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Tamil Nadu-born chef Vijay Kumar's 'Semma' ranks among top 10 in New York City's 100 Best Restaurants list

Four Indian cuisine restaurants have secured spots in New York City's prestigious list of the top 100 restaurants for 2024, as evaluated by food critic Pete Wells of The New York Times. Semma, located in Greenwich Village, claims the 7th spot, followed by Dhamaka (54), Temple Canteen (80), and newcomer Hyderabadi Zaika (95).

Tamil Nadu-born chef Vijay Kumar's 'Semma' ranks among top 10 in New York City's 100 Best Restaurants list
First Published Apr 5, 2024, 7:59 AM IST

New York City's 100 Best Restaurants of 2024 feature four Indian cuisine establishments, as per the rankings published by food critic Pete Wells in The New York Times. Semma, situated in Greenwich Village, secures the 7th position, a significant climb of five places from the previous year. Joining Semma on the list are Dhamaka (54), Temple Canteen (80), and Hyderabadi Zaika (95).

Both Dhamaka and Temple Canteen have notably elevated their standings. Dhamaka, located on the Lower East Side, rose from 74th place in 2023, while Temple Canteen in Flushing, Queens, jumped to 96th place.

Hyderabadi Zaika, a newcomer located in Midtown Manhattan, makes its debut on the list.

Semma, under the guidance of chef Vijay Kumar, offers unique dishes inspired by his upbringing on a rice farm outside Madurai in Tamil Nadu. According to NYT's Wells, Semma's menu includes specialities like nathai pirattal, a dish of stir-fried snails with onions, tomatoes, and tamarind, served in banana leaf boxes, and Chettinad-style venison braised with star anise and black stone flower lichen.

Dhamaka, led by Mumbai-born chef Chintan Pandya, has earned praise for its biryani, described by Wells as a "polyphonic riot of flavour" in a 2021 review. The dish is noted for its bold combination of black peppercorns, green chillies, goat neck, and refreshing mint.

In his reviews, Wells captures the essence of these restaurants, highlighting their unique flavours and culinary innovations, making them stand out among New York City's diverse dining scene.

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