Sangam: The Spice is Nice
Venturing up to collegetown to eat can pay large dividends, where else in Upstate New York are you going to find such good Indian Food but by Cornell? Thanks Ezra, we love what you did for Ithaca. Of course we love Indian food, my partner lived in India for a year so eating at Sangams is a must for us, with great food, low prices and a wait-staff that positively beams over our 2 yr old, we find this a great place for a meal. We dig the music and the feel at Sangams - it feels relaxed and comforting. We sit in the tables next to the large front windows, tables that are raised a few feet from the ground, where we look down upon the coming and goings of the students while we enjoy Sangams' tasty dishes in their Indian sanctuary on the hill.
The Food: 4 out of 5
The best rice in Ithaca; the rice is amazing, almost perfect, fluffy, not at all clumpy, made with saffron, cumin, and black cardamom. Two must orders are Nan and Parantha: the nan is fluffy and airy; the parantha is moist on the inside and crisp on the outside has and more texture then the nan (order both, they cost $1.95 each and taste great the next day.) We turned up the spice by ordering an appetizer, Alu Tikki, made with spiced potato slices and tomatoes - nice warm spice with a crisp texture. For Entrees the Chicken Tandoori is always moist (a trademark of Tandoor cooking) and the spices are cut into the chicken so the zest is wonderful and deep. Dal, a lentil soup, comes with the Tandoori and is wonderful as a soup or you can pour it over the rice for a mini-entree. The Lamb Vindaloo is moist and oh-so tender chunks of lamb and potatoes in a rich and hot curry . Alu Palik, chopped spinach and potatoes mixed in a spicy sauce is almost creamy in texture (the potato chunks are almost too big at times.)
When ordering, Medium spice and up can pack a wallop for the uninitiated so remember to use the yogurt, just roll the yogurt around your mouth and wherever else you feel hot -- the relief will be almost instantaneous. You can now taste again! Never use water as it will just spread the heat around your mouth, increasing your agony. For Dessert order the Rasamalai, made with sweet cheese, the fats in the cheese will help sooth your palate and it's silky sweet taste is just plain good.
The Experience: 3 out of 5
Sit by the windows for a nice slightly elevated view. Don't know what to order? Knowledgeable and patient wait-staff will help you explore the menu. Relaxed, low-key dining in a humble and clean space.
The Price: $$
Very reasonable prices, particularly for the quality and quantity of food. We had lots of yummy leftovers.
Reviewed March 3, 2007