|Chefs Joel Huff and Suvir Saran at the Mandarin Oriental.|
We just love it when chefs are imported from afar to bring a taste of something special to the table. Now through Sunday, chef Suvir Saran of NYC's Dévi
(the first ever Michelin-rated Indian restaurant stateside) is offering a special menu at Cafe Sambal
, inspired by his recently published cookbook, Masala Farm
. Basically a how-to for the home cook who desires an integration of spice and American staples, this is where you will find a turkey and cheddar burger infused with plenty of curry and cumin. In addition to Top Chef Masters
infamy, Saran serves as Chairman of Asian Culinary Studies for The Culinary Institute of America and runs a farm in upstate New York where his "pets" are heritage-breed animals. The man walks the talk.
The menu combines American expectations with Indian flair; chicken wings get a glassy coating of tamarind sauce ($14), and Saran told us that they are "Martha Stewart's favorite," (we would have them sent to us in the slammer too). A gluten-free fried chicken ($26) is doused in rice and amaranth flour, coated in cornmeal and crisped up in peanut oil. Everything is constructed with a healthy for you attitude in mind. Even the mashed potatoes are fat free, because as the chef noted, "there's no butter and cream in Bangladesh." They were still creamy, so that's starch genius.
|Tamarind chicken wings ($14) were sweet and sticky little nuggets of juicy bird with a nicely crisped skin. |
|We could eat a fowl farm worth of peanut fried chicken ($26), served with a cream and butter free version of mashed potatoes and a fresh citrus salad. |
|Turkey burgers ($24) do not usually rank high on flavor value, but cumin, black mustard seeds and curry dressed this patty up perfectly. Topped with cheddar and tomato chutney, it's served with a side of spicy fries. |
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|We could have used a bit more spice in the shrimp curry ($27), but the coconut rice beneath absorbed the sweet liquid making it a good overall match up for the shrimp. |
500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami, FL