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Nov 2, 2001 08:23 PM

What is deal with Breads of India?

  • j

I went to breads of India in Berkeley recently and I cannot figure out what all the fuss is about? The descriptions on the menu made me want to order everything, but when the the decision was finally made and the food arrived I was dissapointed. The chicken curry had no authenticity (which explains the lack of Indian patrons), is it an attempt at fusion? Furthermore, for a restaurant calling itself breads of india the naan was not that good. And the 150 types of naan is absurd, it's all really the same, sprinkling curry powder on a naan is not creative.

Why do people love this restaurant? Why do the critics give it such great reviews?

I love good Indian food, I frequent Chaat Cafe and Pakwan. But I just don't get what people see in Breads of India.

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  1. I totally agree. I think this topic has come up before on the board. And Zaika is supposedly lousy as well (and overpriced to boot). We eat at Chaat Cafe, Vics, and Cafe Raj on Solano which is both affordable and very delicious.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rachel hope
      Kathleen Mikulis

      Have to agree with Breads of India being way overrated.

      I was the only one at my table that really liked my dish at my first visit. And the bread was really mediocre. And then second visit everything was below average. It's just not impressive with so many good Indian places in the Berkeley area.

      I also have to give props to Vik's and Chaat Cafe (which I go to a lot but only because Vik's closes so early for dinner!). I'll have to try Cafe Raj!

      I also have to put in a plug for Raja (on University between Oxford and Shattuck) which is a little pricey (but aren't all Indian places?) with the best chicken tikka masala ever. Too bad the chicken portion isn't bigger.

      1. re: Kathleen Mikulis
        Brian Murphy

        After visiting Breads of India 4 or 5 times, determined to discover what the raving recommendations and endless wait are all about, I finally gave up. The food was not bad, but it all tasted pretty much the same - everything was just kind of dry and oniony.

        Regarding Cafe Raj, I was also determined to like this place, as I live two blocks away, but I have also been dissapointed with MOST of the food. The naan is bone dry - like a stale pita. The muttar paneer was a hot mess, with no fresh pea goodness and mushy paneer. Butter Chicken, which was a special for quite some time was delicious - creamy and delicately spiced. And the cheese naan is strangely addictive - the waitress says the owner uses a secret french cheese - so not authentic, but delish. But overall, Raj has dissapointed me, and I now just go there for late night lassi and cheese naan.

        Once I discovered Vik's, my search was over. So good. So cheap. So many puffy things. Mmmm. I am working my way through the sweets selection.

        1. re: Brian Murphy

          I have absolutely loved every visit to Breads of India! Some of my favorite dining experiences have occured there. Like any great restaurant, they start with the best, freshest, and in the case of meat, free-range (I think) ingredients. I love the spicing and variety of the dishes and the rotating menu - always something new to try. The cooking style seems more "refined" (if you'll allow me the use of that word) than at, say, Vik's, where, as good as the dishes are, they tend to be heavily fortified with oil.

          I can't say that I've ever been disappointed. Occasionally, I'll have a dish that's merely good, but more often than not it's excellent. The tandoori dishes are divine!

          Being a German-Midwesterner, I can't make any claims to authenticity (nor do I really care - good food is good food. Unless you're talking German food; then it should be as authentic as my mom's sauerbraten!), but I was initially introduced to Breads by my Indian partner. I also frequent Vik's quite often - I think of Vik's as the blue-collar cousin of Breads (you can't beat the prices at Vik's) - and the many people whom I've taken to Breads of India have really enjoyed it, including some who have traveled in India.

          Well, it's lunch time, and you all know where I'm headed...


          ps My one complaint about Breads is the salad they throw on the dishes - no dressing and completely out of place. Make more room for the dish!

    2. That was my opinion of my one meal there, as well (see link below to a thread about it). But hounds with excellent taste really like the place, so maybe you and I ordered wrong...or went on bad nights...or missed the point.

      I'm pretty "into" Indian food (though I'm not Indian), so it's possible I fell into the authenticity trap: disdaining a place which serves good food just because it's not authentic. Deliciousness is deliciousness, whether authentic or not.



      1. i had a similar experience...we went there and had to wait a long long time and then the food was rather bland and uninteresting, and REALLY expensive by my standards. I found it odd that they advertised the use of olive oil in their cooking, as if they were proud of it. That explains the lack of flavor to a certain extent. Maybe it's a "california-style" low fat thing or something.

        we usually cook indian food at home (with ghee!), so the few times I have gone out for indian and really enjoyed it were at Vik and once at Pasand before we heard about the owner's immigrant-slavery reputation. i look forward to trying some of the other places folks have mentioned.


        1. I absolutely agree with your assessment of this place. Bland and way overrated.

          My vote also goes to Vik's and Chaat cafe. Must mention the indian food place in the Emeryville Marketplace food court. Excellent Chicken Tikka Masala. Much like the yummy butter chicken we used to enjoy in Australia.
          Now if only I could find a Malai Kofta that compares...

          2 Replies
          1. re: shants
            Kathleen Mikulis

            Ah... Wazwan in the Emeryville food court...

            It's not all that authentic but the chicken tikka masala sure is tasty.

            At one point in my life I went there once a week for it. (It always sucked when the special of the day was something else since the regular masala just wasn't the same).

            If you're into chicken tikka masala I just have to give another plug to Raja (University near Shattuck). Though the portion is small and a little pricey you can die knowing you've had the best tikka in the world.

            1. re: Kathleen Mikulis

              Wazwan! Yes thats it!

              Thanks for the Raja tip. On my list of must try for when I next make it up to Berkeley.