The Naan Taco is coming to a neighborhood near you
Taco Mahal is a famous West Village eatery known for blending traditional Indian food and flavors with a Mexican taco twist. Taco Mahal is especially known for their groundbreaking Chicken Tikka Masala Naan Tacos where they roll up the classic dish in naan and serve it taco style, garnished with similar arrangements that you would find in a regular street taco. And recently, Taco Mahal has opened up a new location in Hell’s Kitchen and we had a chance to try out their menu at this new location.
The new location operates in a similar way where customers order their food at the front and can sit down and eat or have takeout depending on their preference. In a way, it operates in an upscale cantina fashion. The decor itself was cute and fun, having an entire collage wall melding classic Latin images along with traditional Indian pictures. The menu itself has a good amount of options from mouthwatering Tandoori Chicken Wings to the staple naan tacos they have. As far as drinks to go along with your meal, Taco Mahal offers White Claws, a variety of beers on site, and classic non alcoholic drinks like mango lassi and chai.
For drinks, we decided to get the Mango Lassi and a Chai. The mango lassi is actually made fresh in the store too. This lassi was rich with the classic mango flavor and was so creamy. It was sweet but not over the top where it overwhelms your palette which makes it easy to keep going back for more. The chai was one of the best chais we have tried in Manhattan. The chai was packed with flavor and spice, boasting notes of cardamom and cinnamon. The chai was creamy and spicy which is definitely what you should be getting when you are having a good cup of chai.
For starters we tried the Tandoori Chicken Wings. These wings were extremely juicy and tender, practically melting off the bone as you took each bite. The spices were classic tandoor spices and the flavor itself was smokey and packed a bit of heat to it. And with this dish comes an assortment of chutneys and sauces to pair with it. And for the chicken wings, we thought the best pairing was the yogurt sauce which cooled down your palette and balanced out the smokiness of the tandoori spices.
For our main course, we had to try the naan tacos since this is what Taco Mahal is known for. We decided on the Saag Paneer Garlic Naan taco and the Lamb Kabob Garlic Naan Taco. Each naan taco comes with garnishes which include minced cabbage, white onion, arugula, and a classic Indian mint chutney. For the saag paneer dish, there was a generous portion of paneer which is always a plus. And the saag was a mellow flavor that helped accentuate the natural spinach flavor. The naan was actually a great vehicle for the saag because it could absorb all the amazing juices coming from the saag without getting soggy right away.
The garlic naan was also packed with garlic flavor while also being extremely fluffy on top and crisp on the bottom. The white onion paired well with the saag as well by adding the sharpness and then sweetness that played beautifully with the mellow flavor of the saag. The mint chutney also added a nice cooling effect that brings your palette back to center after being hit with so many different flavors. The lamb kabob naan taco was equally as good too. The lamb was so juicy and came with nice spice and heat to it. The onion then helps build the heat up and is cooled down with the chutney.
All in all, Taco Mahal brings a fun and new twist to what can be considered “Indian Street Food.” The innovative twist of taking classic Indian dishes and adding the “taco” effect makes so much sense and is so fun to eat. It is safe to say that the latest location in Hell’s Kitchen will be a staple for the community.