NYC is exploding with fast-casual lunch spots with a decidedly healthy bent, from Chipotle and Chop’t to Sweetgreen and The Little Beet. And the newest entrant, Inday, attempts to add a little extra spice to the mix, by bringing a decidedly Indian edge to its assortment of salads, wraps and bowls.
Recently opened in the landmarked St. James Building in the NoMad district, and owned by a Bombay-based restaurateur, Inday (short for “Indian Every Day”), was largely financed by Phil Suarez; Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s longtime hospitality partner. So you can bet that it opened with a great deal of buzz, and is considerably chic-er than your typical grab-and-go spot, with 18-foot ceilings, pendant lamps, sleek wooden tables and a profusion of potted ferns.
The mix-and-match menu concept is highly familiar; you’ll work your way down the line in a series of steps, selecting “Mains” and “Proteins” in a variety of combinations. If a grain bowl is what you’re after, you’ll want to hone in on one of the bases listed under “Warm” (either a mix of wild and brown basmati rice, a toss of red quinoa, orange lentils and spinach, or a finely chopped mélange of shredded cauliflower and brussels sprouts, each interspersed with flecks of cucumber, tomato, mint and cilantro), while salads are classified as “Cool;” including shaved red and green cabbage with masala-spiked corn and snap peas, kale and baby spinach with tamarind dressing, and beet and zucchini ribbons, dotted with pickled raisins.
Alternately, you can order your “Protein” tucked into a whole-wheat flatbread wrap, or if you’re feeling especially ascetic, in a gluten-free grilled cabbage cup. The meat options are only negligibly Indian — no heady lamb curries or spice-bombed slow braises here. Instead, choices are limited to lean cubes of chicken, tofu or steak, a palm-sized salmon filet, or rather bizarrely, clods of banana leaf-steamed pork. A much needed flavor boost comes in the form of condiments; you’ll want to pile on the creamy yogurt-cucumber raita, fiery hot sauce, and sweet & smoky red coconut chutney.
While Inday is unlikely to woo die-hard Indian fans willing to walk over to Curry Hill for lunch, the on-the-go, calorie-conscious office workers will happily find this a tasty and viable, Madison Square-centered alternative to Shake Shack.