Submitted By Crystal Chan-Long, June 7, 2017-1:37 am

Mousse Intensity:

New York City is a town where many quality Indian restaurants may be found—and there’s certainly no shortage of them along East 6th Street off First Avenue in Downtown Manhattan … an area that has for many years been known for its subcontinental offerings. But one of them stands out brightly among the pack: Milon, a longtime eatery that justifies its tenure on the block by serving more than decent food for shockingly inexpensive prices in a wildly wacky atmosphere reminiscent of holiday season in a Big Apple nightclub.

Situated near a cluster of other Indian spots, Milon—whose entrance is marked by a narrow door—might easily be overlooked if you’re searching for something other than a local provisioner. Once you drop in, however, a festive, warm space presents itself. Lit vibrantly with a ceiling full of glowing chili pepper string lights, Milon is downright fun and colorful, and the small tables lined alongside the gift-wrapped walls (hung with a selection of framed pictures) add to the charmingly bizarre atmosphere.

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There’s a large menu with myriad options, many being standards at nosheries around Gotham. On the day that I arrived, a very courteous server took my order of the “Milon Special Dinner,” which may be crafted for one or for two. The first course came out quickly: a tomato-based lentil soup, hot and oh-so-satisfying, abundant with soft lentils and sprinkled with coriander. Next, I received an appetizer plate of various Indian bites—including a vegetable samosa and crunchy, cracker-like papadum. My favorite out of the starters was definitely the banana pakora; golden and crispy on the outside, the fritter was sweet and chewy on the inside, with a gooey fruit filling …quite gratifying.

Soup appetizers LambKurma

Thankfully, there was more goodness to come—to be specific, the main entree, which as part of this dinner package offered a choice: curry masala, bhuna masala, or kurma (also known as korma) with a choice of protein. I went with the lamb kurma, and Milon’s version did not disappoint. Creamy and savory, the dish was loaded with chunks of tender lamb and saturated with a thick sauce. Add some well-prepared basmati rice, and that’s pretty much as good as it gets.

I ended the meal with a scoop of mango ice cream—a light, cool contrast to the spices featured during the rest of the meal. Milon also offers a selection of drinks, including the classic, yogurt-based lassi in a variety of flavors … mango, strawberry and banana among them. A salty iteration also is offered for those who want to go a less-sweet route.

Mangoicecream MangoLassi

The bill may cause you to gasp in amazement at how reasonable everything is. No wonder Milon has been here for what seems like forever. Guess there’s a good reason for everything right?

Certainly, that holds water when it comes to munching tasty fare.

Photos by Crystal Chan-Long

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