Rather than having to plow through long threads on the already existing subjects on Indian restaurants in the Philly area, particularly in the western suburbs, I thought it might be helpful to start a new thread on the matter of changes which may be of interest to patrons of such restaurants.
As of early July 2009, here is what I noticed regarding two restaurants in the western suburbs ...
Bawarchi (in Chesterbrook Shopping Center, PA) - they obtained additional space by way of the business that used to be located adjacent to their location (the inside wall where the buffet trays used to be).
When I was there, they were still in the process of fixing up the new room. It had an ugly floor design which didn't match their original space and I trust they will be doing something about that floor design! Their buffet setup was moved to the other side near the back of the main dining area. Same food, same vareity, same taste, same price. (I still recommend, but be warned that there are very few desserts - the rest of the buffet makes up for this, though.)
side note: it is said that the sign of an authentic and decent "ethnic" restaurant is the presence of a large number of people, percentage wise, "native" to the cuisine area of that restaurant. On the day I was at Bawarchi, there were very few patrons there who were not from India. The food there is more "exotic" with fewer recognizable tastes to the western taste buds, so I'd think this restaurant would appeal to those people who are more used to the Hyderabad cuisine and/or who find the seasonings appealing.
Taste of India (at Gateway Shopping Center in Wayne, PA) - as of last week, I saw a sign taped to the front window informing of "Lunch Buffet $7.95 plus tax, Monday - Thursday, $8.95 plus tax Friday - Sunday. This price change is a huge drop from the previously increased prices. I don't know if the price change is due to slower summer business, the tough economic environment with fewer people being able to afford to eat out, and/ior competition in the area from other restaurants which had underpriced them. Plus, I don't know if the buffet is the same as it was in previous years, i.e. if $7.95 and $8.95 gets you the same variety and quality as before.
Chinnar (in Wayne, PA). - there has been a large sign on its front window informing of the lunch buffet now offering soup as well as a salad bar. Prevously, Chinnar did not offer soup as part of its lunch buffet.(It should be noted that the one time I was there and had the soup, it was very bland and lacked any distinctive "Indian spice" flavor.). The salad bar was barely different from its past offering of the basics for a salad. Still had a very large variety of main meal and side dishes in its lunch buffet as well as lassi and tea as part of its buffet. Most of the patrons were non-Indian. I was surpised to see the number of Indians present in light of the availability of other Indian restaurants in the area serving more authentic Indian flavored foods. Chinnar still offers a very satisfying variety of foods in its lunch buffet at a very reasonable price.