The Hairy Vegetarian in Edison - Urban Spice
I love going to Indian restaurants. I love flavor, spices, and hot food. Since I’ve become a vegetarian I like them even more. I can always count on lots of flavorful vegetarian options. One of my favorite restaurants in Central Jersey is Urban Spice in Iselin. I first heard about it from a coworker who is from India. He recommended it to me not only because of the great food, but because it has a full bar.
I went there just this past Saturday night. The six of us got a table right away, but we had reservations. The upbeat, exotically decorated dining room soon filled up with happy diners. Three of us talked about starting out with a fantastic cocktail that we have had before, the Chili Martini. Peppar Vodka, crushed jalapeño peppers, with a hot chili on the rim. To our shock, it wasn’t on the drink menu! One of my friends got the waiter to ask the bartender to make him one, but the other two of us were talked into what was on the menu, a chili margarita. I should have gone with the martini. Next time I will remember to.
We all ordered appetizers to share. I wish I had ordered them all for me. One was one of my favorite dishes of all time: Kuri Bhendi - Crisy Fried Okra, Spices. I can taste them now. Thin, crispy slices of okra. If you’re not an okra fan, just try one of these. They are incredibly good. I love okra anyway, but these are great. Another app was on the special menu – thin slices of small eggplant rounds with a peppery onion sauce. The third was new for me, and came with an apology from the waiter when he described it. I assured him that all of us really LIKED cauliflower! It was Lehsooni Gobhi - Crispy Cauliflower, Tomato Garlic Sauce. Lightly breaded and fried cauliflower florets with an incredible silky smooth tomato garlic spicy sauce with pomegranate seeds. Out of this world good. I tried not to scrape the whole plate into my mouth before anyone else could get any.
My entrée was Hyderabadi Mirch Ka Salan (Spicy) - Green Chilies, Tamarind, Nigella, Cumin, Coconut, Sesame. This was under the Regional Indian Fare- Vegetarian section of the menu. The sauce was incredible. I ate all of the sauce and the vegetables, dipping it all up with garlic nan. I toyed with eating some of the green chilis, but the dish was plenty hot and I did not need the extra challenge! Maybe next time when I don’t have to work early the next day.
This is a fun place. The Channa Masala (Spicy) - Chick Peas, Fresh Herbs, Spices, is one of my favorite dishes. Yes, it’s spicy. That’s why I go to a place with Spice in its name. The other diners at my table all had great meals of varying spice levels. But I was sweating. The top of my head drips when I eat certain kinds and amounts of heat. Maybe it’s just because I don’t have hair on the top of my head to hide it. I’ve also had the Bhindi Masala - Okra, Onion, Spices. Mmmmmm. I love okra. I’ve enjoyed the Baingan Bharta - Smoked Eggplant, Onion, Tomatoes, Spices, and the Mushroom Do Pyaaza - Mushrooms, Onions, Spices. The next time I go I’m going to have the Shaam Savera - Spinach and Cottage Cheese Dumplings, Tomato Gravy.
Urban Spice is at 42 Marconi Ave., Iselin, NJ 08830
Call: (732) 283-1043
Monday-Thursday 11:30 - 2:30 PM, 5:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Friday 11:30 - 2:30 PM, 5:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Saturday 11:30 - 3:30 PM, 5:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Sunday 11:30 - 3:30 PM, 5:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Lunch Buffet is available Monday to Friday (11:30 am - 2:30 pm)
Grand Lunch Buffet is available Saturday and Sunday (11:30 am - 3:30 pm)
Full Bar Service Available