September 24, 2015

Diamond in the Rough: Tasty, Robust Flavors at New Delhi Diamond’s Restaurant

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I recently had the delight of trying New Delhi Diamond’s Restaurant, an amazing, underrated Indian restaurant hidden on the backstreets near Ithaca Commons. At first glance, my friends and I were skeptical. Through the windows, it was apparent that tables lay mostly empty, dotted with only a few groups of people in front of heaping plates of food. However, the flashing neon sign above the door (and perhaps my adventurous eating side) urged me to go in, and we snagged a table by the window.

Let me start off by saying a little about myself and my love for Indian food. Throughout my childhood, I was exposed to a multitude of Asian cuisines. Indian emerged as my favorite, despite the fact that I hate spicy food. Usually, when I tell servers at Indian restaurants that I don’t want my food to be spicy, I get weird looks. This was especially true when I went to India and discovered that even pancakes can be spicy. So when I made the trek from California to Ithaca, I was hoping to find an Indian restaurant that would cater to my needs. Diamond’s did just that.

The menu at Diamond’s is enormous and provides many options for vegans and vegetarians, while also catering to meat lovers. I ordered their classic chicken curry, and my friends ordered vegetarian samosas appetizers and various vegetable curry entrées. They conveniently allow diners to choose the spiciness of their food on a 1-10 spiciness level. Service was quick, and our server was helpful in answering questions I had about the menu.

When our food came, I was surprised by the tasty, robust flavors that emerged from the chicken curry, which was served on a bed of rice and peas. The portion size of the curry was quite generous — enough for me to gorge on it until I was full and still have leftovers. The combination of curry and rice was light and brought out the unique curry spices with the tender chicken. I also ordered the garlic Naan (which I would highly recommend) that completed my meal and served as a good base for the curry. The Naan had been charred to perfection and drizzled with butter — to die for! The samosas were a tad spicy for me, but nonetheless good. And my friends were raving for days about their vegetable curries.

Overall, the price-point to food-quality ratio was impressive — for a low price you can get a decent amount of food (always good for the perpetually broke college student).

On weekdays, Diamond’s offers an all-you-care-to-eat buffet lunch, but for dinner, their service is from their menu. All in all, Diamonds has gained a spot on my go-to Ithaca eatery list, and I have no doubt that I will be making various appearances there throughout the year.