Minar Indian Restaurant Review: Good Food, So-So Decor
I'm a fan of Indian food, but the quality seems to vary greatly in Manhattan. Buffets in particular generally don't taste as good as what is served during dinner time. At lunch, I'm also limited by time constraints and can't really comb the city for the best Indian food. So far, in the area in which I work (around the Empire State Building), I've found that Minar is a good place for Indian food.
First off a warning. The place can get quite crowded. In many places this isn't a problem since you can sit at your table with your co-workers and chill until the food arrives. At Minar, you order and pick up your food from the counter so if there is a crowd, you'll be standing in line longer than you'd like. Fortunately, the wait is (usually) worth it.
At lunch you can order just about anything off of the menu, but Minar also offers two platter dishes — one allows you to pick two meat dishes of your choice plus a vegetable dish while the other lets you pick all vegetarian items. For the most part I go for the meat platter, but I'll admit that I'm getting tired of the selections so I suspect I'll be picking off items from the main menu soon. I really like the Chicken Saag and it's never part of the platter offerings. I find that if you go the route of delivery, you get more food for the same price. I don't know why that is — perhaps the servers are just filling the containers which hold a little more than the plates that you get when you dine in.
The decor, seating, and ambiance are all nothing worth writing home about. However, for a lunch place I also have no complaints about them. The one area that I would like to see improved is with consistency. One day the sauces (which is the best part of Indian food) are the right consistency. The next day they're too thin and won't stick to the food.
Despite not being perfect, I give Minar a thumbs up. It's located at 5 West 31rd St, New York, NY, 10001.