Matthew Axe, Design Director at Whole Living magazine; who hails from Stowmarket, Suffolk grew up eating good—but fairly traditional English fare. While cutting his teeth as an Art Director in London, he started hovering around the photo studios near Brick Lane, where he developed a hankering for the best most flavorful curries, dips, dishes and sauces.
Unless you're in Queens, authentic Indian food is hard to find in New York. While walking his dog Rusty, one day in Hell's Kitchen, Matthew noticed a bunch of NY cabbies queued up outside of Punjabi Tadka. (Most NY cabbies hail from Bangladesh, followed by India, then Pakistan, and they're the ones to watch in terms of knowing where the best authentic cuisine lies). Since then, this place has become a staple, and he eats from here at least twice a week. (Even once teetering giant aluminium trays of it to a party in a New York cab. A feat in itself).
Matthew, loves to have a few Brit's over to join him in his feast. The Butter chicken is silky and to die for. The Chicken Tikka Marsala a must-order. Lamb Bhana is aromatic from marinating in herbs and the time I joined him, we ordered the Fish Curry. This is a go-to stop for any ex-pat craving a Ruby Murray. (That's cockney rhyming slang for 'Curry'). Wash it down with sturdy mugs of East India Pale Ale from Brooklyn Brewery and Bob's your Unc.
PUNJABI TADKA 688 10th Ave, (between 48 and 49th Streets) New York, NY 10019-7104 (212) 956-0185
(Pics: Dimity Jones, with assistance from John Kernick's bike lamp)