It’s morning and you’re hungry. You could spring for a bodega bagel or a lumpy burrito with eggs, but if you’re setting your standards higher, head to Pondicheri, for an eclectic Indian breakfast on West 27th Street, between Broadway and 5th Avenue. Still glowing from the two star-review from The New York Times’s Pete Wells, Pondicheri looks to make a statement with every meal of the day, starting with the first one.
The large open space still maintains its personality on a sparsely populated (Meatless) Monday morning. Leon Bridges croons over the speakers as the back-of-house staff prepares for the day ahead. There are plenty of choices, but we recommend the Morning Thali to get your day started. It includes: a coconut green salad; lightly sweetened morning oats; uppma (savory porridge); a lightly fried potato cake with strawberry jam; and a fried egg overtop a carrot paratha (sweet and savory flatbread). For good measure, wash it all down with a delicious, fresh masala chai tea and a perfectly rose-flavored gulab jamun donut, a traditional dessert modernized for the bustling NoMad neighborhood.
Coffee won’t be necessary as the sheer amount of flavor in each dish is enough to wake up even the foggiest body and mind. General Manager Ajna Jai, daughter of Houston-based owner Anita Jaisinghani, adheres to the adage that one is supposed to eat breakfast like a king. “Breakfast is a huge deal in India,” said Jai.
She and the staff are working hard to express that “Indian can be an everyday food; it’s not just for special occasions.” She’s right. The restaurant, which also serves fresh pastries, lunch and dinner, brings balanced flavors to each plate from the entire continent of India.
Though Pondicheri’s menu is constantly changing with various Indian breakfast specialties, one is certain that every ingredient prepared in house – whether it’s the roti, bread, or the freshly ground spices – will change the mindset of anyone doubting Indian food for breakfast, or any other meal.
And if these pictures don’t do anything for you, we wish you luck with the lumpy burrito.
Pondicherri New York
15 West 27th Street
M-Th 7:30am-10pm, F 7:30-10:30pm, Sat 9am-10:30pm, Sun 9am-10pm Breakfast til 3pm daily