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Restaurant Review: Amiya Restaurant (Downtown Jersey City, NJ... Exchange Place)

Posted Apr 16 2011 11:54pm

When I dine at restaurants with my husband he gets a bit ticked off when I take pictures of the restaurant and food, and then I proceed to enlighten him, "I am a food blogger, DUH!"  He seems to think I use him for my blog so I can get a restaurant review out of it... LOL... WHATEVER, I OBJECT!  I've always been into eating out waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before I started Honey, What's Cooking.  

And then he half-jokingly mentioned that he is half owner of HWC since all my meals are paid for by him when we dine out together.  I thought about it for a minute and complied, but we all know the truth, my husband sits back, happily indulges in the meals I prepare for us, and rarely ever steps into the kitchen.  So my point is, he's really only about 10% owner of HWC, I mean I do everything from cooking to loading the dishwasher to editing the pictures to writing a post.  Having said that, I most definitely do appreciate him treating me like a lady when we do dine out.  :-)

Here is my review on Amiya Restaurant

160 Greene Street
Jersey City, NJ 07311
(Exchange Place)

The ambience at Amiya is intimate with dim lights, candles, and soft fusion Indian Lounge music playing in the background.  It's awesome!

I love the long windows with sheer curtains hanging over.

Pay close attention to the the red accents all over the restaurant.

You are most definitely paying for decor and ambience here.

Check out the ceiling, so pretty.

Casual Dining, Couples, Groups, Kid Friendly, Romantic Dining.

Indian, Indo-Chinese.

MENU - $$
Amiya Online Menu .  The Lunch Buffet at Amiya is quite reasonable, however I am not sure of the price.  I do believe their buffet is under $15.  They also offer Indo-Chinese food, however I haven't tried this particular cuisine at Amiya - definitely next time.  Appetizers here range from $5-$9.  The main vegetarian entrees range between $11-$12, whereas the non-vegetarian entrees range from $14-$24.  Desserts are under $6 each, and cocktails start at about $7.50 and up.

Dinner for 2 people:
2 Cocktails + 2 Entrees + 3 naans/paratha + House Salad = $69 (including 19% tip)
TIP: I recently purchased a LivingSocial Deal - $15 for $30 at Amiya, so we really paid $54 and our total savings was $15!  :-)

RECOMMENDED HEALTHY EATS... choices below are based on my knowledge of food and nutrition.  When dining at Indian restaurants, avoid dishes cooked in a cream or butter gravy.  Avoid white rice (this can be hard to do), and white naans, instead opt for roti.  Opt for grilled meat (kababs) and boneless chicken breast dishes cooked in a non-creamy sauce.  Lastly, if you are watching your weight, avoid desserts and alcoholic beverages.  There is no online nutritional information available for Amiya Restaurant , please use your own discretion when making a decision.

Subzi Ki Seekh
Tandoori Pudiney Ki Salmon
Kali Mirch Ka Tikka
Mango Shrimp
Amiya Tandoori Platter
Tandoori Chicken
Chicken Ka Tikka
Murgh Ka Seekh
Mirch Jhinga Tandoori
Lobster Tandoori
Channa Pindi Se
Khumb Hara Dhaniya
Til Wale Aloo Gobhi
Egg Curry
Handi Lazeez Murgh
Old Delhi Style Chicken Curry
Murgh Chettinad
Murgh Palak
Amiya Stir Fry
Ginger Sesame Chicken
Coriander Chili Shrimp
Ginger Chili Fish
Masala Papad
House Salad

We started off with drinks and I went for the Lychee Martini which came in at a very affordable $8.  Amiya has the BEST Lychee Martini, believe me you will not be dissapointed.  

My husband went for the Amiya Margarita on the Rocks which he loved, personally I thought it was just okay.  It was a house margarita and they had certain flavors going on which I didn't really care for.  

We were served Complimentary Papad (pronounced pa-per) which is a thin, crisp, baked Indian cracker.  You can eat papad on its own, or dip it in chutney.  Here we have 2 types of chutneys... mint on the left and tamarind on the right.  

I wanted to skip ordering any appetizers since Indian food tends to be really oily, creamy, and rich when dining out.  Instead we ordered a Bread Basket consisting of our choice of 3 breads used for dipping in the gravies below:
Aloo Paratha - average, nothing special.
Plain Naan - this was good, but if given the option I suggest going for flavored naan.
Garlic Naan - OMG, this was heavenly, I think I could eat this by itself.  Just look at the amount of garlic on top - it was superb!

For our entrees, we started with the Murgh Chettinad which is boneless chicken cooked in a spicy black pepper and yogurt gravy, a South Indian specialty of Madras.  The gravy was really good and spicy, however beware if you can't handle spicy food.  On a negative note, the chicken pieces were quite dry and lacked flavor, my husband agreed with me as well.  

For our second entree I suggested we order the Chiken Tikka Masala since you can't really go wrong with this dish... it is creamy, mild, and usually delicious.  The gravy was absolutely amazing, however just like the other entree, the chicken prices were dry and lacked flavor.

Both entrees came with a side of plain Basmati Rice spiced with cumin seeds.  YUM!

Grab some Indian Mouth Fresheners on your way out.

VERDICT - 4 / 5
Believe or not, my husband and I were only able to finish only half the entrees and took the remaining leftovers home.  Yes, Indian food when eaten at restaurants can be quite rich and can make you feel extremely full, so pace yourself and eat in moderation.

The service at Amiya was a bit slow, however it wasn't terrible by any means.  Although the food here is quite good, especially the gravy, it isn't authentic, but rather contemporary.  I believe the chefs could have done a much better job in preparing flavorful and tender pieces of chicken.

I would definitely go back to Amiya to try their Indo-Chinese menu and experiment with other Indian dishes.  They definitely have a wide menu selection, great drinks, awesome music, and amazing ambiance.  Check out Amiya if you are in and around downtown Jersey City!

TELL ME: Are you a blogger, does your spouse complain when you take pictures of food when dining out?

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