Dinner And A Show At Rahi, The West Village’s New Indian Sensation

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Rahi Octopus

Walking into Rahi doesn’t feel like walking into other Indian restaurants in the city. It isn’t stuffed with Indian artifacts, there’s no punch in the face of aroma that almost knocks you back onto the street, no sweating tourist who didn’t realize that dish was spicy. The space is a modern approach to Indian cuisine, built for 2017 palates, and a social media conscious eater.

Rahi’s cuisine isn’t meant to focus on Indian food the way it tastes in India. Each dish is deconstructed and rebuilt into something more modern and approachable that best suits the clientele looking for an Indian food without sweating their way through the main course from an “authentic” heat wave of an appetizer.

The most important bit of the restaurant is their knowledge and appreciation for a bit of fanfare with dinner. While Keith McNally builds restaurants that look like movie sets (and we love him for it!) Rahi puts the show on the plate. Smoke-infused chambers are used in several dishes that create the ultimate Boomerang for or slow motion post for the Instagram-hungry. Think of it as a like injection with a great meal afterward.

Rahi Egg Roast

The staff are friendly and approachable, and an invaluable resource for those less familiar with the cuisine and needing to steer clear of the secretly spicy dishes. The chettinad octopus, a coconut-turmeric soupy blend with hunks of octopus floating in it, is remarkably delicious. Pro tip: order extra naan bread, and dunk it in the coconut of sauce after the octopus is quickly long gone.

For the digital-minded diners, the madrasi egg roast is a birds nest with eggs cracked ever so slightly open to reveal a mousse of tomato and onion, with chili oil in each—a great way to get the picture without having to fight off the mama bird in a nearby tree. Smoke in mirrors tricks are also relied on heavily, with the charcoal smoked salmon being delivered in a covered glass cloud of smoke that when the glass covering is removed a plume of smoke reveals the perfectly cooked fish. The restaurant is still a bit of a hidden gem, and the check does tend to reflect a similar price you’d pay for booking a regular dinner and a show, but is definitely a sight to be seen in a nuanced approach for Indian dining in the Village.

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