Westchester County Indian (Dawat, Royal Palace)
What's the current state of Dawat in White Plains? Has anyone tried their lunch buffet, and if so how does it compare to Bengal Tiger and Royal Palace (Greenburgh)? As I work in Hawthorne, I always used to go to Malabar Hill with co-workers, but I find that their selection isn't very good, the service is lackluster and they really could care less that you're there (I was there for a retirement luncheon once and they crammed us in at a long narrow table). I much prefer Royal Palace in Greenburgh (in the shopping center with the A&P and movie theatre, where Rockwells used to be). I've also been to Bengal Tiger's lunch buffet a few times and found it to be rather good. I've never been to Dawat's buffet and have not had dinner there in several years.
Anyway, Dawat is now on iDine (the discount dining program formerly known as Transmdia). Royal Palace is on IGT/Times Card, but they will try to convince you that they do not take it for their lunch buffet (they have no sign saying this, as they did when they used to take Transmedia). Sadly (for the restaurant), the IGT people do not take kindly to card refusal, and the last time I was at Royal Palace I simply asked for the name of the waiter, explaining that I needed it to report the problem to IGT so I could get my discount from them. The manager (owner?), who I know from past visits, came over and said that they would take my card after all, and then after they had problems getting the card to go through showed me the credit card receipts so I could see they were having problems, and he gave me the discount. I suspect they will still try to stop others from using the card at the lunch buffet, but if you know better you can tell them that they are obligated to take it as part of their contract with IGT. This is what's nice about the new iDine, there is no card to present, they somehow get the charge record and automatically give you a discount after the fact (as Dining a la Card used to work, Transmedia bought them a couple of years ago).
A couple of years ago there was a discussion here about Dawat, but I'm not sure if it's current and I figured no one would find this post if I put it with a 1998 posting :-).
I agree that Royal Palace's lunch buffet is the best. Dawat's is quite good -- much better than Malabar Hill -- but Royal Palace's is larger and more interesting.
For dinner, I think it's a toss-up between the two. It depends what style of food you want. If you're in the mood for Madhur Jaffrey, go to Dawat. If you want a mixture of more traditional northern and southern Indian done well, go to Royal Palace.