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Suggestions for a good Indian buffet?

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  • Sami Oct 17, 2005 10:17 PM
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Hi....

I'm looking for an Indian buffet here... a dinner one though, which is seemingly very difficult to find. Any recommendations?

Thanks!

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  1. I went to a place called "Bahara" just a little south on Yonge by Bloor... reasonable food, prices, and good service.

    4 Replies
    1. re: jayseeca

      I would second the vote for Banjara. It has been around for a few decades, has decent service and great food that won't break the bank.

      Cheers,

      MM

      1. re: Mike M

        Gotta say no to Banjara. Had to beg for cutlery last weekend and most of the steam trays were empty and not refilled with any regularity. It was not worth the $16.95 for the crappy buffet.

        1. re: Mike M

          I think Banjara has closed down.

          1. re: n10sity

            It's resurfaced just west of Christie Pits on Bloor. It moved into what was "Mark's Steak Queen", which served up a killer burger. Apparantly they want to keep the burgers, fries and steak sandwiches and offer their Indian food as well...

      2. I've been happy with The Famous, and Siddhartha on Gerrard East in Little India. The former is $9.99 for dinner, and the latter, $12.99 or $13.99.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jill
          m
          ministerofkebab

          Agree on the sidhartha rec for India town - another option that has evening buffet is Indian Flavour on Bay near Dundas...food is OK not superb, but its downtown and it has a buffet. Agree with the comments about KAMA not being that plez an experience on the service side - plus its on the theatre/tourist circuit so you get the line ups and waiters galncing at watches and huffing and puffing.

          1. re: ministerofkebab

            i third sidhartha in little india. . . . . yummmy and not too expense. . . . Definately worth it.

        2. Kama (king & simcoe)

          2 Replies
          1. re: Davey

            I'd have to disagree on this one. While they are the only dinner buffet that I can think of in the downtown core, the food is really quite bad, even for a buffet. The curries are watery and bland as a result. The naan is soggy. Service is pushy (I'm sure I don't want a mango lassi for the tenth time tonight). Not a good experience at all.

            1. re: Davey

              Kama's food is adequately Indian. The location of this restaurant dictates the price, I suppose. It wasn't worth the money.

            2. I second the vote for Indian Flavour in the Atrium on Bay.. it's not spectacular but it is good.. also there is a place at Bay and College on the south west side.. can't remember the name... pretty good too.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Bron
                m
                ministerofkebab

                the one at Bay just south of college is Sangaam - pretty good for buffet- on a par with Indian Flavour - not earth-shattering but good. A fave with the UofT crowd...it is however way better than woodlands on college which is crappy, though another option is the place on baldwin - aaaaargh forget the name. Anyway - there is only one - the indian place on Baldwin is fairly good for buffet lunch - food is OK - decor is better than sangam. The Baldwin place is a fave of friends of mine who work at Mt Sinai.

                1. re: ministerofkebab

                  I believe, but am not absolutely positive, that Sangam closed last year.

                  What about Trimurti on Queen West?

                  1. re: Jane

                    Trimurti on Queen West is one of my favourite Indian restaurants in the city. It does not have a dinner buffet, however.

                    As for the Indian place on Baldwin that a previous poster mentioned, it's named Jodpur, I believe. I'm not a fan of their food though. Bland.

                    1. re: Juniper

                      Jodpur is OK for supper when it is a set menu -- their lunch buffet is the pits.

              2. I'm a big fan of Saffron Tree for lunch buffet. It's at Gerrard and Elizabeth.

                They only serve a la carte in the evenings though, so if you're looking for dinner buffet this isn't the place for you...

                1. I can't recommend any of the places in Little India, tho IMO they are not too different from what you get at Indian Flavour. Not bad but not great by any means.

                  If you are downtown and looking for a buffet dinner I would suggest Indian Hut on Church Street, just south of Bloor on the west side. A few dollars more than Indian Flavour but I'd say the difference shows. The times I've been it's always busy, tho not packed like IF and if food ran out, replenishment happend right away. Oh yeah, and the food was good.

                  If you can drive, I've been to the lunch at The Host in Richmond Hill. The best I've had.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: neighborguy

                    I'd strongly second "The Host", hands down the best Indian buffet I've been too. It's between Markham and Richmond Hill, but just off the 404, so pretty accessible. I work up here and have been to a few in the area, and most are pretty good, but the Host is top notch.

                  2. I've eaten at Siddartha over at King W & Bathrust. The trays were fresh and the Naan was nice and crispy. The service was excellent and they now have a patio! The price was somewhere in the range of $12 per person (I think).

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Ubervache

                      I have had takeout (for 12 people, so a lot of variety) from Little India, which was delicious. I would also recommend Mantra on Elm, which has less variety, but every dish is yummy!

                      Kama used to be my favorite, but the quality has really declined over the years.
                      My experience at Siddatha on King W did not get as far as eating. My boyfriend and I were passing after a summerlicious dinner at Nectar( tiny portions, and they don't offer any a la carte, so you can't add to your unsatisfying meal!) when we noticed Siddharta and thought it would be a great place to go with groups of friends who are all obsessed with Indian food. We asked a waiter/manager (?) if we could look at the buffet. I guess he didn't hear us say we weren't going to eat, as he happliy pointed out every dish in the appetizing buffet. He asked if we wanted a table, and my boyfriend got as far as saying "No thanks, we already ate. We're plannining..." when the previously smiling 'gentleman' spun around and and walked away and leaned against the bar with his back to us until we left. Apparently, they don't care about future customers, or the impression they are leaving. Not to sound like a pompous 'if he only knew'-type person, but I tend to eat out about 10 times a week, and with many friends living within walking distance of Siddharta, and most importantly, the fact that there were only two tables seated when we were there, it would seem that they lost a big opportunity by being rude and only seeing $$ instead of people.

                      1. re: sway

                        Sounds like an unfortunate misunderstanding. I live down the street from there and can say that not only is the place often busy, but the service is as good as at any other buffet. Nice people, water refils and help with the items at the buffet. I just don't think they have quite mastered the english language. In fact a case in point is how poorly they are able to label the dishes at the buffet.

                        IMHO you are missing out more than they are by your not eating there. It is really very good. The tastes are very rich and deep.

                        1. re: sway

                          I think you should try again. Its definatley good eats for the price. . . . Maybe he was having a bad day. . . . it happens.

                        2. re: Ubervache

                          Me too. I think it is excellent at King and Bathurst. Very well spiced and always fresh trays.

                        3. My favourite is Little India which is on Queen just west of University. It is in a strip with a few other Indian restaurants, but this one offers the best quality IMHO.

                          Siddhartha on Gerrard is quite good also, and I've been generally unimpressed with The Saffron Tree. Indian Flavour has some good dishes (the eggplant!), but it's generally not spectacular.

                          Give Little India a try, I think you'll like it.
                          255 Queen St. W
                          http://www.littleindia.ca

                          1. Totally agree with the Little India (on Queen) rec. Zero atmosphere, awesome food. No dinner buffet but the lunch buffet is great and the veggie thali for dinner is practically a buffet on its own.

                            1. try lahore tikka house--no buffets, but great food on a pation and large portions..a bit greasy though...but straight from the grill..also nataraj on spadina and bloor has a decent buffet

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: toronto101

                                Lahore Tikka House is not Indian, it's Pakistani food. I suppose you can eat there if you want to eat in a building that has been under construction for 2 years.

                                Just 30 seconds from LTH ,is "Mahar Restaurant" (north side on Gerrard, just west of Hiawatha). They recently renovated and now have a nice area for both a la carte and buffet. The dinner buffet is around $10, there are probably 10 to 12 items to choose from.

                                1. re: foodyDudey

                                  under construction for 2 years?? that is being nice...it is more like 4-5..they only took down the original building 2 years ago, but before that you were still in trailers. I do like their food though, although a bit oily

                                  1. re: suzspot

                                    I said two years because who would beleive me if I said five years? But yes it's been more than two. I ate there once about 8 years back, maybe the food is better now.

                                    1. re: foodyDudey

                                      The food there at the moment is terrific!
                                      Its halal so no neer available, which sucks becuase i love a cold one with my butter chicken

                                      1. re: apetimberlake

                                        I never understood the hype about Lahore Tikka House. The flavouring, IMO, is very one-dimensional and most of the dishes are decent and reasonably priced, but not particularly exciting.

                                        The kebabs and mango shakes are the only thing that bring me back.

                                        1. re: vorpal

                                          and the home made creamy almond kulfi's.

                              2. I have enjoyed the buffet at Siddhartha on Gerrard East in Little India (Coxwell & Gerrard area). I was told they only offer buffet at lunch. My most recent visit was a few weeks ago and it was just like all the other times - good food, decent price and good service.

                                If you venture a bit north of the city, the Host (in Markham at Woodbine & Hwy7 area) is VERY good. Only been there for lunch (buffet) and the food was GREAT. The naan and kulcha were NOT greasy - fresh, moist and flavourful. All the curries were generous (not relying on the 90% of liquid sauce and 10% meat formula of being cheap) and nicely robust seasoning. The kitchen is partially open - with a glassed in window so you can see them making everything. I found NOTHING to be stale or sitting for a long time (when curry sits a too long the oil separates and reveals itself) . Freshly prepared food was brought constantly to the holding pans for eager diners. I was told they use very little ghee (only if absolutely necessary) hence little greasy side effects and better for your cholestoral levels. Thier buffet had different curries each day of the week, during lunch, when I have gone. They mix it up with typical curries and one or two lesser-seen ethnic dishes (e.g. egg curry with saffron and cilantro). 3 kinds of rice, a good selection of veggie curries, raita & salad station and a dessert station. Beware service is OK - and that is usally because it is PACKED with a line up to get in at lunch - arrive when they open to ensure you are not waiting in line to get a seat let alone your food - hence the servers are a bit overwhelmed and might not be as attentive (tho polite and nice) as one would hope.

                                1. CHEF OF INDIA, about three or four doors east of Yonge on Eglinton, on the north side, is fantastic (there should be a McDonalds and a Burger King on either side, if I recall). My girlfriend and I gave it a try on a lark, probably because of some media review, and have been back many times. It's on the second floor and you can see the big bay windows facing the street. I'm no expert on Indian food but I've had my share, and this was a very satisfying meal, and way less expensive than I though it would be. They serve lunch and dinner buffets.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: coolfood

                                    Based on all the recs from this board for the Chef of India, we decided to check out their lunch buffet on the holiday Monday. I'm hoping it was just an off day but I have to say that meal did not impress us at all. The curry beef was tough, the curry goat was fatty, the butter chicken had a weird aftertaste and the tandoori chicken was dry. The eggplant was nicely saute as was the cauiflower. Everything was very fresh. But my biggest beef with the meal was the lack of flavour. Everything was bland. There was no heat, no spice, no kick, no punch. No distinct flavour stood out. I don't think I'll be returning.

                                    I prefer Trimurti for buffet and Lahore Tikka for a la carte.

                                    I love the food at Deba's Biryani house on Wellesley but have no patience with the wait. I've been there 4 times for dinner and each time we've had to wait at least 45 before the first appetizer arrives. Now I just get takeout from them.

                                    I found Kama, Dhaba, Aroma and Babur to be very oily. Kathmandu was just plain weak (too oily, bland, overcooked). I've only been to Indian Flavour once and wasn't impressed enough to make a second trip.

                                    1. re: fickle

                                      I really like the Chef of India.
                                      Good place for a nice lunch.
                                      You can really pound back the butter chicken, and the saag paneer.
                                      Curry beef?? gross

                                  2. I always enjoy going to Bombay Palace on jarvis. It is a little more expensive, but they do have a dinner buffet that is pretty good. I have also heard that Aroma at King and John ( i think) is good as well, Im not sure if they have a buffet. Ghandis on Queen West at Bathurst is really great. I have indian friends who go there about 3 times a week. It isnt traditional, its pretty much all take out, but they make dishes wrapped in roti, west indian style that are to die for. Their saag panner, and channa roti are out of this world. They also have a sister store at Queen and Lansdowne called Mother India which I imagine is just as good.

                                    1. Three options:

                                      1) Biryani House at Yonge and Wellesley has a buffet (assuming it's still open). A sister establishment to the take-out at Yonge and Bloor, it offers a more refined dining experience with the same high-quality grub.

                                      2) Kathmandu, 517 Yonge Street - Smallish, but stylishly good food. You'll miss it unless you know it's there, and that would be a shame. A real fave of the Queen's Park crowd.

                                      3) Saffron (Elizabeth and Gerrard) - bright, cheerful and yummy. Good buffet, good menu, good bar. What more can you ask?

                                      If you're prepared to look beyond the buffet, I would also heartily recommend Dhaba, a second-floor eatery (as in, above a row of other restos) at King & John. Hands down, among the best Indian food in the city. And stuff you won't find anywhere else. Trust me, I've tried.

                                      A previous poster also recommended The Host. Its other location is on Prince Arthur (west of Avenue Road, north of Bloor). Excellent, special-occasion dining.

                                      1. I find they really only differ in ambience, not food. Some of the places I enjoy are:

                                        -Siddhartha on Gerrard E. (they're lovely to repeat customers)
                                        -Haandi at 4801 Gerrard E.
                                        -Skylark at 1433 Gerrard E.
                                        -Sangam at 788 Bay
                                        -Nataraj at 394 Bloor W.
                                        -Kissan, the only veggie one I know, on Gerrard E.

                                        1. My friends and I enjoy evenings at Skylark on Gerrard. The decor leaves a bit to be desired and the staff can be a bit overwhelming at times, but lunch buffet is $7.99 and dinner buffet is only $2 more.
                                          My husband swears by Babur at 273 Queen West for lunch ($10.99 I think). They specialize in Tandoor dishes and my husband likes their butter chicken best.

                                          1. You must try Moti Mahal....it's in the Coxwell and Gerrard area. The food is cheap and fantastic. We live in the High Park area and we would definitely make the drive over to eat their food.

                                            1. I noticed that a lot of Indian places only do buffet at lunch time...are there any that do it at dinner as well?

                                              Thanks!

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: LovesToEat

                                                Skylark and Babur do dinner.

                                                1. re: LovesToEat

                                                  As I mentioned in another post, "Mahar" on Gerrard St. has a dinner buffet that is good.

                                                2. Try Babu - not a buffet - a takeout place. It is worth the drive to Scarborough.

                                                  Sheppard - East of McCowan on the North side - map it.

                                                  The food is amazing. They have a huge selection right in front of you. You select, pay and exit. Eat the stuff in your car. It may not make it home.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: RichDenise

                                                    What are the prices like at Babu? What are your fave dishes?

                                                  2. Siddhartha now has a location at the corner of King and Bathurst (right beside the Banknote on the southeast corner, if you know where that is). And it's a very good dinner buffet, though my significant other feels there is better butter chicken to be had elsewhere. As a sidenote, strangely, I found their delivery service for dinner is really awful (the food, not the delivery people), very watery and bland - not at all representative of the meal you could have in person.

                                                    I don't think anyone's mentioned Kama yet, either. They've got a decent dinner buffet as well. They're on King St W, near University Ave.

                                                    The previously mentioned Indian Flavour in the Atrium on Bay is probably my favourite Indian dinner buffet, though. Someone else mentioned their eggplant - deeelicious! Just steer clear of their pathetic creme caramel dessert.

                                                    I feel your pain about there not being a whole lot of choice when it comes to Indian dinner buffets, and unfortunately, the truth is that the options that do exist pale in comparison to the quality and selection available at lunchtime.

                                                    I'm a sucker for all-you-can-eat buffets (something to do with my value-minded upbringing, I'm sure), and to me, they reach their zenith in Indian buffets, but, after much gentle persuasion, I've begun diving full force into the world of ordering Indian dinner a la carte, and I have to say, it's worth it. Try any of the places around Babur on Queen West (my last count puts that at about eight restaurants within a five minute walk). Fave right now is India Palace, one of the newest ones. One order of naan is enough for three people, and it's like buttery pastry (rivaled only by Babur's when it's just come from the Tandoor). Mmmm.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Nox

                                                      Have to say thumbs down for Kama. Over priced for so-so quality. But they do have a wide variety of items at least.

                                                    2. Aroma on King and John (upstairs form Second Cup) has a $9.99 lunch buffet. Sadly, no dinner buffet. But they do have a 10%off coupon on their website! http://aroma.sites.toronto.com/

                                                      AROMA 287 King St. West (416) 971-7242

                                                      1. i have also enjoyed dhaba (on king) for lunch buffet.

                                                        1. Chef of India was just awful. I tried the buffet on two seperate occasions and it was one of the worst meals I have ever had, it is not fit for a dog to eat.
                                                          For lunch buffets, I highly recommend:
                                                          Bombay Palace - good ambiance, great food and service
                                                          Dhaba, King West - ditto, but it is a bit cramped for space
                                                          Khama - good food, spacious

                                                          For al a carte, I really like Khama Sutra on Bayview, food is fantastic, there is no buffet, ambiance is upscale but not snooty, prices are reasonable and they have a patio.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: mediumrare

                                                            I've never been to Chef of India, but I believe it has been highly recommended on this board. If you think it was one of the worst meals you ever had, not fit for a dog, etc... YET you HIGHLY RECOMMEND Bombay Palace??? Reality check here please! BP is the dirtiest place I've ever set foot in, and the buffet lunch is nothing but dry stale disgusting leftovers, and an overbearing Maitre'D staring at us as we (tried to) eat. As for Dhaba and Khama, very second rate. Amazes me how these places stay in business. Well.... I have some ideas...

                                                          2. The Indian Hut
                                                            636 Church Street
                                                            Toronto, ON M4Y 2G3
                                                            Phone: (416) 934-0235
                                                            http://www.indianhut.ca/

                                                            Has a great buffet. It's small, but everything I've had is good, especially the eggplant dish I keep going back for. It's in an old house and is very pleasant inside with nice decor. Service is good, but not outstanding. They have dinner and lunch buffet.

                                                            I like Kama and have never experienced any customer service problems there. Then again I have never been when it's busy.

                                                            Sidartha in Little India was good the one time I ate there.

                                                            I ate at India Flavour once, thought it was ok and probably won't be back just because I'd rather go to India Hut or Kama.

                                                            1. I'm an AYCE fanatic and I love Indian food, so I'm interested in all the responses I've seen here. Of the ones I've tried, Bombay Palace in Brampton is the best I've tried for dinner. It's been hard to find a dinner buffet though. India Hut was good, Village of India (Mississauga; Vegetarian) had great paneer dishes and I've been told that Jikoree is good (lunch only) and The Host (Richmond Hill) has the highest quality lunch buffet in town. Some of the ones I would not recommend are Siddhartha (on King) and Bombay Palace (Jarvis; only available on Sunday). I'd pay extra for very good quality Indian (especially if they have good paneer). Anybody got any more that would fit that description?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: emoayce

                                                                There was a place called Jaipur on East Beaver Creek which I used to go to quite a bit and was really good. There is also a new place that opened up at Yonge and Eglinton, a few blocks North on Yonge, called Chakra. We ordered A La Carte once and it was really good. They now advertise a lunch buffet for $10. Never tried it but really want to.

                                                              2. Exotic Indian Cuisine west of Hwy. 27 one light, on the north side of Albion Rd. Tuesday to Friday, so verty excellent!!!! Husband and wife team, inspirational dishes on occasion and Kishoor is a long time former excellent chef from Gerrard St. E. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                1. Little India on Queen Street West is by far the best Indian buffet that I have been to. The butter chicken is one of the most amazing dishes I have ever had, period, nevermind just Indian food.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Little India
                                                                  255 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V1Z4, CA

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Linas

                                                                    India's taste. 680 Denison St., Markham.www.indiastaste.ca

                                                                    1. re: spot9

                                                                      second that

                                                                    2. re: Linas

                                                                      Little India on Queen Street goes all out with their buffet including chicken pakora's and a salad bar beyond wilted greens and carrots in yogurt. The best $10 you will spend in a restaurant. Every dish is just like it is a la carte. Like Linas said, some of the best food I've eaten Indian or not. There is true love in the food. That's where the goodness is coming from. The sweetest owner and his son's are lovely. Once they recoginze you, they are forever loyal and spoil their guests. I have tried everyone elses favorites and the food is just not as good anywhere else for Indian. I don't even bother going anywhere else, it never compares.

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Little India
                                                                      255 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V1Z4, CA

                                                                    3. Kwality Indian in Burlington, Guelph Line and Upper Middle Rd. Not huge, but consistent, good, and always fresh. $8.99 for lunch, 11.99 for dinner, and 12.99 Fri-Sun.

                                                                      http://kwalityindiancuisine.com/

                                                                      1. I'd have to put my vote in for "The Host" as well. I work in the Yonge-Bloor area, so it's a bit of jaunt to their Prince Arthur location near Avenue Rd. but for their Thursday or Friday buffet, I'd say it's well worth it. It's $11.49 per person which isn't cheap, but considering this is a more "upscale" Indian restaurant, it's well worth it for a chance to try their dishes.

                                                                        They've got some requisite salads (read: filler), and some great, yet predictable hot dishes: Chana Masala, Saag Paneer, Cauliflower, Beef Curry, Eggplant (my absolute favourite), Tandori Chicken and the ever popular Butter Chicken. There dessert selection is sparse, but to be honest, I don't have the discipline to have room for dessert here. Full review of the buffet with photos are on our site if you'd like to check it out.

                                                                        There's rice at the buffet, but the tip is to ask for naan and they'll bring a basket to your table.

                                                                        Thanks to the suggestions here, I'll have to check out Biryani House since it's also near the 'hood and will report back.

                                                                        www.platoputas.com

                                                                        1. I've always enjoyed the buffet at Mt Everest in Ajax (yes I realize its out of the way for Toronto, perhaps you may be out east one day...). The restaurant is TINY. But the food is delicious and fresh. I believe they only do dinner buffet one night a week. I think on saturdays or sundays? Every otherday its buffet at lunch and menu for dinner. They have nice platters for one or two or more at dinner that give wonderful options to try different items. Good prices and good portions. Not the fanciest of places, but I've always had delicious food there, take out or eat in.

                                                                          1. Recently I visited the Tandoori House located on Yonge St. north of Sheppard Ave.
                                                                            Fried foods like the Samosa and the mixed veggie fritter were over fried to a point the filling of the Samosa was completely dried and inedible. The only properly fried food was the tempura style Basa, which was rather tasty. They could have done with out the paper napkins which got stuck to the fish as you tried to pick them up.
                                                                            Many of the dishes in the sauces tasted the same. Tandoori Chicken was so overcooked that it should have been called Chicken Jerky. As was the Naan… charred on one side but still served to the customers. A little tacky, I thought.
                                                                            Goat Curry was one dish I should complement. It was nicely balanced between the curry sauce and the gamey taste of the goat. Keema Matter was also well seasoned to balance the Lamb gaminess. The mango ice cream was heavy with evaporated/condensed milk taste and very rich but it cleansed the palate nicely.
                                                                            The mediocre food may not have deterred me from visiting again but the owners were not very customer friendly. They spoke roughly, irritated and condescending. No staff ever cracked a smile once. That put me off from returning again.