York success has allowed him to undertake creative new ventures like Bar B, an Italian standing wine bar, inspired by small plate bars in Spain and Italy.

Open the menu and you’ll find Italian classics with Basta Pasta’s signature twist, a selection of carefully curated Italian wine (displayed neatly along the walls), and authentic Italian espresso. Naomi and I headed over on a Thursday night for some wine, delicious eats, and good conversations with friends. We started out with a cheese plate, a beautiful range of both hard and soft cheeses paired perfectly with small baguette slices. Our main dishes included Bar B’s seasonal creamy mushroom risotto, as well as their signature Fusilli, a cheesy concoction of finely diced prosciutto and porcini mushrooms. For the more carnivorous variety, we hear the house marinated skirt steak with potato salad is a standout!

If you don’t mind standing, Bar B is the perfect place to grab a bite or share a few glasses of wine with a friend or two. You’re sure to enjoy the soft lighting and cozy European atmosphere.

Bar B
84 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011
www.barbnyc.com

Barano

New York City is filled with delicious Italian cuisine that many have come to call their comfort food. The large selection can be quite overwhelming, so when you do find a favorite place, it’s one that you’ll keep coming back to. That one restaurant for us is Barano in South Williamsburg. Barano feels high end but still approachable, polished but manages to hit that comfort-food level. It’s a surprisingly all-encompassing restaurant that’s perfect for family dinners, date night, and even Sunday brunch.

Wednesday nights seemed to be one of their quiet nights, where even at 7pm, the restaurant stayed half-full with just the right amount of chatter (perfect time to go if you’re looking for a quiet place to dine!). We were seated at a dimly lit corner with a full view of the beautiful, dark-wood furnished interior. That night our appetite took the better of us, and we decided to order quite a spread: antipasto consisting of both salted and smoked mozzarella and thinly sliced prosciutto, meatballs made from 21-day dry-aged beef with herb ricotta, bucatini with wood-roasted maitake mushroom, brown, butter, basil pesto, and bottarga, and finally, a zucchini pizza garnished with beautiful zucchini blossoms. Our favorites were the smoked mozzarella brought out in a beautiful glass dome lid, where upon lifting it, the smoke dissipated leaving a beautiful aroma behind. The meatballs were light and fluffy, doused in a delightful sauce. And last but not least, the bucatini made with mushrooms was the perfect dish to start off the fall season, it’s earthy taste combined with the tangy pesto and handmade noodles made for a one-of-a-kind plate.

Barano
26 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11249
www.baranobk.com

Divya’s Kitchen

We love our burgers and pizzas, but it’s also important to listen to your body, nourish, and care for it, because after all, we only have one body. Not to say that burgers and pizzas can’t be healthy! We found a place that transforms comfort food staples into well-balanced, health-filled meals that will allow you to indulge, but also feel good while doing so.

Divya’s Kitchen on 1st Avenue between 1st and 2nd Street is a restaurant rooted in the tradition of Shaka Vansiya Ayuvreda. Ayurveda is the ancient system of medicine from India (ayur = life, veda = science of knowledge) that emphasizes the importance of balance. Some of the core Ayurvedic diet principles consists of eating colorful and flavorful foods that hit six tastes: sweet, salty, sour pungent, bitter, and astringent. By ingesting the color of the rainbow and different tastes, your body gets the full healing benefits that help to restore and build a healthy self. For the complete run down on Ayurveda and the specifics of the diet, head over to The Chopra Center.

Not only does Divya’s kitchen offer healthy options, but everything is made from scratch, from their cheese to the almond milk. Chef Divya Alter focuses on seasonal foods, changing up the menu three times a year to incorporate fruits and vegetables that are truly in season. Another important component that Chef Divya emphasizes is the idea of calm. You won’t find any spicy dishes on the menu, and the mostly beige and off-white interior cast in a warm, glowing light brings a sense of ease and comfort to the dining experience. We certainly had a cozy dining experience where we ordered everything from Avocado Dip ($8), Creamy Vegetable Soup ($8), Spinach-Cheese Cutlets ($8), Summer Bowl ($16), and Lasagna ($22). Some of our favorites included the Creamy Vegetable Soup made from taro root, celery, and zucchini (who knew vegan soup could be so creamy!) and the Lasagna consisting of almond milk béchamel, broccoli carrots, spinach, mozzarella and basil-parsley pesto. The layers of white sauce melted into the broccoli and carrots creating a flavorful harmony of ingredients.

Divya’s Kitchen
25 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003
www.divyaskitchen.com