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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Peachy Picks Tulsi Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

Owners Vijay Rao and Chef Hemant Mathur

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From the moment you step inside Tusli, it becomes immediately apparent that you are in for a luxurious evening that will transport you to a land far away, and with cuisine that will entice you! Though it just began in January 2011, Tulsi has achieved a maturity that is well beyond its years as it behaves as an establishment that is a modern classic, getting everything right.  Tulsi was first featured in Tasty Tidbits:
The phenomenal cuisine, the immaculate and festive presentation and the genuine care exuded by both owners, Chef Hemant Mathur and the multi-talented Vijay Rao (who also is a star at MWFA) complimented by the fine service of General Manager Suneel Devgan make Tulsi the latest winner in Peachy's Picks.  Lesser Indian Restaurants can leave Peachy Deegan feeling like a fire-breathing dragon, but not Tulsi.  This is premium Indian cuisine makes Tulsi not only fine dining in Indian cuisine, but also an outstanding Manhattan restaurant competitive with the best of other cuisines.  Note in over 160 reviews we have only recommended one Indian place ever other than Tulsi.
A notable red to sip on at Tulsi is actually from India, believe it or not.  The Sula Shiraz 2010 Nashik boasts swirls of smoke that will elevate your palate, preparing it for the finest of Chef Hemant.  In our humble opinion we've never found wine from India we've liked so much.
Peachy Deegan could not resist the Brut Rose by Roederer Estate!  Delightfully sparkling, this was a wonderful companion to a night of fine dining.  We began with an assortment of Indian Street food:
From left to right: puffed rice, onion, tomato, tamarind chutney, chicpea noodles; avocado, jalapeno, on whole wheat; lentil dumplings.
As a starter, Peachy opted for the Blachao Shrimp which was indeed fiery but not overly so.  With tomato paste, curry leaves and mustard seeds, these fine little shrimps swimmingly delighted Peachy's stomach and convinced her this was only the beginning of the Chef Hemant hit parade.  Note: t
he meaning of the word Tulsi may mean fine basil, but in the proper Peachy lexicon, it means fantastic food!  Nevermind just basil.  
The Tandoori Mushrooms with yogurt, garlic and mild spices would not have been something we'd pick out but we're certainly glad to have tried them!  They were deliciously unique and the spices were delicate and lovely.
We found the Manchurian cauliflower to be somewhat reminiscent of Chinese food which of course makes sense as that's a region in China; you remember Frank Sinatra in the Manchurian Candidate.
Though there were several options that would have enabled Peachy to have felt like she left New York and instead was on a fantastic Indian vacation, since she adores seafood she opted for the Goan Seafood Curry, which is one of the standout entrees at Tulsi.  Again, it was spicy but not too much, and the shrimp was fresh, the scallops melted in her mouth and the fish and coconut rice delicately balanced it all out.  
Ms. I Don't Normally Eat Flat Bread could not get enough of the rosemary garlic multilayer (6 to 8) Tulsi's Dal and liked it just as much as any fluffy white Italian bread she's ever had.  You've never heard her say that before!  
It also is evident that Tulsi is an incredibly social, happy place-we did not see a corporate crowd at all; we encountered a lively but thankfully not at all loud atmosphere that would convince anyone that for the atmosphere alone they'd have an outstanding time at Tulsi.
The lentil dumplings were a winner as well!
Soon, it was time for dessert!
Basil Ice Cream was Peachy's desert of choice, and it was fantastically fresh and centered around dried fruit compote in spiced red wine broth.  Incredible!
Just when we thought we couldn't eat another bite, out came pistachio, chocolate and milk ice cream:
With berries in the middle, this could not be resisted and immediately commanded our attention!  The service was impeccable all night.
Our esteemed panelist adds:
I have been a big fan of Indian food since my travels to India a few 
years ago and I always am in search of good Indian eating. It can be 
difficult to find a restaurant that does Indian food its justice. 
Tulsi, Hindi for Holy Basil, definitely satisfies for those looking 
for great Indian food, or for those just looking for a amazing dining 
Upon walking in, we immediately noticed the lovely modern Indian decor 
that set the stage for a great dinner. It was a Tuesday night, and
because Tulsi's popularity and reputation has been booming, the 
restaurant was nearly full to capacity with a mix of after-work 
clientele and social groups. Also, a great sign to me that we were 
going to have a great Indian food experience was that I saw a mix of 
Indian people eating there too.
I started with a glass of Indian wine. I had never had Indian wine 
before, so I was anxious to give it a try. It was nice and dry with a 
slight smokey taste, which I really enjoyed. The generalm anager,
Suneel, graciously refilled my glass after he saw me enjoying it so 
much. My starter was a Masala Ceviche, above. Ceviche might be one of my 
favorite dishes in the world. I've only ever had it prepared 
Latin-style, and could not get enough of it when I was in Peru last 
year. Giving the dish an Indian spiced twist is brilliant! I'd highly 
recommend giving this appetizer a try.
There seemed to be several delicious main courses that looked good to 
me, so Suneel helped me to decide and I went with the Rogan Josh, a 
Kashmiri-style goat dish served with kachumber salad and roti. This 
was excellent! The goat was done perfectly, no gamey taste or 
toughness. The rich sauce was full of many different spices. Be 
warned, it is a bit spicy, so ask to tone down the chili if you are 
sensitive to spice. We were given some homemade flat breads with our 
meal, the whole wheat rosemary bread was great and went well with my 
We were also given some sides dishes to try, Manchurian Cauliflower 
which was covered in a sweet, Chinese tasting sauce and Tandoori 
Mushrooms in yogurt and garlic sauce. Both of these were delicious, 
but again be warned... a bit spicy (which I love!).
My desert was a mango cheesecake. This was a soft, spongy cheese cake 
that had a hint of nuttiness and some unique spices. I enjoyed every 
bite of it. It went well with a hot cup of Indian Chai tea. 
The staff and management took great care of us and were very 
passionate about Tulsi. I thought it was great that even though owner 
Vijay was looking to expand and open more restaurants, he plans to 
keep the name, menu and ambiance of Tulsi unique. That is great
because it is truly a special place. 
Peachy Picks Tulsi!
Tulsi is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know.

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