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Aabhar Freehold NJ

3475 Rt 9 North
Freehold, NJ 07728

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aabhar freehold

Aabhar Freehold NJ Review: Much Better than Aangan

One of the best things to happen to fans of Indian cuisine in New Jersey is the closing of that trashy impostor Aangan in Freehold. When I heard that Aangan had been replaced by Aabhar Indian restaurant, I quickly paid a visit to check out the new place.

Like its predecessor, Aabhar has two sections, one serving Indian Curries and other Lemon offering Mediterranean food.

Since I am an unabashed fan of Indian food, I let my taste buds graze on a variety of curries and desserts at Aabhar.

Aabhar Chicken Delights

Tandoori Chicken (one piece) came piping hot to the table with sliced onions and a cut lime on the side.

Aabhar's Tandoori Chicken was juicy and flavorful. Alas, it had more bone than meat and I got only one piece.

aabhar tandoori chicken
Tandoori Chicken
aabhar freehold methi murg, idli
Methi Murg, Idli (top right)
Methi Murg came with tender chicken pieces packing a moderate methi-leaves flavor.

While I enjoyed Aabhar's Methi Murg, I like it a tad spicier.

Kadai Murg was slightly high on turmeric powder and had very watery gravy. But the chicken pieces were tender and overall still tasty.

aabhar kadai murg
Kadai Murg
aabhar alu mutter, idli
Alu Mutter (bottom), Idli (top)

Vegetarian Curries

Among the Vegetarian Curries, I loved Aabhar's Dal Makhani most.

Most Indian restaurants in New Jersey area serve finely cooked lentils in the name of Dal Makhani.

Aabhar' Dal Makhani was medium thick and flavorful with chopped cilantro seasoning on top.

Alu Mutter and Paneer Makhani were close rivals to Dal Makhani in taste.

Paneer Makhani was creamy as it should be and the diced cottage cheese cubes were tasty. But the gravy was a little watery and slightly sour.

Alu Mutter at Aabhar was a dry tasty curry. I had no complaints with it.

Just like Alu Mutter, Subzi Milonee (Mixed Vegetable Curry) was also dry. Aabhar's Subzi Milonee included carrot, snowpeas, zuchini, lima beans and potato. It was pasty and red chilli powder spicy.

aabhar vegetarian curries
Dal Makhani (right), Paneer Makhani (left)
aabhar sambar

Idli, Sambar, Chutney

I was delighted to see the South Indian breakfast items Idli, Sambar and Coconut chutney as part of the lunch offering at Aabhar.

Idli was not hot and just a wee bit hard. But it definitely does not belong in the bad category.

Sambar was a flavorful medley of drumstick, carrot, bell peppers, Italian green squash, tomato and onion. It was hot and packed a nice drumstick flavor.

Sure, texture wise it was not as thick as an authentic Madrasi Sambar. But I still enjoyed it and relished the Idli soaked in Sambar.

Coconut chutney was thick and cold. It was good though I prefer it a tad spicier.

By the way, Aabhar's menu mentions that the South Indian rice crepe Dosa is served during the weekends. But we found no evidence of the dosa during our weekend lunch buffet. Strange!

aabhar naan bread
Naan Bread
Aabhar Freehold mint chutney, raita
Mint Chutney, Raita

Naan Bread and Sides

Naan bread came piping hot to the table.

I got four freshly cooked bread pieces in a basket. I also liked the fact that Naan bread was served at the table rather than thrown into a big basket and dumped at the buffet table.

Plain rice was fresh and I did not have any issues with it.

While I enjoyed the Naan bread what gave me immense pleasure to my taste buds was green chutney or mint chutney that was part of the sides. Mint Chutney was fresh, tangy and very flavorful.

The other sides included Hot Pickles and Raita. Hot pickles were not in least bit hot or spicy but vinegar based mixed vegetable pickle. Raita was all right.

Delicious Desserts

I tried Rice Kheer and Gulab Jamun for desserts.

Rice Kheer was medium thick, cold and simply delicious.

It was one of the most delicious rice Kheer desserts that I have had at an Indian restaurant in New Jersey.

aabhar kheer, gulab jamun
Kheer (left), Gulab Jamun (right)
Gulab Jamun was nicely cooked and came soaked in warm, flavorful sugar syrup. It had everything right in its favor - texture, sweetness and most importantly a competent chef's hand.

Aabhar Service, Ambience

When I entered Aabhar around Noon, the restaurant was quite except for three diners.

I was praying that my meal would not be a repetition of my Aangan experience

A tall waiter greeted me and allowed me to chose a table of my choice.

The table was clean with a table cloth. Silver was kept neatly on a clean white cloth napkin.

The same waiter brought a water jug and filled my water glasses. He also left a cold water bottle on the table.

He enquired whether we are chicken eaters or vegetarian. Since our group had one carnivore and the rest were vegetarians we informed him of the same. It was only later when we got a single piece of Tandoori Chicken that we understood the reason for that query.

While meat-eaters got a Tandoori Chicken piece, the Vegetarians in our group did not get any appetizer. That's a mighty shame and a nasty discrimination.

Also unlike most Indian restaurants, Aabhar serves only one piece of Tandoori Chicken with its lunch buffet.

What irritated me a bit was the great hurry exhibited by the short waiter in removing our dining plates. Why the big rush when the restaurant is deserted?

As you enter, you have the cash counter right in the middle, Aabhar dining hall on the left and Lemon Mediterranean restaurant to your right.

Kitchen and restrooms are at the rear end of the restaurant.

The restaurant was clean and the only thing I did not like was very poor lighting. Aabhar' dining hall was dingy and semi-dark. Some tables have a glass cover on top while others have a table-cloth on top.

BTW, though the outside board has been replaced with new name, Aangan's name is still there on doors and buffet cloth banner.

Aabhar Freehold Rating

The good thing is Aabhar's food is a million times better than its predecessor Aangan.

Also, the Aabhar service was overall decent unlike the contemptuous attitude exhibited by Aangan waitstaff during my visit.

I can't wait to get back to Aabhar to feast on its fine Rice Kheer and Gulab Jamun.

Notwithstanding minor irritations (about the service and the single Tandoori Chicken piece), I recommend Aabhar in Freehold, New Jersey to all ye lovers of fine Indian food. - ©

Other Freehold area Indian Restaurants

Masala Kitchen Englishtown New Jersey
Aangan Freehold is Closed

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