Basera Welcomes You Home

| September 11, 2012

Located at 745 9th Ave. in Midtown West, Basera Restaurant is a welcome respite from the dizzying array of eateries on the Ninth Avenue restaurant trail. Anil Kumar, owner of the Indigo Restaurants has created a very welcoming environment with a fairly traditional Northern Indian menu and very reasonable prices.

The open air front is an extraordinary appealing panache, but it is the bold flavors on the plate that will make you a regular. Cleverly Basara Chicken Tikka Masalasituated as an easy stop for locals, business people and theater goers, Basera will leave you satisfied. On this evening we decided to take a fairly traditional route—no better way to evaluate a restaurant of this sort than to have them cook you the classics.

After devouring the Prawn Balchido (shrimp in coconut and mustard seed sauce), we insisted on an order of the Garlic Naan as we carefully guarded the leftover sauce from being cleared by the busboy. There was no way that plate was leaving before this exquisite gravy was mopped up and even further enjoyed.

Next down the road of classic Northern Indian fare was the Chicken Tikka Masala (in tomato and cream sauce) and the Lamb Rogan Josh (succulent pieces in cardamom sauce). The chicken was cooked to perfection, but it was the lamb that truly knocked our socks off. 80% of Indian restaurants use frozen lamb for their dishes and it is here that Basera parts company. They use only fresh lamb and the difference is noticeable from the very first bite. Absolutely delicious!

Next came the Saag Paneer (spinach with Indian cheese) and the spicy Beef Vindaloo (vinegar, hot chillies and spices). Since the preponderance of dishes were mild, we wanted to see what they could deliver on the spicy side—and deliver they did. A delicious interpretation adorned with the perfect balance of spiciness—spicy by American standards, but baby food in Mumbai.

We stayed the course of North Indian tradition and finished off our meal with a sampling of the traditional Gulab Jamun (Indian cheese balls in honey syrup), Kheer (traditional rice pudding) and Rasmalai (Indian cheese balls in sweetened milk sauce).
All-in-all, Basera was a memorable experience and delivered with a true understanding of tradition. Great service, great food, great prices and a great ambiance. What else could you ask for? This should be on your short list.