Restaurant Review: Rowdy Rooster in the East Village

Individuals who consider that the best aspect dish with fried potatoes is extra fried potatoes can order the vada pao, with rectangular potato chips carrying a cloak of batter that matches them like a puffy down jacket. There may be, too, a small pile of thumb-size eggplant pakora.

In case you choose your greens on the top of a fork, there’s a very spirited interpretation of chili cauliflower. An identical fried cauliflower dish, gobi Manchurian, is typically discovered slicked down, like a duck in an oil spill, by a sauce that has the cloying sweetness and negligible spiciness of bottled barbecue sauce. This isn’t the case with the sauce on Rowdy Rooster’s chili cauliflower, the place recent and dried chiles create a posh taste and warmth comes at you in waves.

The chili rooster is doused with this sauce, too. It shines darkly, invitingly, and solely uncorks its assault of spice as soon as you might be crunching away on the agency, crisp fried shell, by which period it’s too late.

Boneless rooster is used for this dish, for a three-piece bucket referred to as the Clean Operator and, in fact, for the sandwiches (Lil’ Rowdy and Large Rowdy). The bones are left contained in the 4 smallish, cut-up items bought underneath the identify Unhealthy to the Bone, which might be the merchandise that delivers probably the most taste and crunch per cubic inch. It doesn’t matter what form it begins out in, the rooster is brined first, marinated in yogurt after which cooked like a pakora — rolled in a seasoned mix of flours and plunged into sizzling oil.

This produces a crust that’s mild sufficient to have some delicacy when served dry, with nothing greater than a sprinkling of floor chiles. However additionally it is substantial sufficient to outlive being drenched in chile sauce or pressed between halves of a bun to make the Lil’ and Large Rowdies.

There may be nothing radical about these sandwiches. Mint chutney and scallion yogurt are spooned over the rooster, and pickled onions are tucked in under the highest bun. The underside bun glistens with drippings of the darkish chile butter brushed over the rooster, giving whichever Rowdy you might be consuming a gentle, heat buzz as sustained and suggestive and enveloping as the drone of a tanpura.

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