Bungalow space
A back dining room features plenty of natural light. Photo by Katrine Moite, courtesy of Bungalow

The One Who Keeps the BookNew York

How to Get Into New York’s Bungalow


Bungalow, an “Indian country club cuisine” restaurant in the East Village from the team behind GupShup and Chote Miya, opened in March of this year and already, they have a Notify list in the thousands and daily emails asking if their reservations are broken.

“We’re like ‘No, it’s working,’” Jimmy Rizvi, the proprietor, says with a laugh. “They’re just going away that quickly. We have no control over it.”

That’s where we come in. In this edition of The One Who Keeps The Books, we sit down with Rizvi to talk about the power of celebrity, mom’s lamb chops, and of course, how you can get a table.

Resy: When do your reservations drop?

Rizvi: They drop 15 days in advance, at 11 a.m. every morning.

How quickly are they usually filling up?

As of now, they fill up in around two or three minutes.

Wow, for all times?

Usually, yes. Most of the time. Mother’s Day is a good example; we filled up completely in between 60 and 80 seconds.

What would you say the prime times are?

Between 6 and 8:30 or 9 p.m. right now.

And are you saving any space for walk-ins?

Right now, we do; we prefer them around 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. We have a few tables that we keep, and we advise people that even though we take walk-ins at that time, nothing is guaranteed. It all depends on the day of the week.

What You Need to Know

  • Plan Ahead
    Reservations drop 15 days in advance at 11 a.m.
  • The Layout
    There are 96 seats inside, with additional bar seats available for those waiting for tables or walk-ins.
  • Walk On In
    It’s got to be right when they open, at 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. for the best chance at a table.
  • Must Orders
    Lamb chops (it’s the owner’s mom’s own recipe), yogurt kebab, and all of the breads. Everything is from acclaimed chef Vikas Khanna, though, so you can’t go wrong.
  • Pro Tip
    If you’re OK with a smaller menu, you can try for one of their walk-in-only bar tables.
Bungalow exterior

Are you using the Resy Notify feature? How long does that list usually get?

Yeah, we are. Right now, it’s anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 people depending on the day of the week.

All of that being said, what’s the best piece of advice you can give to someone hoping to get a table?

Put yourself on the Notify list. Try to log on to Resy two minutes before the reservations drop at 11 a.m. Since they get scooped up so quickly, you have to act quickly.

Once someone does get a table, what should they order?

We have yogurt kebabs that sell really well. The lamb chops are also one of the favorites in the restaurant.

What’s your favorite?

The lamb chops. The recipe came from my mom’s side, and the chef and my mom worked on the recipe for these lamb chops together. They do pretty well.

Ammi lamb chops
Ammi lamb chops. Photo courtesy of Bungalow
Ammi lamb chops
Ammi lamb chops. Photo courtesy of Bungalow

Love that. Do you have a favorite table inside or a favorite area?

I do like tables 301, 304, 407, 408, and 409. I like 301 because it gives you a complete view of the restaurant. We have a restaurant that curves to the right, but you can see from that table into the kitchen, the skylight area, and the entrance. The bar is also one of my favorite spots.

And how many seats total do you have inside?

We have about 96 to 98 seats for dining and around 26 seats in the bar and lounge area that includes eight high-top seats on the bar. We don’t serve the full menu at the bar; just small plates and deserts.

Do you need a reservation to sit at the bar?

No, the lounge is first come, first serve. If you’re on the waitlist or waiting for your table, you can order a drink — same for walk-ins. The bar manages those seats.

The bar at Bungalow
The bar at Bungalow. Photo by Alex Stanlioff, courtesy of Bungalow
The bar at Bungalow
The bar at Bungalow. Photo by Alex Stanlioff, courtesy of Bungalow
Bungalow shrimp balchao cones
Shrimp balchao cones made with nigella seeds and curry leaves. Photo by Andrei Severny, courtesy of Bungalow
Bungalow rose kulfi
Rose kulfi with a butterfly pea rabri, rose bark, and rose syrup. Photo by Andrei Severny, courtesy of Bungalow

Can people request specific tables?

It totally depends. We do get requests and whenever we see the possibility to accommodate it, we try to do so.

Set the scene for us. What’s it like in the dining room when it’s busiest?

When we open at 5 p.m. it starts building up. At 6 or 6:30 p.m. we’re pretty much all in for the first round. People are coming in, people are waiting for tables, people are trying for walk-ins, so it’s pretty packed. It’s very high energy. There are a lot of people who are fans of chef [Vikas Khanna]. They’re wanting to take pictures with him before they get up, and he’s moving around and talking to guests and meeting people.

What about you? How did you end up in this role?

I’ve been in the restaurant business for the last 10 or 12 years. I also own and operate GupShup, and we have another concept, Chote Miya, that’s totally based on Indian street food, plus a sort of fast-casual concept in Chelsea Market called Ammi. I’ve been working on Bungalow for the last two years. We opened on March 23rd, but we decided to do it in partnership with chef last year.

Obviously your other restaurants are quite popular, but is this the first time you’ve experienced such a high demand all at once?

Yes. There are a lot of South Asians who are fans of chef Khanna. He was a “Master Chef” host for the last 10-plus years in India, which is watched by almost 20 million people there.

A lot of people have seen him on TV back home or on the South Asian channels here. We didn’t expect this kind of response, but it’s a good problem to have. We’re doing our best to accommodate as many people as we can. From day one it’s been busy; we haven’t had a chance to do specials or anything since we’ve been so busy from that first day.

Bungalow is open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 to 11 p.m.

Ellie Plass is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn. Follow her on Instagram and X. Follow Resy, too.