This week I have been on a Jamaica restaurant crawl of new and older restaurants all on the Hillside Avenue area. Saturday was the three year old Vintage Curry (British Style Indian) and it was great. Wednesday was a 2nd visit to the just opened Dhan Shiri and I love it. Well, add the month old Mirch Grill Clay Oven (172-27 Hillside Avenue) to my restaurant crawl and it was worth the wait ( I have been wanting to try it). A triple threat as far as top notch food, service and atmosphere, plus amazing non-alcoholic drinks.
When you walk into Mirch, you are walking into nothing quite like it in Jamaica, in fact you will think you are in the meat packing district with it’s very stylish decor and chill music, which includes some Indian music. The very pretty hostess/waitress greeted me and along with a young male waiter served me. Even one of the co-owners, who was very nice, came over to me to find out how things were. AMAZING was my answer. Look, places like this might not be a big deal to folks in Manhattan & Brooklyn, but here in Queens and especially Jamaica, this is a BIG DEAL.
For a drink, I was contemplating between the Spicy Watermelon Mint Aqua Fresca and the Rosemary Blueberry Smash, tough choice. I went with the later and was it refreshing and full of taste (my next visit it will be the watermelon). For a starter I ordered the Dal Vada Chaat, which consisted of green moong lentils, onions, green chillies and horseradish. What surprised me most was the presentation of it (photo below) and not what I was expecting as far as looks. It looked amazing and so was the taste, which combined so many different flavors and spices into it, that I slowly ate it, not wanting it to end. For the main dish, I ordered from one of their “Not so Traditional Curries”. My choice was the Mustard Fish, which I was craving since I saw it on-line. A fish dish made with mustard oil, green chilli and coconut. But the waitress informed me that they did not have the fish they normally use to make it and suggested some other items. I told her I don’t eat me, so she was nice enough to ask the chef if the could use a different fish and he said yes and he used salmon. Delicious. The curry was so flavorful and the salmon was so tender and juicy, I don’t know how the chef did it, but it was one of the best tasting pieces of salmon I have ever had. The dish also came with a bowl of rice. I wanted dessert, but my stomach was saying no way, so I left it at that.
This is a great place for a nice classy evening out, a romantic dinner or a family gathering (they have tables that can accommodate large groups). Like most Halal/Muslim eateries, there is no alcohol, but I tell you want, with their drinks, you won’t miss it. Pricing for the restaurant is higher than the usual in this area (but not outrageous), but it is worth it. We need more eateries like this in the area and since I hear it can get packed on weekends (check out the photos on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/mirchny/info/?tab=overview, there is obvious a market for this type of stylish dining.
Mirch is billed as an Indian-American Fusion place and I would put this place against any place in Queens as far as food, service and atmosphere. They even have a few “American” items like burgers and steak, but hey, if you are going to go to an Indian place, do Indian, which along with Thai, is one of my favorites.
Well, put Mirch at the top of my list of places to check out in Jamaica. A very welcome and different dining experience than what one is used to in this area. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
Check out their website at http://mirchny.com/