Badshah is the latest venture from Abishek Sharma (Surya, Swagat) and former Babu Ji Executive Chef Charles Mani. Named after the Hindi term for “King of the Village,” Badshah will feature inventive dishes inspired by Indian street food, and signature classics updated in creative ways with spices and flavors from across Asia.
This restaurant is the third from Sharma, who has taken the reigns on the family businesses led by his father, Lala Sharma, including acclaimed West Village restaurant Surya and Swagat on the Upper West Side. With Badshah, Abishek combines modern energy with the knowledge passed down by his father, who worked in his native New Delhi at Bukhara, considered one of the 50 best restaurants in the world.
The Badshah kitchen is led by Mani, who before launching and rising to acclaim at Babu Ji, served as chef de partie and culinary trainer at Sheraton Hotel in Chennai in southern India and as a chef on Norwegian Cruise Line.
His philosophy of “tempering,” or layering and enhancing of spices and flavors, is used throughout his “street-to-the-plate” menu, divided into Appetizers from the Roadside, Tandoor, and From the Pots, and also includes a Chef’s Tasting Menu of four different appetizers and five varied selections of curries, served with bread, rice, and sauces.
Appetizers from the Roadside are Gol Goppa, a popular street snack of crisp semolina balls served with tangy, savory chutney, and creative Quinoa Tikki with quinoa, potatoes and black-eyed peas, with chutney of pineapple, mango, and ginger. Other highlights are Southern Style Mussels in a spiced tamarind and tomato broth with coriander, cumin, and black pepper, and crispy pan-fried Indo-Chinese Colonel Tso Cauliflower, coated in tomato-chili sauce and topped with sesame and onion seeds and sliced scallions.
Fall-off-the-bone Tandoor selections are Boneless Tandoor Chicken, marinated in spiced yogurt and roasted whole spices, and Clove Smoked Lamb Chops with a unique blend of cardamom and clove masala, chargrilled in a clay oven for depth of flavor.
Selections From the Pots are signature Butter Chicken in a makhani gravy with a touch of fenugreek and creamy Cheese Kofta in a curry of cashew nut sauce with cardamom, fennel, and cumin, topped with edible orchid blossom and microgreens. Other standouts are the Chargrilled Atlantic Salmon in a sweet coconut curry sauce of fresh coconut, curry leaves, mustard seed, and dried red chili, topped with microgreens and edible flowers, also available as a vegan option with Roasted Butternut Squash.
Dessert features signatures like Gulab Jamun, spongy milk balls in rose-scented syrup, and Clay-Pot Kulfi, traditional ice cream in pistachio and cardamom flavors.
The beverage menu includes classics, like Mango Lassi, and a full bar with cocktails infused with Indian spices, such as cloves, cinnamon, fennel, cumin, and curry leaves, and six beers on draft with Indian selections, like Kingfisher Lagerand local East Coast brews.
The interior evokes the contemporary concept with white-washed exposed brick walls, silver metallic accents, like chrome-dipped lightbulbs, an intriguing silver-and-white threaded ceiling design, and a slate-colored bar. Table tops are a light sandalwood shade complemented by sage-hued plush banquets.
Badshah is located at 788 Ninth Ave. between 52nd and 53rd streets.