Restaurant Review: Bhakti Café


Bhatki Café
25 1st Avenue
(between 1st Street and 2nd Street)
East Village, Manhattan

Vegiboys Rating (3/4)

Within Bhakti Cafe lies an East Village oasis; a space with a mental and spiritual separation from the bustle of the surrounding neighborhood. The quiet and dignified atmosphere is reinforced with European stylings; deep, rich colors that carry through on much of the interior design. A tiled floor steps down to a panel of front windows (which can be removed for open-air dining in fairer weather).

These continental furnishings are joined by New Age elements; your meal is observed by an eclectic mix of deities in murals and statuettes (mostly Hindu, but Buddhism and Christianity are represented as well), though all of this blends smoothly to compose a relaxed, peaceful space. The staff are friendly and down-to-earth, further helping to grant Bahkti a comfortable and comforting feel.

Bahkti’s menu mixes Indian cuisine with a selection of more Americanized fare. We began with an order of fries which tasted great: thinly sliced and fried to a caramel-colored crispness. To drink, the strawberry lemonade proved sickeningly sweet, though tolerable if watered down.

A creamy artichoke pasta was tasty and filling, with black olives adding the most pronounced flavor on the plate, but it tasted exactly like something we would make for ourselves at home.

At the recommendation of our waitress, Brian chose the Dhosa Dinner, which was also tasty though unsurprising. The dhosa was nicely packed with potato and onion, with a small side salad and a bowl of thin sambar also on the plate.

For dessert, we went with the cheesecake. Again, we found no fault in the dish – just a mundane predictability.

At about $25 each, Bahkti gave us a full meal, but we hoped for a little more creativity for the price. The lack of fellow patrons seems to confirm the need for the kitchen to give their dishes a little more of a personal touch (especially in a neighborhood saturated with restaurants). Bahkti provides solid offerings in a great atmosphere, but for now, none of their food stands out enough to give us cause to become regulars.

Food (3/4)

Atmosphere & Service

Value (2.5/4)

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