I've been a longtime devotee of Ambala especially the original setting with the walls painted a bright lemony yellow reflecting what little sun you got from the east facing windows. Now they've gone and remodeled the place which means dark tacky interior design and less parking. I especially despise the dried palm fronds because of stories that it's cockroach heaven *shudders*. Although the owners put in a lot of effort to change the look, they somehow overlooked the most important thing held dear to a chowhound: the food. Measly portions, overpriced and with drink comes to an exorbitant rate.
Now when a fellow chowhounder suggested New India Grill for cheap buffet I went the next day. You see cheap and buffet don't really go together for my palate. It hearkens back to mediocrity of Home Town Buffet. But if you you've ever passed by the place you'll see linen table cloths, and jacketed uniformed waiters giving it a rather elegant atmosphere. That's actually the reason I've avoided the place for fear of being price gouged for service. Boy was I wrong.
+ 2.00 (unlimited refills for iced tea)
10.80 including tax
I cannot stress to you how impressive that was given the selection, quality of service and tasty food. You don't have to wave your hand like a madwoman to get drinks, they automatically fill your glass stemmed goblet. Perhaps it's because I've been starved of decent service but I'm very impressed. Think about it. You probably spend that much for a meal at Denny's. DENNY'S!
Now for food. I wasn't partial to the Tandoori Chicken perhaps because I hate fatty chicken but yes, it's seasoned nicely. Chicken Tikka was good especially with the naan. The Saag paneer was delicious as well as the mixed vegetables. They also have lamb which I had seconds of (I forget the name but it's seasoned in it's own brown gravylike sauce) The Dal was probably the weakest dish. After two trips I still couldn't have the heart to scoop the watery mixture on my plate.
They have a great "condiments" bar which includes everything including chutney and the yummy mint green thing I smother over my meat dishes. Ah, and they give your iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers to make your own salad with some italian dressing. Divine. I ended up using the cucumbers instead of the rice to counteract the richness of the meat dishes. For dessert they have some fruit to cleanse your palate. Remember buffet-so you can pick and choose what you'd like. Ice tea? Good strong iced tea. I like my tea without sugar so the flavor of the leaves really hits me.
If you really think takeout is faster for lunch I'd suggest this as a fun alternative. The food is ready and all you do is get a table, grab a dish, eat till your burst, pay, and leave. Now that I think of it, I hope this place doesn't get too crowded.
p.s. thanks Ashly for the suggestion.