I'd been meaning to try Chennai Garden (East 27th St. off Lex.) since Mr. Asimov raved about several weeks ago. I once made it up there on a Monday, but CG is closed on Mondays (!), so I had the lunch buffet at Dosa Hut instead (not impressed at all, it was just ok). Today I got up there, and was very happy indeed.
The vegetarian buffet at Chennai Garden (South Indian cuisine) was excellent. There were three main dishes: chickpeas in a nice sauce, wonderful vegetable curry (I have gotten bored with veggie curry, but this version was lovely), and a nice spinach and something dish. Two breads were served, plus two kinds of rice, plus an assortment of excellent condiments (about seven or so) including mango chutney, yogurt, various sauces of the sweet to spicey variety, onions, etc. The only mild disappointment was the rice pudding they put out for dessert, which was nice, but not as lucious and creamy as I've had in other places. But the rest of food was really good-- not overspiced at all, but somewhat delicate, and definitely delicious. It was also not greasy. I highly recommend lunch here-- the all you can eat buffet is $5.95, Tues-Fri from 11:30 - 3:00. Prices at dinner are of course higher. I'm definitely going back, and soon.
I got there early, just as they opened. The very cordial staff mentioned that later in the afternooon there are lines for the buffet.
The only other mar to my experience there was that, arriving just as they were opening, there was a smell of cleaning products-- they had just mopped the floor. Of course they have to clean the place, but I hate to smell cleaning products instead of the wonderful smells of the food. I thought about commenting about it, but didn't. Anyway, the smell eventually faded, and the food was great. I do wish that places would not clean just before customers come in. Recently, while having a late night light meal at Congee, my friend and I had to (sweetly) beg the staff not to mop with ammonia right around our table, UGH!! And even with them mopping on the other side of the room, it really affected our meal, alas. But I still love that place too. What are others' opinions regarding cleaning? What do you do, espcially if you really like the restaurant, and want to make them better?