Ayna Agra is a diamond in the rough, bringing a refreshing cultural addition to Bayside. This restaurant combines traditional aspects of a typical Indian dining experience with a cozy atmosphere and warm wait-staff. From Marinated Chicken Fritters to Spiced Samosas, Ayna Agra offers an assortment of classic Indian-style appetizers, entrees and homemade desserts.
Appetizers include traditional dishes such as Samosas and Bombay Shrimp, yet incorporate chef-inspired specials such as Bombay Calamari and assorted appetizers. Inventive condiments are utilized with most dishes and include a delicious Mango Chutney and Raita, which combines chopped carrots and cucumber in yogurt. Other condiments include a mix pickle which is a mix of lemon, mango and flavorful Indian spices.
Along with condiments, warm Indian breads complement the meal. These include Papadum, which mimics a crisp waffle, hinting at flavors of lentil and cumin. Classic breads such as Naan are offered in a surplus of variations including onion, garlic and cheese. Roti, a multi-layered whole wheat bread is similar to the Paratha, which is also a multi-layered bread served with butter.
Most entrees include a meat complemented by a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits and rich sauces. Classic Indian entrees such as Chicken Curry are served in a traditional home-style curry sauce and are savory, spicy and flavorful. Chicken Dhan Shag presents chicken cooked in creamy spinach, lentils and bits of pineapple – hearty with hints of many flavors. I tried the Beef Kurma – tender beef cooked with coconut milk and rich almond sauce. Unusual yet extraordinary, presenting the tender beef complemented by the rich coconut milk and nutty almond flavors.
Other entrees include Keema Peas Curry, which is a minced beef dish cooked with green peas in a home-style Masala. The Lamb Vindaloo combines lamb and a spicy Masala sauce, while the Lamb Shag is savory, combining tender meat with creamy spinach. All entrees include Basmasti Rice, Dhal and seasoned cabbage.
Ayna Agra also offers vegetarian and seafood entrees, appealing to all culinary audiences. In addition to these offerings, a signature menu is presented, including dishes such as Bombay Duck and Chicken Tikka Masala.
Before leaving this cozy restaurant, make sure to try one of the homemade desserts. Everything from the mango ice cream to the Gulab Jamun (deep fried cottage cheese dipped in rum syrup) is presented in an authentic, beautiful manner.
Ayna Agra offers savory-sweet breads, truly authentic entrees and innovative homemade desserts, all served in a warm, intimate atmosphere. Located conveniently off of Bell Boulevard in Bayside, make sure to visit this charming establishment and taste all it has to offer.