Owner and entrepreneur Nurul Amin has opened his first restaurant venture in New York City that will pay homage to the elegance and splendor of the royal palaces and diverse culinary landscape of India. Simon Indian Palace offers regional Indian cuisine created by three experienced chefs–Executive Chef Jalal Bhuiyan (Baluchi’s, Amma) curry specialist Miraj Bhuiyan (Baluchi’s, Curry Kitchen) and tandoor master Shohag Alam (Mahal Kita, Nimbooda). Enthusiastic manager M. Islam Kokan has a business and hospitality background, and completed hotel and restaurant management training at Marriot International in the U.K. He also draws from his vast experience working in every aspect of a restaurant to ensure top-quality service from his trained staff.
The menu is divided into vast vegetarian appetizers and entrées, seafood, chicken and meat selections, biryanis and tandoori specials. All produce and meats are purchased fresh from the farmer’s market daily in small quantities to ensure quality ingredients.
For vegetarian appetizers, consider Lasooni Gobi, an exceptional version of a culinary favorite, with crispy pan-fried cauliflower coated in a flavorful garlic sauce with a touch of sweetness from tamarind, and Tandoori Vegetables grilled with spices and creamy paneer cheese. Standout vegetarian entrées are Kadai Paneer, homemade cheese simmered in a red gravy with freshly ground spices, capsicum and onion, and chef’s special Saag Paneer, a classic dish that rivals the best in the city, of velvety spinach purée paired with fresh, housemade cottage cheese.
For a diverse non-vegetarian starter, order the Combination Platter with chicken malai kebab, chicken tikka masala, barrah kebab with lamb, and fish tikka marinated with ginger, garlic and yogurt, or Masala Crab Cakes, filled with fresh crab and potatoes, and updated with the unique addition of Indian seasonings of garam masala, lemon and mint, served with a creamy cilantro-yogurt sauce.
The menu features more than 10 chicken entrées like Simon Special Chicken, tender chunks of chicken stewed in a flavorful sauce of signature spices, herbs, nuts and yogurt with tomato rice. Chicken Chettinad is a South Indian delicacy, prepared with tomato, onions, garlic, ginger mustard seeds, curry leaf and coconut. Lamb is presented with Rogan Josh in an aromatic cardamom sauce, and Korma, slathered with almond curry.
A standout seafood entrée is Salmon Steak, two juicy pieces of fresh salmon filet, grilled with fragrant spices and the refreshing zing of mint, served alongside fluffy mint rice and a decorative bell pepper filled with sautéed fresh vegetables. Tandoor-fired specials are savory Rack of Lamb, marinated with Indian spices and cooked to fork-tender perfection, served with potatoes and peppers. Classic Biryanis are offered in a selection of meat, seafood and vegetarian selections, from signature Lamb to the Southeast Asian specialty of Jackfruit, with juicy, spiced cubes of fruit, served with potatoes and long-grain Basmati rice.
Guests are welcomed to a vibrant interior with a lively Bollywood scene on one of the flatscreen TVs and crisp white walls that reflect an alluring blue glow evocative of the Indian Ocean that borders India’s southern coast. Other design elements include decorative water fountain displays and abstract celestial art pieces. Plush leather seating is used throughout the space in warm, earthy tones. Guests can marvel at the powerful 500-degree tandoor oven and the prowess of the tandoor master through a glass window.
More than 10 bread offerings are available, ranging from simple to complex, sweet and savory, with standout selections of Kandhari Naan, stuffed with pistachios, raisins, almonds and chopped red onions, and Cheese Naan, filled with creamy house-made cottage cheese.
Classic Indian desserts include Rice Pudding studded with candied almonds, cinnamon and golden raisins, and Rasmalai, velvety custard with almond sauce.
Beverages range from mango and strawberry Lassis, to a developing cocktail list from the full bar, with concoctions like Bombay Punch with Svedka Citron, Cointreau, lemon and cranberry juice, triple sec and a cherry, and Monsoon Wedding, made with Skyy Melon vodka, Midori liqueur, and a Champagne topper and green melon garnish. A list of Indian beers will be available in the bottle, such as Taj Mahal and Kingfisher, and domestic options like Budweiser, with a developing line of draught beers expected soon. A global wine list is also available with curated red and white selections.
A lunch buffet with 15 options is available Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Guests can also choose a box for takeout from the buffet, or combination lunch plates available in vegetarian, seafood and meat selections. A prix fixe is available for delivery with choice of appetizer and entrée with Basmati rice, naan, raita and chutneys. Catering is available.