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Mar 20, 2006 11:07 AM

Indian Restaurants near K of P

  • k

Have heard of Jaipur (any opinions?) but need suggestions for Indian restaurants in the suburbs. Thanks.

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  1. I like Taste of India in the Gateway Shopping Center (near Trader Joe's).

    4 Replies
    1. re: Carol

      Ditto for Taste of India, especially for lunch buffet:)

      1. re: EMZ

        I forgot about that place until you mentioned. Yeah, they are good too. Better than that place in ARdmore everyone is all frothy at the mouth over.

        1. re: taxchic

          Favorites depend on what someone is looking for - for me, my criteria have to do with variety and selection, affordability, flavor (spice mixture), intensity of flavor (not just hot, but spices intelligently combined), peaceful environment, friendly and accommodating service.

          In almost all of these criteria, Gateway to India and Himalayan in Malvern qualify (though not all perfect in all respects - Himalayan falls short in flavor on a few of their dishes and Gateway to India does not compare in the dessert category to most of these other restaurants). A Taste of India in Devon/Wayne on some days can be VERY GOOD, and on some other days, disappointing. Desi Village in King of Prussia seems to do a good job with catering, but their lunch buffet seems to offer less value for one's dollar as compared to some of these other places.

          Walk into Jaipur for the lunch buffet and see for yourself how it compares to these other restaurants. Repeat customers return to specific restaurants for a reason. Once you have been to these various restaurant, see which ones you want to return to.

          Royal India in Malvern is a higher energy type place with Indian music videos playing on an overhead screen and restaurant visiters wanting to get in and out. At Gateway to India, people seem to relish the "dining experience" and engage in quieter conversation, peaceful Indian music airs in the background.

          Posters have mentioned some places that have signs reminding people to use dishes in a careful way, otherwise they will get charged. I have also seen signs warning people to not take more than they can eat. It's understandable from the restaurant's point of view. Once a restaurant has gotten burned badly, you can understand them not wanting to have customers abuse the affordability of the lunch buffet.

          And yet I wonder why at the better restaurants, there are no such signs.

          Anyone eat at Taj Mahal in the Chesterbrook Shopping Center in Wayne? Last time I was there many years ago, the food was very bland, even moreso than at Aman's in Norristown.

          From my criteria list, in the KOP area my favorite Indian restaurants range from (best first) Gateway to India, A Taste of India (on one of their better days -beware of those days where they substitute starchy bread/potato type dishes in place of a legitimate entree), Himalayan, Royal India, Desi Village, (Indian Delight in the food court of the King of Prussia Mall - only if you have no concern over paying high prices for small sized dishes) to Aman's to Jaipur. (Haven't been to Taj Mahal recently enough to include this restaurant.)

          So, there it is - I hope a list based on more objective criteria having to do with number of dishes, flavor, artful presentation, variety, service, pricing, consistency, etc. For those restaurant goers that want blander food, their preference for a restuarant will be different from the other person who wants spicier flavor. Ditto with particular dishes - some prefer more meat dishes, others more vegetarian dishes. Some prefer "oilier" dishes, others less oily. By visiting various restaurants you will be able to detect the subtle - and not so subtle differences between the restaurants.

          1. re: FelafelBoy

            My review of Taj Mahal located 10 minutes from King of Prussia in the Chesterbrook Shopping Center is posted on the "Indian Row in Malvern" thread dated about May 2006.

            In short, very enjoyable. Is south Indian cooking, very different from north Indian which is found in most Indian restuarants in our area.

            Some dishes were similar to that offered at Jaipur for its lunch buffet (such as the sambar) but was better. If you have a choice between Taj Mahal and Jaipur, I think you will have a more interesting experience at TM.

            Read the post on the other thread to get the full review.

    2. I really like Desi Village. I am non-Indian, but have always thought if you see people of Indian descent in a restaurant, it is good Indian. I always have at Desi, and have always loved the food. (Silly way to judge, but it has never proved me wrong.)

      They also get extra points for asking you if you want something American mild, etc. or Indian mild....hilarious.

      3 Replies
      1. re: taxchic

        man, bad luck i've been having lately!!! wait til you hear about my latest indian buffet excursion...........

        i have both a lunch meeting and a dinner meeting scheduled for today, and i'm usually a pretty finnicky eater on business meetings - i generally eat verrrrrrrrrrrrrrry slow (because i talk a lot?), so i never finish when everyone else is done, and i don't like to be the one to hold up a table - so when i have a business lunch or dinner i often leave hungry. though with TWO meetings today, skipping both meals simply wasn't an option, so i went to a late lunch - i happened to be driving past desi village, so i decided that's where i was going to stop. i was one of two occupied tables, and the table closest to the door/host stand, which would prove interesting later.

        the buffet was........ well, weird. when i first walked in, i did a double-take -- the buffet area was HUGE! i was definitely excited... until i got up to the buffet itself. everything was spaced out very strategically. i could tell from first up-close glance that it was not veggie-friendly -- it's the first indian buffet i think i've seen where i've noticed the meat entrees come first, and the veggie entrees are stashed back in a corner. there were 4 veggie entrees. i cannot remember the names of them, but they were:
        1. something with mushrooms - didn't try
        2. dal mahkani - tasted too much like a texas chili!
        3. something with potatoes & peas, spicy sauce - a bit bland
        4. vegetables in a creamy yellow curry - types of vegetables lended themselves too much to overcooking and were not ingredients i would have ever picked for a simmering stew - broc, carrots, squash, zuc.
        the naan was very dough-y (which i actually sorta like) and the veggie pakoras were a little too dry.
        the salad offered was very nice. an added bonus was the availability of spices in shakers. i made all of my dishes hot-hot-hot - usually a non-option on buffets! there were no veggie soups. i didn't bother with the chutneys, and i didn't bother with dessert for reasons forthcoming....

        a few bites into my plate, someone else walked into the restaurant with a clipboard. i was sitting right by the host stand, so i heard him clearly announce himself as the health inspector. he took no cautions in being discreet. i observed everything until the inspector headed back into the kitchen. first up, he admonished them for not having a current license. there were threats made of shutting them down for the expired license. there was a bit of back-and-forth about who the actual owner of the place was. next, the inspector walked back to the buffet, asking what each item was. he stuck what i'm guessing is a thermometer in each one of the meats. he announced fairly loudly (they were all the way across the restaurant at that point) that all of the meat dishes would need to be removed from the buffet and discarded immediately. the head guy motioned for one of his staff to take care of this, and upon bringing it back into the kitchen i THINK i heard someone from the kitchen yell out "transfer??" (which to me would indicate to put back into a storage container for serving the next day? - my theory, only) and the staff member who brought the dishes back answered "discard."

        so there's my experience at desi village. the lack of selection, lack of attention (granted, they were all preoccupied!) and above-mentioned incident are enough to keep me from EVER going back.

        1. re: rabidog

          wow- you sure have had some bad luck lately, unfortunately. I actually have not been back to DV in a long time for the buffet b/c I prefer TOI for consistent selection. I did enjoy the made to order dinners though. I do wonder in general though about buffets compared to ordering specific meals. Just hits hard when you actually see the inspection!

          1. re: rabidog

            Wow!! Will post later (my long post about my recent TOI adventure got wiped out due to computer problems last night), but wanted to let you know we appreciate hearing of such an adventure. Seems like the Board of Health has been following you around recently. I ate once at DV which was good, but have walked in and out after viewing their lunch buffet entries.

            You can read my latest adventures at Bawarchi at the bottom of this thread. Recent trip to TOI was VERY GOOD, and reminded me of what a great job they do. Even their mango cubes had extra goodies going on. Can't wait to get back there again!!!

        2. I have always enjoyed eating at Jaipur. The staff is always pleasant and attentive to its customers. I also think that the food is wonderful.

          1. I've been to Jaipur several times. The food is pretty decent but I have a problem with the attitude. There are signs warning of an extra charge if you use a dessert dish for chutney or mixed pickles. Also, leaving food on your plate may result in an additional charge (according to another sign). Please... we are responsible adults. Have not been to Desi or Taste of India, but have heard good comments about the latter.

            A bit further away is the Jewel of India in Ardmore, serving good Northern and Southern Indian food. An another attitude problem (IMHO) is at Kujuraho around the corner. (Please don't sneer when my son takes a large helping of rice.)

            For a good small Indian grocery store with homemade samosas and roti, fried hot peppers, and sometimes Biryanis, try Bharat Bazaar on Beidler Road in KofP.

            1. j
              Jersey City Mods

              I like Jaipur better than the Taste of India in Devon. I have only gotten takeout so I don't know about the attitude. I usually don't go for all-you-can eat buffets though because the food is usually too bland.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jersey City Mods

                An Indian contact who is knowledgeable about restaurants told me that Jaipur had different management in the past. Food quality under the previous management was different according to him, and better. He was not impressed on the current

                There are at least six other Indian restaurants within a 20 minute drive of Jaipur (Amon's/A Taste of India/Taj Mahal/Royal India/Himalayan/Gateway to India). Drive a little further to West Chester, Exton, or Ardmore and you will have even more to choose from.