Category: Food

Photo courtesy of Joshua Burton, CC ’18

RESTAURANT INFORMATION:

Restaurant: The Handpulled Noodle

Location: Harlem/Hamilton Heights

Cuisine: Northwest Chinese Soul Food

Rating: 4.75/5Continue Reading..

kati-roll-entrance

RESTAURANT INFORMATION:

Locations: Garment District | West Village | Midtown East | London

Location Visited: Garment District

Rating: 4.5/5

Catering is available.

 

“Everything you are eating is made fresh daily. We make everything from scratch every morning. There is no frozen food.”

Anil Bathwal proclaims this matter-of-factly across the table from me. As the husband of Payal Saha, the founder and owner of The Kati Roll Company, I thought his boasting might contain bias.

Boy, I was wrong.

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Upon entering The Kati Roll Company | Photo by Justin Deal

Upon entering The Kati Roll Company on 49th W 39th Street, I was instantly struck by sensory overload—bright orange-painted brick walls (some exposed), distressed Bollywood movie posters, and top 40 pop/R&B blaring overhead. While it felt like too much at first, the ambiance came into focus when I looked down to see the hardwood floors and the minimal seating in the front with more seating in the back after one walks past the open kitchen. Overall, the mood straddled between New York City lazy chic and India street pop-culture.

Their menu is simple, and by “simple,” I mean it has focus and does not inhibit the customer’s ability to make a choice by giving you too many options. The caveat to this is that everything is delectable, so after your first try you may end up sweating over which Kati Roll to try next.

First, I tried the Aloo Masala Roll. I was impressed with the balance of flavors between their homemade paratha (lightly-fried, hand-rolled, layered bread) and the spicy and full-flavored fillings of hand-mashed, fried potatoes, tomatoes, and green peppers. “Spicy” describes their home-blend of over 25 distinct spices used on many of their rolls. This classic Indian street food creation was vegetarian heaven in roll form.

Next up was the Shami-Kabab Roll. Wow. The minced lamb and lentil croquettes inside the paratha provide both texture from the croquette shell and soft savoriness from the finely minced lamb mixture. I am a self-made connoisseur of lamb, and this hit the mark.

Three kati rolls | Photo by Justin Deal

Three kati rolls | Photo by Justin Deal

Lastly, the most famous roll—the Chicken Tikka Roll. Tender, juicy chicken, marinated in the house spice blend and yogurt…I could see why this was the most popular. The chicken is hormone and antibiotic-free halal chicken according to their website. It tasted so fresh! I realized Anil was not fibbing when he said everything was made from scratch daily. It shows in the quality of the food.

When asked about special dietary options, Anil said it is easy to accommodate such requests. If you are vegan, stay away from the paratha—it contains clarified butter. Instead, opt for the Roti flatbread. And make sure to choose one of the vegetarian rolls and simply request no cheese if it includes that (the Achari Paneer Roll appears to be the only one with this obstacle). Also, the Shami-Kabab Roll contains egg. The paratha is already gluten-free, so you’re ready to go! If that doesn’t work for you difficult ones (I joke I joke), there is an organic salad…

If you have a long break during the school day or want to travel downtown on the weekend, don’t miss out on The Kati Roll Company experience.

DIRECTIONS: Jump on the downtown 1 train and go to 42nd Street/Times Square. Get off and walk southeast for about six minutes to 49 W 39th Street. What’s great about the kati roll experience is that you can eat inside and enjoy a lager (the recommended alcoholic beverage to pair), soda, or a sweet yoghurt-based lassi to balance the spice of the rolls; or you can take it to go on your way to Bryant Park juggling class or to buy more (unnecessary) books from the New York Public Library’s gift shop (I opted for “Le Penseur” socks instead)! Anil says the kati roll is practical for hungry people on-the-go.

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How to Eat a Kati Roll | Photo Copyright by The Kati Roll Company

Also—the average price for a roll is $5.50! That’s cheaper than an Up Coffee Company salad-in-a-jar!

After I had finished stuffing my face and Anil taught me about the street fare of Kolkata, India (the source of inspiration), I started to wean away from the idea that the restaurant vibe oversaturated the senses. Instead, the restaurant’s humble liveliness embodies the spirit of the food, and that is something many of the imitation Kati Roll companies cannot live up to.

I will definitely go back.

In an announcement from earlier today, Columbia Dining has announced that John Jay Dining Hall will now be open for breakfast. This means that students will be able to dine at John Jay starting at 9:30AM versus the current 11:00AM opening time Monday through Thursday. The changes takes effect starting Monday, October 10th.

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Sign announcing the new Dining option outside Ferris.

Courtesy of Barnard Dining

In an email sent to students earlier today, Dean Hinkson announced some major policy changes.

Here’s a basic overview of new changes:

  • Barnard Students will have swipe access to JJ’s Place
  • Tuition is increasing
  • Housing prices are also increasing
  • Students will be able to swipe into Diana’s Second Floor Dining Room
  • Hewitt will be hiring a new Executive Chef
  • Barnard Housing to Open 6 Days before start of Spring Classes

The full email can be found below.

Dear Students,

We are writing to let you know that the Barnard Board of Trustees has approved the 2016-17 rates for tuition, fees, room, and board.  We know that any increase can be difficult for many of our families, so we wanted to take a moment to explain the details and our approach. We also want to make an exciting announcement about changes to the meal plan, and tell you about several key changes to our policy for winter break housing.

Tuition and Fees for 2016-2017

For the upcoming academic year, the total rate for tuition, fees, room and board will be $65,992—an increase of $3,251 from this year’s rates. This rise is directly related to societal increases in the cost of living and, for Barnard, reflects the growing costs associated with recruiting and retaining our faculty and staff, fully funding financial aid to maintain need blind admissions, implementing the new curriculum, and expanding a variety of services in response to student requests.

The breakdown of the total cost are as follows:

•       Tuition and the comprehensive fee will cost $50,394, including $48,614 for tuition and $1,780 for the comprehensive fee.

•       The price for multiple rooms will be $9,230 per year.  Rates for single rooms will be $10,712, and the rate for studio apartments will be $16,000.

•       The price for the Platinum plan (19 meals per week) is $6,368.

Meal Plan Changes

We are pleased to announce some exciting changes to the meal plan.  Over the past year or so, students have raised a number of concerns regarding access to dining facilities at Columbia, food quality, and operations during school breaks.  This past fall, SGA hosted a town hall focused on food services that identified, in a very constructive way, potential areas of improvement.  In response, we recently renegotiated our long-standing agreement with Aramark.  Under the new arrangement that will begin in fall of 2016:

•       The Diana Second Floor Dining Room will be open for meal swipes during dinner.

•       Barnard students will continue to have meal swipe access at John Jay and Ferris Booth.

•       For the first time, Barnard students will also have meal swipe access to JJ’s Place, adding a third Columbia location to our meal plan options.

•       This means that, in total, Barnard students will have meal swipe access at five locations on the Barnard and Columbia campuses: Hewitt, Diana, Ferris Booth, John Jay and JJ’s Place.

•       In addition, there will be a full-time, on-site Executive Chef at Hewitt who will be responsible for ensuring overall food quality and handling specific dietary needs of students as they arise.

We also know that some of our students deal with issues of food insecurity each and every day, which is unacceptable in a small and supportive community like ours. This is a difficult issue and together we need to be vigilant and proactive in understanding the magnitude of the problem on our campus and finding ways to fix it.  Currently, we plan to do the following:

•       Make meal services available whenever residence halls are open. Beginning this fall, students will have access to meal services on campus, either in Hewitt or Diana, during fall break, Thanksgiving break, spring break, and when residence halls open for the spring semester.
•       Change the structure of the convenience meal plan option by offering different combinations of meals and points that we encourage students living outside the quad to seriously consider.  Students will still be able to add meals and points in small increments throughout the year.

•       Work with Aramark, SGA, and other groups on campus to find additional ways of enhancing ongoing meal donation programs.

Winter Break Housing

Finally, we know that last year’s winter break housing policy was a cause of confusion and concern. We appreciate the thoughtful suggestions that SGA has made regarding how best to assist students during the holiday season.  Please know that while the College will continue to remain officially closed during the winter holiday season, we will make some important changes for next winter to accommodate student needs.

First, we will continue to keep Plimpton Hall open and available to students requiring housing during the break. Campus tour guides, varsity athletes, students with unsafe home situations, international students on Barnard financial aid, and students with academic responsibilities that must be completed on campus will all be eligible to stay in Plimpton during the break. The Office of Residential Life will implement an application process to review and respond to any requests for winter break housing, and will help students who do not already live in Plimpton to find an available room there.

Second, we will be opening the College’s residence halls earlier than we have in the past.  All residence halls will open to students on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 (six days before the start of classes), along with dining facilities, either at Hewitt or Diana Second Floor.  We will also open Health Services, in order to ensure that all students have access to services upon their return to campus after winter break.

We are confident that the combination of these measures—easier access to Plimpton for those who need it, and an earlier return for all students—will go a long way towards addressing the issues of food and housing insecurity among members of our community.

We hope that this gives you a clearer sense of the College’s plans for the coming year.  The costs of providing the best possible education for our students continue to rise, but we are committed to doing our best to keep the increase as modest as possible, to expand services in the areas of greatest need and, as always, to maintain Barnard’s long-standing devotion to excellence.

Sincerely,

Rob Goldberg, Chief Operating Officer
Avis Hinkson, Dean of the College

As of today, Ollie’s has reopened at its new location at 103rd and Broadway. In an email sent to The Lion, an employee noted that there are no plans to return to their 116th and Broadway location.

 

The full message is attached below.

Joshua,

Our 103rd & Broadway location just opened today! Unfortunately we will not be returning to our 116th location.

Regards,
Billy

A link to the new location’s menu can be found here. The Lion team has also reached out for word on if/when online ordering will be available at the new store.

Happy eating!