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Canteen Jersey City NJ

789 Newark Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07306

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Canteen Jersey City NJ: Awful Egg Biryani, Mediocre Lunch Platters

I am no stranger to Canteen Indian restaurant on Newark Ave in Jersey City.

I once stepped into the restaurant and walked out without ordering as the takeout menu I was handed was dirty and soiled.

It was so dirty that out of fear of catching an infection I decided against turning the menu over and seeing what was on the other side.

However, I decided to give the restaurant a second chance and went there again.

Luckily the Telugu speaking waiter from Hyderabad handed me a clean copy of takeout menu and I quickly placed one order each of Vegetable Platter, Chicken Platter and Egg Biryani.

My total bill came to $23.38 including tax.

In retrospect, visiting Canteen a second time was a big mistake.

For much of the food I ordered turned out to be either enragingly horrid or depressingly mediocre.

Egg Biryani - Disgustingly Bad

I grew up eating Biryanis.

Be it Egg Biryani, Vegetable Biryani, Chicken Biryani or Hyderabad Dum Biryani. I've had them all, and on over a hundred occasions.

But never such a vile tasting horrid Egg Biryani as the one served by Canteen Indian Bistro on Newark Ave in Jersey City for $8.95 landed on my hapless taste buds.

 canteen egg biryani
Egg Biryani - $8.95

It came with sliced almonds toppings and chopped cilantro leaves.

egg biryani
Boiled Egg in Biryani

Canteen's Egg Biryani included two boiled eggs, one slice each of cucumber, carrot, cut lime and several pieces of tomato.

Yes, Tomato. No kidding.

I even wondered whether I'd mistakenly ordered Tomato rice instead of Egg Biryani.

Serving size was decent but it did not come with any raita or gravy as the sides.

That was the first sign of trouble.

Canteen's Egg Biryani smelled worse than an old man's fart and tasted weird with flakes of Tamarind along with seeds coming into the mouth (see the picture below).

tamarind seeds in egg biryani
Tamarind Seeds in Egg Biryani

It tasted so horrid that I could not push beyond four spoons and had to toss it in the trash.

Say what you will but the hands that prepared this Biryani were not human!

Vegetable Platter

Vegetable Platter included two curries - Paneer Tikka Masala and Channa Saag, plus Dal and Rice.

veg platter
Vegetarian Platter - $5.95

Serving size of two curries was small.

Paneer Tikka Masala with medium thick creamy gravy was spicy and flavorful. Paneer cubes were fresh and I enjoyed it.

That is the end of the good story with my Vegetable Platter.

Channa Saag was slightly sour and had a raw flavor of Spinach.

While Channa Saag was still tolerable, the Dal with two tiny pieces of tomato had a burnt flavor and taste.

Chicken Platter

Canteen's Chicken Platter included Chicken Curry, Chicken Do Pyaza and Dal on a bed of rice.

chicken platter
Chicken Platter - $6.95

Chicken Do Pyaza was mildly spiced and included tomato, onion and red chilli in the gravy. Chicken pieces were slightly tough suggesting that it may not be that fresh.

Chicken Curry is usually a spicy delight.

But not at Canteen on Newark Ave.

Canteen's Chicken Curry included three pieces of hard, boneless Chicken and was mildly spiced with curry leaves, onion and red chilli seasoning.

Service and Ambience

Canteen has no ambience to speak of and the unpleasant appearance of a dump.

As you enter, you have tables upfront with the cash/ordering counter and kitchen at the rear.

I noticed that the tables were not clean and had leftovers of the food.

My takeout order was packed badly with gravy from Paneer Tikka Masala leaking all over the plastic bag and soiling the napkins.

Though I paid $23.38 for my order, I did not get any plates. It came with just a few napkins, two plastic spoons and knives.

Canteen - Forget about It

If you love Indian food, I recommend you stay clear of Canteen Indian restaurant on Newark Avenue in Jersey City.

For much of the food I picked up from Canteen turned out to be either awful like Egg Biryani or mediocre.

Also there is no point in paying $8.95 for a single item of Egg Biryani or $5.99 for a vegetable platter when you can get All You Can Vegetarian Lunch Buffet at the nearby Bengali Sweet House on Newark Avenue for about the same price.

Don't expect to see me within a mile of Canteen anytime soon. - ©

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