Head to Astoria for Indian Food That Rocks Chef Jen Luk's World
Favorite dishes from Aladdin in Astoria
Where do chefs go to eat on their nights off? We're asking them — and they're divulging the best things they've eaten in the last month in this weekly column. Read more in the archives of The Best Thing I Ate This Month.
The Chef: Jen Luk
The Gig: Pastry chef at Andrew Carmellini’s Little Park (85 West Broadway; 212-220-4110)
Known For: “Memorable sundaes” and lots of fruit-forward sweets
The Best Thing She Ate This Month: 3 Dishes at Aladdin in Astoria (29-06 36th Avenue; 718-784-2554)
“I’ve lived in Astoria for four or five years now. A friend introduced me to the Indian restaurant Aladdin, and now it’s one of the five or so local restaurants I always have in rotation.
“I grew up in Hong Kong, so I love yellow curry, which is not native to Hong Kong but is a result of their cultural
“But in general, I eat a lot of rice; much more so than bread or pasta since it sits the best with me digestively. Knowing this, my friend introduced me to their goat biryani. The first thing that hit me was the fragrance of basmati rice, which was new to me, and cardamom, which my friend told me was common in southern India. I’d never had goat meat before, either, and always assumed it would be dry and tough, like the lamb and rice you get from a halal cart that sinks in your stomach and gives you heartburn after. But the goat in the biryani is so lean and tender, and not dry at all. Mixed with the rice, it’s a dish you can eat regularly without it feeling heavy or overwhelming.
“Finally, I also love the chicken roll. I don’t really like fried food in
“You have to get there early, because the dinner menu rolls out at
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