Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Jaipore Royal India Cuisine

Jaipore Royal India Cuisine
280, Rt. 22, Brewster, NY 10509
Telephone: 845-277-3549
The name Jaipore Royal India Cuisine turns me off. I have visions of sahibs, fresh off the elephant, majestically astride dead tigers in sepia toned black and white prints, saying jaldi jaldi to the poof of the magnesium flare that lights up the photograph. It is a name that is a cliché for Indian restaurants. “Jaipore”, an anglophile version of the correct “Jaipur”, sits in a warm, converted mansion off of route 22 in Brewster. I have been going there for over a decade, generally to mark a special occasion and mostly for the lunch buffet. It is an extensive one, with a particularly good selection of chats, perfect for an afternoon meal. Yesterday, we were there for dinner. The menu is varied, with Indo-Chinese dishes such as chili lamb, South Indian dishes with endearing names such as Savitri Amma’s avial, and attempts at steering diners such as Martha Stewart’s favorite dosas. Most Americans familiar with Indian food are unfamiliar with Indo-Chinese. The genre started from the not unsubstantial presence of Chinese communities in the big Indian cities, particularly Kolkata, and the inevitable emergence of Chinese restaurants out of that nexus. It is popular in the ethnic enclaves of Jackson Heights and Queens and creeping into Westchester. Lasuni (garlic) Gobi (cauliflower) is one such dish at Jaipore. It has a Chinese sweet and sour and Indian spicy flavor to it. There is chili lamb, fit for a flame thrower, and cooked with equal opportunity representation for both chillies and lambs. Finely cut lamb with the meaty aroma of muslim restaurant food in Kolkata, this dish was one step removed from greatness, if only there had been some restraint with the chili.

I enjoy Jaipore more for its appetizers and chat than its main dishes, an assesment reinforced by each visit. Make a meal out of the appetizers. Try the crispy okra (Kurkure Bhindi)—my favorite—it has the perfect crunchiness, with a drizzle of chat masala. The masala dosas are decent, the South Indian food is not bad. The Seekh Kebabs were dry, the naans reproducibly safe as if belted out of a robotic assembly line. Jaipore has probably the finest ambiance among Indian restaurants in Westchester and in general, the one that I recommend. As you walk into this old, restored mansion half expecting the ghosts of women in long gowns and men in muttonchop sideburns, rejoice that this is an Indian restaurant in the middle of nowhere: but stay away from the vindaloos, the Rogan Josh’s and point your fingers on something else this time. And tell the chef to hold off on the chili—there is no machismo in that.

Note added May 2011:
Over the past year I have been to Jaipore a couple of times to attend a private party, catered in their room upstairs.  Unfortunately the food there does not match the quality of the dishes that I have eaten off the menus in the regular dining area.  It almosts seems as if the separately catered events are cooked to a different standard.  This is a pity.


  1. They have the most unusual assembly at lunch buffet. But I've always liked their food (maybe because I cannot eat their spicy stuff).

  2. Went to this restaurant on a weekday (Tuesday) November 23rd 2010. Four people. Had Mixed Tandoori grill, the meat and vegetable samosas, the chicken thikka and the Masala Dosa. The food is excellent BUT the waitering service is very BAD!! BAD!! Its difficult to imagine a unfriendly Indian waiters BUT this place takes the cake. We gave a 1 cent tip to make the point. Will never come back here again!!!