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Midtown is fast becoming a chaat corridor; just one block away from Sukhadia's, Indus Express is fabricating a half-dozen versions of the snacks. The chaat experience here is much like getting a salad at Pax—you stand in front of the sneeze-guard and watch the counterwoman tong up the ingredients, which are seemingly left over from the salad days, and toss them together. I was very worried that she was going to put tofu in my papri chaat. Oddly, all of Indus Express's chaats include green bell peppers—a first—and lots of ripe mango, which makes the chaats slightly too sweet.

Sukhadia's Gokul is in midtown's chaat corridor.
Calvin Godfrey
Sukhadia's Gokul is in midtown's chaat corridor.

Location Info

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Sukhadia's Gokul Indian Gourmet

17 W. 45th St.
New York, NY 10036

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: West 40s

Details

Khodiar Express
1013 Sixth Avenue
212-840-4810

Sukhadia's Gokul
17 West 45th Street
212-395-7300

Indus Express
48 West 48th Street
212-221-7952

Dhaba
108 Lexington Avenue
212-679-1284

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Down in Curry Hill, Dhaba is a new, fancied-up North Indian spot that's decorated with brightly hued bolts of silk and which serves nine different snacks, listed on the menu under "Chaat Bazaar." The papri chaat here comes in a judiciously smallish serving, the round crisps arranged nicely in a careful, overlapping circle, sprinkled with what is clearly high-quality chile powder and luscious whole-milk yogurt. The bhel puri features tiny diced potatoes and very good chutneys. But somehow, these genteel chaats leave me cold. The deep, funky undertone of the chaat masala is tamed, and there's nothing exuberant or compulsively snackable about them. But more restaurateurs making chaat means we are closer to having a chaat stand on every corner, so I won't complain too much.

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