Rāhi: NYC's first Indian-Inspired Brunch

Rāhi: NYC's first Indian-Inspired Brunch

A couple of weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to dine at Rāhi, a new Indian restaurant that just opened up in the West Village. I got to try their new brunch menu, and wrote about it for Spoon University.  Find out what I had to say about it below:

We are not in short supply of Instagrammable brunch spots in New York City. Lines file out the door to every establishment on weekend mornings (but if you're reading this to find a new brunch spot, you probably already knew that.) After brunching weekend after weekend, the same rotation of bottomless mimosas and french toast or extra runny eggs with a side of sunglasses and Advil (hello, Sunday morning hangovers) can get more repetitive than hitting the same clubs every weekend.

So here I am to introduce you to your latest brunch obsession: Rāhi, a chic new Indian restaurant, is bringing something to the West Village that the city really hasn't seen before: an Indian-inspired brunch menu. It's time to trash those Bloody Mary's for a Bloody Meera, and turn your Croque Madame's into Madam Ji's. Rāhi is doing the never-before-seen, and they're doing it well.

Messing with the standard brunch menu can be very risky in New York – take away the familiar #yolkporn or super decadent pancakes, and Instagram will die off. The geniuses at Rāhi, however, have crafted the menu to have traces of all of the typical brunch offerings, but with clever names and Indian flavors fused in.

The Drinks

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These are (obviously) not your average brunch drinks. These are the Masala Chai Lebowski (inspired by the movie,) and the Bloody Meera, their spicy version of a Bloody Mary with vodka, chipotle, black salt, garam masala, lime. The Masala Chai was so incredibly good, with vodka, kahlua, espresso, masala chai cream... it was the best of both booze, tea, and coffee.

The First Course

The meal officially started with Chili Cheese Toast, and it was thankfully not what I was expecting. Milk bread was coated and toasted with Amul cheese, shishito peppers, and sprouts, and was reminiscent of an open-faced grilled cheese.

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The meal officially started with Chili Cheese Toast, and it was thankfully not what I was expecting. Milk bread was coated and toasted with Amul cheese, shishito peppers, and sprouts, and was reminiscent of an open-faced grilled cheese.

Alongside the Toast was Eggplant Bharta: eggplant, onion, cumin, and coriander with a piece of charcoal smoking inside. The presentation of this dish was beautiful – it arrived in the bowl above, but with the charcoal trapped inside, its steam enveloping the eggplant. The combination of spices with the smokiness was perfect.

Everything Else

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For the main course, or what they called the "Two Hands" plates, I had the Madam Ji. It's brioche, Amul cheese, béchamel, and farm bacon topped with a runny fried egg.  It's a Croque Madame-inspired dish, but with an added twist thanks to the Amul cheese.  The brioche was just sweet enough, and the bacon added much-needed crunch and saltiness.

And finally, the most flavorful Banana Leaf Chicken, with Basmati rice and Kerala coconut curry. I'm a sucker for coconut curry, so this was the dish I was most excited for. The chicken thigh was so moist and flavorful on its own, steamed inside the banana leaf with the rice, but the curry sauce poured directly on top took it over the top.

You will totally find me at Rāhi again. For a place barely three months old, they were packed with excited and hungry brunchers, and had many curious on-lookers crowding in the street. Switch up your brunch game, surprise your friends, and give the gram some much-needed Sunday morning diversity, Indian style.

My name is Alexandra Jade, but you can call me Alex, or Trin.  I am a Food Studies major at New York University, and a freelance photographer, journalist, and social media pro on the side.  I run the instagram account @twobrunchgirls.