Nukkad, a restaurant serving up “Indian soul food,” opened on Saturday at the corner of Montgomery and Greene streets in Jersey City, just west of Exchange Place. The cuisine is meant to evoke the Indian street food that owner and chef Garima Kothari grew up with, she has said.
The eatery, at 105 Greene Street and on the same block as the Iron Monkey Cafe, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
According to the website, “Nukkad is based on the premise that people of a community gather together every evening at the local street corner (Nukkad in Hindi) and share jokes and sometimes their never-ending troubles and unfulfilled dreams with each other over a cup of chai and snacks.”
Garima Kothari, who is also an investment banker, has appeared on Master Chef India and was educated at the French culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu.
The restaurant focuses on simple and light dishes like biryani rice meals, sandwiches, breakfast dishes, and snacks.
Among their featured items is the Bombay sandwich, which they refer to as “nostalgia food.” Grilled bread flanks a “secret spice blend, veggies and chutneys” made in-house by Chef Garima.
They will also specialize in idlis & vadas, which Chef Garima says can be eaten all day. The restaurant’s Instagram page explains, “Idlis are steamed cakes made out of rice and lentil batter which have been fermented for a bit to give that savory, slightly tart finish and so good for the tummy! Idlis are vegan and gluten-free! Vadas are the tastiest savory donuts ever. Made from lentils and ground spices, they are best eaten dunked in a soupy sambar.”
They will be made from scratch each day at the restaurant.
Garima Kothari explained, “I’m trying to create an experience which is truly Calcutta in style. I have grown up eating dosas and momos, beans & toast and biryanis. So here I am trying to re-create nostalgia for all us Desis and a new experience for the rest of us in Jersey City!”