Restaurant Review #279: Desi Tasty Grill (New Brunswick, NJ)

Sometimes one must tell the end of the story before the beginning. After a few rounds at nearby Clydz (review forthcoming), Justin and I were hungry. We had been joined by his friend Danielle who lives in the area. Now, being totally unfamiliar with the mini city of New Brunswick, we managed to park in the most inconvenient place possible for our visit to Clydz. However, by some stroke of fate, that meant we were parked right next to a small Indian restaurant called Desi Tasty Grill. We walked in to see an establishment that looks like it relies mainly on delivery and takeout. It was around 9 PM and there was not a soul in the place. But then I saw an “Open Until 3 AM” sign on the door and realized that in this bustling college town, we were dining perhaps a little too early. Sure enough, after sitting down, the phone started ringing off the hook with orders.

This miraculous-at-the-time Indian restaurant was just what we needed. We were, shall we say, relaxed, after a couple of hours at Clydz. Justin ordered himself a chicken makhni and I thought that sounded good and asked for the same. I absent-mindedly forgot to request extra spicy. Danielle ordered a mango chicken and the three of us shared samosas and onion rings (which I hoped would be like onion bhajia that I have not had in forever). All entrees came with a personal portion of naan, and thank God for that.

The onion rings were crispy, but more like American onion rings with a sprinkle of seasoning. The samosas were of the vegetarian variety and delicious. A mixture of a crunchy outside, warm flavorful interior. But the best was yet to come.

Our entrees were set down and I could tell immediately that I was going to like my makhni. The sauce was thick and rich, loaded with spices that danced across my palate. For a place with a sub-4 stars on Google, I was shocked. This was excellent Indian food. The sauce was right up there with the best I’ve ever had. My arteries did not want to know how much butter and cream was used. Meanwhile, the bread was fluffy and puffy with a slight char. I used it to dredge up every bit of that sauce as I possibly could. The rice too was perfectly done. There were no complaints from any of us, except one: more chicken! There were maybe four of five chunks, ranging from tiny to decent. I feel like I was done with the chicken so early on, thinking there would be more hidden in the sauce, but when it was gone, it was gone. Not a major criticism (especially for the price), but this was another instance of a place needing to charge a little more and give a little more.

Justin paid, so I do not know the individual prices, but the bill for three entrees (with rice), three naans, two appetizers, and three soft drinks was just over $40. That’s the kind of deal I would expect in a city like this. Ironically enough, my friend Chris who recommended Clydz also hits Desi Tasty Grill when he is done drinking, which I did not even know until after I told him. Again, this is more of a takeout spot, but with five tables, more than enough room to have a sit-down dinner. Coming from my area of suburbia, it was great to see such hustle and bustle and restaurants open after 10 PM. What a novel idea. 4 out of 5 stars.

Desi Tasty Grill is located at 119 Somerset Street in New Brunswick, NJ.

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