Food Review: Babu Ji, 175 Avenue B, Alphabet City, New York

Babu Ji Indian restaurant alphabet city New York

Babu Ji Indian restaurant alphabet city New York

A must visit for Indian street food in NYC

It’s always handy to know someone in a city and in New York we have a fellow foodie chum in Fiesty Foodie who we hadn’t seen since early 2015 and we just happened to be in New York so what do us foodies do but go eat together!

Babu Ji had been recommended so off we went with Fiesty and another FoodieHub member, Dave from Eating in translation.

Babu Ji is a popular joint with all tables taken when we turn up. Thankfully one had been booked but this is only allowed if you’re having the $60 tasting menu each, otherwise turn up early!

After picking some beer from the well-stocked fridge, we settled down for the meal but it was REALLY LOUD so it was difficult to have a conversation.

The first food to arrive was Gol Pappa also known as Pani Puri.  These little puffs were filled with layers of flavour from yoghurt to tamarind.  A bowlful of these would have made my night.  Moreish and creamy in a light crispy shell.

Gol gappa Babu Ji Indian restaurant alphabet city New York

Next up, Colonel Tso’s Cauliflower. Indo-Chinese-style cauliflower in a tomato chili sauce, sesame, onion seed and chives. Like a sweet & sour sauce covered cauliflower.  I’m a huge fan of this much neglected veg (cauliflower pakora rocks) so excitedly munched away.  The sweet, sticky sauce coated every bit of the floret.

Babu Ji Indian restaurant alphabet city New York to

Batada Vada, Mustard seed & curry leaf potato encased in chickpea flour pastry, topped with fresh radish, coriander and pineapple chutney, broken chickpea noodles.  Parcels of flavour with the potato soaking up the sweet sauce.

Batata vada babu Ji New York alphabet city restaurant

Tandoori chicken, charred and marinated, which was tender and had the right amount of charring.  Top stuff.

Tandoori chicken babu ji restaurant alphabet city New York

The thali came with a wide selection of aromatic dishes from the amazing butter chicken to the equally stunning and unusual scallop coconut curry.

Babu Ji Indian restaurant alphabet city New York

A quick palate cleanser of cucumber doused in pomegranate and sprinkled with peppercorn and it was dessert time. Cardamom, pistachio and honey flavour. Wow. That’s all I can say!

Kulfi babu Ji restaurant alphabet city New York

All too soon the meal was over. It was a great experience. Not too full yet satisfied. Fragrant dishes and great company.

Cost was $360 inc. tax and tip for the four of us. The food was great – fragrant and aromatic with spice used to enhance and not hide flavours. Service was also top notch. It took about 90 minutes to work through the tasting menu and as we left there was a lengthy queue. Toilets were not checked.


+ fragrant delicious Indian cuisine
+ interesting/unusual dishes
+ great choice in the beer fridge
+ great service

– too loud for chatting





I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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1 Comment

  1. Yvo

    So lovely seeing you! But yes, too loud to chat comfortably. That was the major drawback. Food was so tasty though!! xoxo

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