I am finally getting around to reporting on my first trip to 50th and Central since it changed from Udupi to Nalapak. My roomie and I went on a Sunday for the buffet, $12.37 with tax. They keep the weekend buffet open longer hours than Udupi did, now it's out till 4:15. I like that because I'm not that seriously buffet-hungry earlier in the day.
They did change the setup of the buffet- now it's one long table- I kind of missed the old
horseshoe arrangement that Udupi used, although this might be more efficient. They state
online that like Udupi, they have all vegetarian food, but while Udupi I believe was all South
Indian, Nalapak includes some North Indian dishes as well.
We enjoyed pretty much all of the food. I would say actually the only exceptions were
a couple of dishes with saffron in them- for some reason I can't stand the taste of saffron-
tastes like clorox or something. Maybe it's an issue of too much of it, but I don't think so.
There was saffron in a mango dessert .
There were about 8 entrees, and they were clearly labeled with the name and either
'Vegan' or 'Vegetarian' which was helpful. Some of my favorites were a white lentil porridge
type of thing (sorry can't give the name) with some sweet spices in it, rather delicate
and yummy. A very good eggplant curry. Dosas were delivered to the table, just plain
(rice flour crepes) rather than stuffed with samosa-type filling as at Udupi. So we used
pieces of the dosa to scoop up the curries. A very good muttar paneer (paneer is the
yummy homemade cheese cubes). The best raita I have ever had- it was amazingly
thick and creamy, not over-peppered or anything as I have sometimes encountered
elsewhere. Great coconut and cilantro chutneys. I usually skip the spicy soup, but
decided to try both of the 2 soups they had. They both were spicy at first, but I quickly
got used to the spice level and really enjoyed both - one was a thicker beanier one, the
other more of a broth- sambhar I think it's called.
They had the lentil donuts- medhu vada- that I remember seeing for the first time when I first went to Udupi years ago. And some white moist cakes- uthappam or iddlys? made from rice and lentils I believe- they were kind of plain but good to put chutneys on. And a layered type of bread called paratha- very good, chewier than naan.
They had a chopped cucumber tomato salad that was ok, not great.
Nothing seemed overly greasy- mentioning that since some other Indian places
have had that as a problem on this board. Also, I don't like super hot-spicy food in excess-
I am looking for a variety of well-balanced dishes- I felt Nalapak delivered well.