WHO TO TAKE: A GROUP TO SHARE LOTS OF DISHES OR SOMEONE WHO APPRECIATES HIGH-END INDIAN FOOD + COCKTAILS
I love trying new restaurants, but it’s even more fun to go with a bunch of people! This is a story of seven neighbors, who also happen to be foodies. The gang got together on a Friday night, only a few days after Gupshup opened its doors, and arrived with our curiosity piqued at this newcomer only a few blocks away from home.
The place is run by Chef Gurpreet Singh, who was involved in many restaurants in Southeast Asia, and he brings to NYC his vision of old Bombay. If by old Bombay, he means Bombay of the 1960s that would make sense of the decor, which definitely has a psychedelic vibe with colorful day glo mural and op-art glass wall. The restaurant’s name means chit chat, or gossiping, and has a playful approach to dining, with exceptional ingredients and fresh flavors.
Cocktails here were creative and complex with an immersion of Indian spices. Renowned bartender Tenzin Samdo, of Cafe ArtScience in Boston, created the cocktail program. If you look at the bottom of the photo at the top of this post, you’ll see the drink I tried, the Monsoon Season: passion fruit, Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry Rum, lime, saffron, cardamom, and sugar. Wonderful mix, especially if you love passion fruit like I do.
Love the adorable cocktail menu design. Right, Amritsari Cod Sliders with pickled onion.These were a fantastic and substantial bite to start off the meal.
A groovy glass wall is just off the entrance. Right, for those who like a smoky drink: Sombrero at the Red Fort: a mix of honey sweetened mango, mint, Union Mezcal, Yellow Chartreuse, lime and bitters.
The sophisticated Bombay Peacock Society has honey, egg white, Plymouth Gin, saffron, cardamom, and lemon—not to mention the edible label floating on top. Right, the Dirty Pineapple is meant for those who like a spicy drink. Mixed with garam masala-washed pineapple, thai bird chili, Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila, sweet hibiscus, and lime.
The house chutney assortment: Gooseberry Cilantro, Heirloom Tomato and Fennel, Tequila Spiked Smoked Pineapple, Roasted Eggplant. Right, the upstairs dining room was not yet opened the night we went.
Wild Himalayan Morels with asparagus and khandvi rolls (which are rolled chickpea-flour noodles). This dish was the table favorite, with its rich, creamy, and intensely mushroom flavors. Right, the Black Dal is simmered dawn-to-dark.
Of course, it is mandatory to order bread at an Indian restaurant. We had the Naan butter/garlic, regular Naan, and also a stuffed bread with raw mango and fennel. All were perfectly blistered and light.
The mural on the back walls of the downstairs space adds a cool, mystical vibe.
A Kale Salad with an Indian twist: sloppy joe chickpeas, seasonal berries, toasted sesame. This was nice to balance out the other more rich dishes. Right, we loved this wine’s light and dry tones. Albarino Ferdinand Wines, CA 2016, only $55.
Another standard: Saag Paneer accompanied our breads. Right, the bar area shows off the high ceilings.
A view of the front with painted bike. Right, these giant prawns were grilled perfectly: Tiger Prawns with yuzu and cilantro.
Raita eggplant and mint was presented like a work of art. Right, the gang outside, minus moi, fully feted.
Gupshup, 115 E 18th St (betw Irving Pl/Park Ave S)