The word “Rahi” means traveler in Hindi. At Rahi, guests can expect to be taken on a culinary journey through India. At this Greenwich Village restaurant, white brick walls come to life with painted black-and-gold murals. Patterned elements are found throughout the space, representing fragmented memories of a woman traveling around the subcontinent.
The Masala chai is an absolute must, and a staple of hospitality at any Indian establishment. The chai at Rahi was just right, not too overpowering with masala or spice as it’s known. Sweetness wasn’t required either. The frothy milk was smooth and rich.
Rahi offers bottomless brunch on weekends for $20 with the purchase of an entree. For bottomless beverages, choose between a Bloody Meera Bombay, a Bellini, or house beer, with an hour and a half time limit.
I had previously visited Rahi for dinner so I knew the cocktail program was strong. Our server recommended the Kesari Anjeer for a brunch cocktail. The sweet libation has fig vodka, saffron syrup, and a hint of lemon. It was beyond fantastic and went down a little too easily.
While the menu has mostly savory lunch options, there is a limited Bombay brunch section that features egg paratha, a Masala cheese omelet, and Uttapam Waffles with your choice of Kerala chicken and eggs among others.
The chili cheese toast is a great starter. Golden sticks are topped with creamy Amul cheese and baked with red onion and shishito peppers. The fresh greens on top were a nice touch. The chili cheese toast was just the right spice without being overkill.
Next we tried the spaghetti squash kofta, a contemporary take on a traditional kofta. The portion was overwhelming but perfect for sharing. The dish is made with paneer and a butternut squash korma, which was basically the gravy. The combination of flavors from ginger, garlic, and curry leaves made this a winning item. It was even better paired with crispy garlic naan to mop up the gravy with.
To keep with the theme of seasonal vegetables, we tried the squash bharta next. Hay-smoked squash seasoned with thai chilies is accompanied with a sweet squash bread. This wasn’t our favorite. In theory, the smoky flavor sounded interesting but needed more depth, especially on a spice and texture level to balance the dish. The squash bread with the squash bharta was also an odd choice.
While we can appreciate that each dish is characterized by unique, contemporary twists on traditional Indian flavors, what we love even more is that Rahi uses produce grown locally in New York to ensure freshness, quality, and seasonality.
Last but certainly not least, we ordered another round of Masala chai to go with our dessert. Truthfully, all of the options sounded appealing. We went with our server’s recommendation and ordered the Mumbai Mawa cake. It was divine, warm, cardamom-infused cake topped with cashews and pistachios and served with fluffy rabri which is basically condensed milk.
We were pleased with our experience and with most of the items we ordered. We will say however, it can get a little loud with large groups around.
The Bitches say: four Champagne flutes for a unique twist on Indian food incorporating seasonal flavors and exotic cocktails in a vibrant space.
Rahi serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.