236 Elm St.
Davis Sq., Somerville, MA 02144
Lunch buffet (daily, yes, incl. Sat + Sun!): 11:30-3:00. Dinner Sun-Thurs 3-11, Fri + Sat 3-11:30.
NB: sometimes have uttapams on weekend buffet. Also have them as a lunch special for, IIRC, $6.95!!!! (I have to say this because I am an uttapam convert.)
Well, I was going into Porter Sq. today and decided to detour through Davis. Sq. I noticed two Indian restaurants: Diva, which I have read about, and Namaskar, which sounds vaguely familiar, but which I have no reviews of. I got a menu from Diva and then one from Namaskar, intending to just walk into Porter Sq. I then noticed there was a lunch buffet, which is sometimes a decent way to sample things, and which also fit into the small amount of time I had. (Yes, things on buffets are almost invariably not as good as they are when ordered off the menu--to say the least, but they can be useful, and you can sometimes derive some impression from them.) Anyway, I headed back in and took a glance at the buffet, which was enough to convince me to stay. They had some very unusual things for an Indian buffet, including some nice veggie dishes, and those dishes looked pretty fresh. Nothing was highly spiced, which may or may not please you, but I guess it is safer to do that. Please note that I was there ca 5 minutes after they opened, and I have no idea whether the items are as fresh and succulent if you go a lot later.
Anyway, here's what I remember:
Tandoori Chicken-a very nice rendition. Succulent and flavorful. Indeed, I was sorry that I squeezed lemon juice over part of it.
Saag Aloo-very good.
Shahi Bhindi-REALLY good and not slimy! Now have you ever seen an okra dish on a buffet before?
Cabbage Bhaji-very nice and fresh dish. I liked and have made a similar recipe myself.
Chicken Kofta-little meatballs. These were a bit saltier than I find ideal, but otherwise interestingly seasoned. Probably my least favorite of what I tried.
Chicken Tikka Masala-sorry but this is important, because I will never be able to get my daughter there if they lack a good version, and luckily, their version was very good, not quite as good as Bollywood's, but pretty close-IMO, anyway.
Samosas (I didn't try them, because I just had oral surgery)
Freshly cooked naan (plain, onion, and ?garlic?) also is included with the meal. (A nice touch.) This was not the best naan I have ever had; I prefer them to have some charred portions and some nice soft parts as well. Also, there was no discernible ghee flavor, although something was slathered on them.
There were also various salad veggies, the usual condiments, and two types of melon. Probably more stuff that I forget.
And I had to order a strawberry lassi, which was very yummy.
I am under the impression that the menu is constantly changing, but since this was my first visit, I can't say what things make a regular appearance. I will definitely go back and explore, especially now that my daughter is back in school.