You know how good it feels to find something new, that you know is good? That’s how we felt about Aaheli in Hell’s Kitchen when we first went two years ago. And every time we go back. It’s the tiniest little hole in the wall on 9th avenue but it’s so warm inside, the people who work there are lovely, and the food is delicious. I’ve been a few times, and it has yet to disappoint. Also, it’s BYOB which makes it very budget friendly (and there are a few liquor stores on the same block).
Even though they only have a few tables, we never feel rushed. This past weekend, we ended up eating pretty late – I blame you fresh direct – so there weren’t people fighting for tables, which meant we were allowed to sit and talk (read: drink).
The tables are covered in rose petals when you sit down, and they brought our bottle of wine out in a pitcher of ice and flowers to keep it cold, which made a pretty center piece! Our meal started out with a traditional papadum with three different dipping sauces: all of which are addicting.
For the main course, we opted to share three different dishes. Chicken Tikka, Saag Paneer, and Chicken Korma. We also got an order or rice, plain naan, and garlic naan. Honestly, they were all amazing. It was so cold and rainy when we went, and this was classic comfort food. The chicken was perfectly cooked, and the sauces were so flavorful and delicious. When we were done, they brought out a plate of complimentary kheer (rice pudding). It was sweet enough to be a satisfying dessert, and savory enough to act like a palate cleanser.