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Mehak Lunch Buffet (Berkeley)

Melanie Wong | May 9, 2004 11:20 PM

A few Saturdays ago, I stopped at Mehak for a late lunch. I had wanted to order from the menu, but my server apologized and said that the cook had the afternoon off to attend a family party and invited me to try the buffet ($6.99) instead. Not usually a buffet person, I thought I remembered that as in the top 3 in Katya’s rankings and thought it might be worthwhile.

The selection is not a big and diverse as Priya’s, her top choice. However, I felt the quality was quite good even though the steam table dishes had cooled down a bit. The kitchen managed to send out a freshly made naan, that was decent, and a good mango lassi.

The tandoori chicken was on the dry side by this time, but well-seasoned and tasty. Oddly the saag paneer, usually the best bet on the buffet table, had an annoying bitter note. The aloo gobi was top notch with soft, but not too soft texture, and complex seasonings. A keema curry with ground lamb and veggies was delicious. The best dish was the chicken makhani (butter chicken). Chunks of moist dark meat seared in the tandoor were bathed in a tomato-y yogurt-based sauce with other herbs and spices. Loved the sauce - it had lovely acid balance and wasn’t overly cloying with the sweetness of cream and butterfat.

The raita was nice and fresh, although none of the dishes was spicy hot enough to need its cooling qualities. Rice was carefully made, great with the makhani sauce. For dessert, the rice pudding was a decent finish.

I noticed that neither the keema nor the butter chicken were offered on the regular menu. Glad I had a chance to try them from the buffet.

Any experience with the dinner menu?

Mehak Indian Cuisine
2449 Sacramento St.
(at Dwight Way)
Berkeley
510-841-6118
www.shopinberkeley.com/mehak
Free delivery

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