It was my sister’s birthday and she was home visiting from the Philippines. She hasn’t been home for her birthday in a few years, so it was nice to go out with the family to celebrate. Keeping in mind that she’s vegan, I looked for a local vegan-friendly spot to have dinner. We thought it would be nice to try something new, somewhere we’ve never been before. Manjal Indian Fusion sounded good!
The place is tiny with only a few tables. It’s super casual and the decor is lacking, but we were there for the food of course. Unaware of how small the place was, I called ahead to reserve a table with no problems.
Our server was very nice and helped explain some of the dishes. We had to try the Vegetable Samosa! The crispy pastry is filled with potatoes, carrots, and peas. At $2.50 each, we figured one for each of us was good. They came out nice and hot. They were big and super tasty, and served with a tamarind sauce and mint chutney.
The Gobi Manchurian was really good too. The cauliflower florets are coated with a light batter and fried, then tossed in a tangy chili garlic sauce.
Mom ordered the Tandoori Fish. It’s cooked in a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven. I believe the fish that day were Pomfrets.
Dad went with the Tindaloo or Vindaloo. The flavorful curry is made with potatoes, ghost peppers, and vinegar. It had a nice kick to it, but wasn’t too spicy.
We ordered a side of Vegetable Uttapam. It’s similar to a dosa, but thicker with the ingredients cooked right into the batter.
My sister enjoyed her Masala Dosa. The thin and crispy fermented crepe is made from rice flour and lentils. It’s filled with fried onions, potatoes, and various spices.
I ordered the Tandoori Chicken. It’s a dish I haven’t had in a long time. The chunks of spring chicken are marinated in freshly ground spices before cooking in the tandoor. It was nice and tender.
We ordered a few bottles of Thumbs Up – a brand of cola found in India. It wasn’t served cold, so we just asked for a couple glasses with ice. I hardly ever drink soda, but had to try it.
My cousin had the Fish Molee, a mildly-spiced curry made with coconut milk.
The garlic naan was nice and warm, and essential to scooping up the yummy curries and sauces.
Dinner was really good. The food was delicious. I would like to come back to try their other dishes. My sister appreciated the vegan options. They also deliver and have lunch specials. Even though we were the only ones eating at the time, the other few tables filled up by the time we left, so you may want to call ahead before heading there.
Manjal Indian Cuisine
95 Lincoln Ave
Fair Lawn, NJ 07410