The Power of a Restaurant Critic’s Tweet

By Richard Horgan Comment

BabuJiIndian restaurant Babu Ji, located on Avenue B just north of East 11th Street, is a smash hit. Just a few weeks after Claudine Ko wrote an item for the New York Post headlined “Is This Restaurant Really Worth the Wait?,” locals answered with a resounding “yes” by standing outside for upwards of an hour for a table during the record-breaking Jan. 22-23 blizzard.

That tidbit and more is laid out this weekend in Australian newspaper The Age. Before moving from Melbourne to New York in late 2014, Indian chef Jessi Singh and his wife Jennifer operated three successful restaurants Down Under (one of which was also named Babu Ji). They opened their Alphabet City locale in May 2015 and benefited very quickly from the power of social media:

“We had three quiet days,” says Jessi Singh. Then Adam Platt, the critic from New York magazine, arrived. He enjoyed Singh’s goat curry with blackberries, the hung yoghurt kebab and the potato croquettes in pineapple sauce.

“He tweeted about it and that was it,” says Singh. “We had a line down the street the next night and no quiet days since.”

The Age article includes an interesting comparison of the pair’s track record in Australia relative to their meteoric success in New York. Meanwhile, in a year-end look at 2015’s “Best New Restaurants,” the aforementioned Platt led off alphabetically with Babu Ji, which is open for dinner nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
 
[Image via: babujinyc.com]

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