INTERIOR VIEW OF CHUTNEY KITCHEN
In life, the food that I love most is that which we consider “comfort food”. The meals that are usually filled with carbs, and cheese, and oil; those are the things that make me feel happy inside. But what if your favorite comfort food was also healthy? That would be an added plus, right? That is such the case when it comes to Chutney Kitchen.
Located in the heart of New York City’s Theatre District on 8th Avenue, Chutney Kitchen is the brainchild of chef & owner Silu Sao. Having worked in finance on Wall Street for many years, Sao who is of Indian descent, came to a crossroads in her life where she wanted to truly follow her passion. Egged on by her daughter, Sao followed her passion for cooking and decided that she wanted to open a restaurant that offered Indian food in the manner in which she grew up on; packed with flavor with minimal oil, unlike some of the faster Indian food we have become used to in the States.
CHEF & OWNER SILU SAO- courtesy of Chutney Kitchen
With her business partner Pankaj Amin, they founded Chutney Kitchen in 2012 and developed a fresh flavorful menu, that would get the approval of their own families. Their first location opened in February 2015 on 8th Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets, and I had the opportunity recently to visit and try out a few things from their menu.
CHICKEN TIKKA RICE BOWL W/ CILANTRO SAUCE
Upon my arrival, I quickly met with Sao who was just so gracious and incredibly passionate about her business. She gave me a rundown on the space and menu offerings, and offered a few things for me to try. The menu has options for everyone, offering “build your own” bowl options, as well as full plates for those that can be overwhelmed by customizing their own plates.
I tried out the rice bowl (which you can see in the photo above) and topped with chicken tikka, tomato salad, and cilantro sauce. The flavors were bold without being overpowering, and the amount of food was generous. I felt light after eating it as it wasn’t weighed down with tons of oil; they cook their food in light olive oil. The food stations are set up similar to a salad bar where you can pick your protein, toppings, and sauces, which I enjoy because customization is my thing. They also offer a wide range of in-house beverages, including the Hibiscus tea (seen in the photo above), Honey Green Tea, Ginger Lemonade, and more!
Above you can view the full menu, which offers tons of meal options, all under $10! During the week, there are lunch specials for $11 that include a meal, drink, and chips. Healthy food with flavor for a great price? Yes, you can have it all. When you are in the area, be sure to visit Chutney Kitchen. You will NOT be disappointed.
856 8th Ave
New York, NY 10019
*Photos Courtesy of Chutney Kitchen + Andrea K. Castillo