Talk of the Town (the unsung hero)

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Last Updated on June 6, 2015 by Chef Mireille

Due to the amount of Chinese people in the world, there are Chinese immigrant populations in practically every country.  I was surprised to see them even in the little island of Dominica.  In the capital of Roseau, practically every variety store is owned by the Chinese and of course, there is a Chinese restaurant.

In many of the countries where the Chinese are, they have merged some of their cooking techniques and flavors with those of the local community.  Hence, we have Cuban Chinese Food and Indo-Chinese food (from India), just to name a few.  There are quite a number of Indo-Chinese restaurants in the NYC area.  I always find the most authentic cuisine is usually located in the outer boroughs of NYC, rather than in Manhattan.  The best Indo-Chinese food restaurant in the area is Talk of the Town

They may not be the Talk of the Town, but that is only due to location.  Located on the outskirts of Jackson Heights’ Littel India, you will not find this restaurant, unless you go looking for it. Located on 72nd Street and Broadway, away from the busy foot traffic of 74th Street, this is not a restaurant you will just stumble upon.  However, every visit I make to this place, I enjoy it even more.  Talk of the Town is the absolute unsung hero of Jackson Heights.

This Halal Indo-Chinese restaurant is very clean, even the restrooms.  They already get brownie points for this, especially in this neighborhood.  However, the main reason to go is the food.  The chili okra appetizer is bursting with ginger, chili and coriander – spicy, tangy and sweet at the same time. The okra is not crispy as indicated on the menu, but they are firm.  Because of this, the okra does not have the sliminess that many complain of, when eating okra aka bhindi.  This reminds me of Indonesian food with their use of soy, chili and other spices.  It tastes like Kecap Manis (the sweet soy sauce all-purpose condiment of Indonesian cuisine).

The Chili Chicken is wonderful.  On first appearance, it looks like a chicken dish you might find in a Chinese restaurant with chicken and huge chunks of green pepper in what looks like a soy based sauce.  One bite and all your pre-conceived notions are laid aside.  Bursting with spice and many levels of flavor, this is no Chinese restaurant chicken!!!

They also serve traditional Indian dishes like Vindaloo, Biryani and the ubiquitous Chicken Tikka Masala, which are prepared with the same mastery as their Indo-Chinese entrees.

Also not to be missed is their Lemongrass Cooler, cool and refreshing on a 103 degree hot summer day. And they make the best Falooda (sorry for the dark photo) I have ever had – the perfect balance of rose syrup, ice cream and vermicelli!

So far, everytime I have received complimentary ice cream.  I don’t know if this is standard practice or because my visits usually include at least 5 people in our group? 

You will probably be one of the few people in the restaurant when you visit, but don’t be alarmed by the lack of customers.  The other people just don’t know about the best kept secret in Jackson Heights!!!

Chef Mireille
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