Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Diner by day, Indian restaurant by night

The 401 Diner in Conshohocken is now 401 Nirvana. Even the chef is Happy.

Diner by day, Indian restaurant by night

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401 Nirvana, 401 Fayette St., Conshohocken.
401 Nirvana, 401 Fayette St., Conshohocken.

You've heard of fusion, where you take one cuisine and meld it into another.

What's going on at the 401 Diner at Fourth and Fayette Streets is not fusion.

It's American diner food by day, Indian cuisine by night. (Actually, by lunchtime, too.)

New owner Nabin Chhantyal, former chef/owner of Aman's Indian Cuisine in East Norriton, now calls the place 401 Nirvana (401 Fayette St., 484-351-8029).

Surely you remember the Nirvana song "Smells Like Chicken Vindaloo"?

The Nirvana vibe plays well with the name of the chef - Jagmeet "Happy" Singh, formerly of Spice Kitchen in Trooper.

The men have maintained the breakfast and lunch diner menus. In addition, the Indian lunch will be a daily $9.95 prix-fixe menu with a choice of appetizer or soup and a main course, lentils, rice and Naan (a vegetarian option also offered). 

Dinner is all Indian. Among Singh's menu (see it here) is Bird's Nest Chhat, a crispy potato nest stuffed with savory puffed rice ($5); Stone Fish, tilapia filet cooked on stone with ginger, garlic and lemon ($10); and Chicken 65, cooked with curry leaves, mustard seeds and yogurt ($10). Entrees include Tandoori Chicken, bone in, marinated and spiced overnight ($14), Tiger Shrimp with cumin and coriander ($19), Tandoori Salmon, ginger, garlic, paprika and grilled asparagus ($19), Indian Spiced Tandoori Steak ($22) and Lamb Chops marinated in ginger, garlic and yogurt ($22), Chicken Tikka Masala ($14); Lamb Rogan Josh  ($17); Shrimp Vindaloo ($20); and a choice of Biryani Indian rice dishes ($8-$16). 

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Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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