I’ve now been to this restaurant twice. The first time we tried the buffet, and the second time we ordered off the menu. The daily buffet is $9.95 and has a nice variety; however it’s nothing startling in originality or in spiciness.
We returned a couple weeks later for dinner. We also brought a bottle of wine and our own opener. They supplied glasses, and they only asked that we keep the bottle (already in a paper bag) down on the seat rather than out on the table. There’s no corkage.
We ordered the lamb vindaloo, the mushroom bhajee and the “fried rice” which is basically their biryani without meat. (Nothing to do with the Chinese dish.) By mistake, we were brought chicken biryani instead, which we didn’t realize till we started eating it. It was very good and there was a lot of chicken in it. Some Indian places have a poor ratio of meat to rice in their biryanis, but not here. However when we mentioned we had actually ordered the fried rice, they adjusted our bill accordingly.
The mushroom dish was wonderful -- pure succulently spiced mushrooms and nothing else to detract. It’s a more dry than sauced. The lamb vindaloo was also very good. The meat was very lean, but somewhat tough so maybe overcooked. I like that sort of sinewy crunchiness I sometimes experience when biting into lamb, but this didn’t quite have that either. The potato that was cooked with it however was undercooked and hard. We ordered both these dishes as “spicy”, and that we got. So the flavor was definitely there. We also ordered two plain naan. Their naan must be huge because the basket was overflowing, so next time we know one order is enough for two people. The service is casual, but friendly. They must do a lot of takeout, judging from the delivery people constantly going in and out.
We had a good appetite but couldn’t finish the 3 dishes, so they boxed up the rest for us. I just finished the leftovers before writing this and must say on reflection that they tasted as good or maybe even better after a few days. Nothing upscale or creative going on here, just traditional cooking. But what really makes it a place worth returning to for us, is mostly the BYO factor. I quite look forward to trying their other dishes—they have quite an extensive fish and shrimp menu of dishes besides chicken and lamb. The only thing is I’m wondering is whether the turnover in seafood orders is high enough to ensure fresh product here.
401 So Vermont Ave.