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Author Topic: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")  (Read 13086 times)

Offline round2

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We don't have that great luck in Astoria with Asian or South Asian restaurants besides Thai places, and maybe Seva, but I'm very hopeful about Spiced, on Ditmars near 34th St.  I had a really good lunch there today, with some good hot & sour soup (yes! - in Astoria!), and good Chili Tofu.

No doubt their non-vegetarian food is really their specialty, like Chicken Lollipops, etc.  I'll be interested to hear from other people!

Oh, they're having a major special discount for their grand opening right now.  They barely charged me for my food...

Offline eblack

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2009, 07:29:47 PM »
address?  Phone number? menu?

Offline xopchipili

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2009, 09:10:56 PM »
35-12 Ditmars (the spot that used to be East Moon).  Don't know if they have a website up, they were handing out photocopied delivery menus out front but they don't have a URL on them.  Phone is 718-626-8180.

I'm hoping to check them out sometime this week.  Anything has got to be better than East Moon!

Offline round2

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2009, 11:14:17 PM »
Thanks xopchipili - I shoulda given that info.  I got a copy of the take-out menu too, and now I see why my lunch was so cheap.  They've got a 20% off grand opening special going on, and their lunch specials are $5.95 for soup, rice and entree.

Offline dhex

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2009, 10:27:56 AM »
so it's worth trying out?

Offline round2

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2009, 10:48:55 AM »
Absolutely.  I tried out it's predecessor in that location, East Moon, which just wasn't good.  I've only had one meal at Spiced, with two vegetarian dishes, so my experience is limited.  Based on that, though, I'm definitely going back.  The soup was really good, and the entree was okay to good.  I suspect a more full assessment of the place would have to be made by meat and seafood eaters.  Here's some information about this cuisine:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Chinese_cuisine

I like food spicy, and it was fairly spicy - not often the case.  For those who prefer mildly spiced food, I think it would make sense to tell them that for guidance when you're ordering.

The place is also quite comfortable, although the music was a little louder than I would prefer myself.  Seems like the case in lots of Astoria restaurants.  I'd be comfortable asking for the volume to be turned down a little if necessary next time.  The staff was extremely pleasant and attentive, concerned that I was happy with my food, and pleased when I said that I was.

Offline paratactical

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2009, 11:13:48 AM »
Can anyone with a menu scan or take a picture of a copy?

Offline dhex

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2009, 11:17:54 AM »
interesting. i will have to check this out. thanks, xopchipili.

Offline bejessie

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2009, 10:15:17 PM »
I really wanted to like this place..and I always try to be sympathetic to restaurants having off days, but went there the other day, and the food was really really not good and I didnt care much for the ambiance either.  I know that sounds snotty, but it seems they did put some sort of effort in the ambiance and I can see what they are trying to achieve, but it came off cheesey to me. Maybe they needed to dim the lights a little, I dont know. And dont get me wrong, some of the best food in the world is in the diviest of places, but its just a shame because it does seem that they did try and put quite a bit of effort into decor.. I think a lot of it can be fixed with some dimmer lights.

Im thinking the problem is they opened too early before they were really ready.  The bar wasnt set up yet. The shelves were bare. There was a few rolls of bounty paper towells behind the bar.  The back was still being constructed.  The staff was very friendly, though seemed inexperienced.  The workers were all very nice.  We ordered the basil ginger chicken and the crab fried rice and it actually tasted like one of those frozen asian inspired entrees you get in the frozen section at the supermarket. The crab fried rice was also a bummer. I couldnt help but to think I could have done better in my own kitchen.  They have a pretty large selection, and I cant help but to think for now maybe they should perhaps find a few dishes, do them REALLY WELL, then maybe try to expand.

I was really bummed. Maybe once they are all set up it will be great, but for now, to survive here, they need to do better than that.


Offline goldfish boy

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2009, 04:07:28 PM »
I tried Spiced last Friday evening.  When my office was at 28th & Madison, I had many lunches at Chinese Mirch, one of the first "Indian Chinese" restaurants in the city.  I've missed their food ever since, and I was glad to see Indian Chinese food come to Astoria.

Fortunately, I had a wholly positive experience at Spiced.  The ambiance seemed fine to me, low-key, a little bit designer-y, not bad.  The lights were fairly dim during my visit.  The service was attentive; maybe a little too attentive, but I prefer that to aloof service.

The food, I thought, was excellent.  I note that bejessie ordered Thai items and was disappointed; it may be that Thai simply isn't their strength.  I stuck to the Chinese dishes and was very pleased.  The food was truly spicy--NOT palate-scorching a la Szechuan Gourmet, but definitely hot and spicy.  (None of the menu items is marked spicy, so be forewarned if you're not accustomed to Indian-style Chinese--ask your server). 

The Manchow soup had complex flavor and tender shredded vegetables.  The Chicken Manchurian would have been better with white meat chicken; nevertheless, it was beyond delicious, bathed in that incredibly addictive silky sauce.  The fresh lime soda was incredibly refreshing but, I thought, a bit too expensive.  Still, with their 20%-off grand opening special, I wasn't worrying about it.

Next time I'll try their chili chicken with gravy, crabmeat-corn soup and, maybe, one of their desserts.  I'm really happy to have this place in Astoria, and I hope those who enjoy spicy food will try it.

(a note about "Indian chinese" cuisine for the uninitiated: it's not some kind of hybrid of Indian food and Chinese food, it's Chinese food as adapted to an Indian palate.  So the dishes look and taste distinctively Chinese, but they include Indian spices and basmati rice, and one vegetarian dish includes paneer.  But don't go expecting Indian curries or the like.)

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Offline TJT

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2009, 11:00:17 AM »
We just had a chance to try this place (ate in).  I have to say, we really liked the whole experience.  It's true about the decor.  It reminds me a little of Bungalo on Broadway.  It's more loungy than your average restaurant.  But we liked it.  It's modern, colorful and cheery.  We tried quite a few dishes.  The Rocket Shrimp, the Honey Chili Tofu (both are fried appetizers) and a Sweet Corn Soup with crab meat.  (You can get chicken, crab or veggie).  Also the fried calamari.  All were very good.  The tofu is about the best fried tofu we've had anywhere.  Super crispy and the hot chili with the honey was perfect.  The calamari and shrimp were heavily panko crusted.  I  didn't have a problem with it though.  Not like a heavy batter - and not oily.  Just very crunchy.  The soup was great and not skimpy on the crab.  And real crab meat - with the subtle flavor of corn.  Not a sweet creamed corn soup, which I almost expected.  It was more like an eggdrop with corn and crab.  Entree choices at our table were a Chinese style shelled lobster dish.  Can't recall which one out of three or so on the menu.  It was like a General Tso's Lobster, if I had to describe it.  Chunks of lobster battered, fried and then in a heavy, sweetish sauce.  It was good but not great.  We would probably not go for the lobster dishes again (do that at Nuevo Jardin de China on Broadway).  I had the Crab Moo Shu.  And here comes the minor complaint.  I asked the waitress (who was extremely polite, friendly, and attentive) about the dishes.  She was completely unfamiliar about the way in which several menu items were prepared.  I explained that I was not a fan of onions being a main ingredient.  So without any warning, out comes my Moo Shu - a virtual bushel of sauteed onions on the plate.  Along with the crab.  In fact, outside of red and white onions, and scallions, there were no other ingredients besides the crab.  In my mind, being used to a heavily cabbaged Moo Shu, perhaps both the menu and the wait staff should warn of this heavy onion use.  But enough of that.  I have to say that once I got the onions off to the side, this dish was amazing.  I loved the hot spiciness of it.  The crab meat was moist and delicious.  I would highly recommend this dish.  I spoke with them and they can do it without onions.  But be warned.  It's hot.  And the whole thing comes in a huge fried Chinese noodle bowl.  Someone else at a nearby table ordered it as well and gasped at the spiciness and sent it back.  I thought to myself, the sign outside says SPICED - what were you expecting?  I really look forward to going back to this place.  The only things I think could use improvement would be the menu descriptions.  They need more about the ingredients and spicyness levels.  And they should give a "tour" of the menu, and even a tasting menu of the real dishes, to all the waiters.  There's no better way for them to be able to describe the items than if they actually see each dish  - and even taste them if they can and want.

Offline Mr. Oliver

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2009, 01:31:37 PM »
If someone has been to both, would love to know how Spiced compares with Tangra Masala on Queens Blvd.  THat place rocks.

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Offline snowball119

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2009, 11:30:12 PM »
I tried this place a number of times and I think it's pretty good.  I feel like it's better than Chinese Mirch in Manhattan.  I haven't been able to find an Indian Chinese place in the States that matches the awesome Indian Chinese I had in India but Spiced kind of makes me reminisce.  And it's great to have a place like this in Astoria.

I really have to try Tangra Masala.  Heard a lot of great things about it.  I hope I can soon say that this place is the best Indian Chinese in NY.

Offline Egglantine

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2009, 01:40:15 PM »
I've only gotten takeout from here and it was a couple of nonspicy dishes, so I can't speak to the interior decor or the spiciness of the food. One of the dishes was ordinary fried rice and, while it was pretty much your standard fried rice, the fact that it was made with basmati rice made it more interesting than usual. I'll be going back to try more (I'd never tried this particular fusion before). Also, I agree with everyone who says it's a much welcomed upgrade from East Moon.

Offline megc

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2009, 03:37:54 PM »
Was just there this afternoon and really enjoyed the food.  Fave dishes were the appetizer "Chicken 911" (in part because of the name) and the main Coriander Fish (tilapia).  The "Spiced" Triple Szechwan noodles were great (loved the fried egg on top), and the Chicken Manchurian was really nice.  The fresh lime drink was delicious and refreshing - lime, sugar and club soda, well balanced. 

I could have had it spicier, but it was fine as it was.  I guess I like more spicy than I let on.  However, the taste of the spice was really good.  I do enjoy that.

Decor was not as cheezy as I thought it would be.  My favorite decorative item was the mirrored "decapus" on the back wall, and I also liked the hanging colored lights over the register area.

I'll be back for sure.

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Re: new on Ditmars: Spiced ("Indian Inspired Thai & Chinese Cuisine")
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2009, 03:37:54 PM »

 

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