Which is the best Indian spot in Central Square?
Who serves the best lunch buffet and which one has the best overall menu? Thanks in advance.
The lunch buffets are all pretty "enh" and really aren't very exciting. Royal Bengal is the easy winner for dinner, and I'd give it the lunch buffet prize too, because there just isn't any strong competition.
as a central square resident, i can say that whenever i want indian food, i go to Royal Bengal. the buffet is very good, especially on weekends when they add goat and fish to the available dishes. if you go at night, i'd advise ordering exclusively off the Bengal menu, which is a seperate couple of pages from the rest of the menu... they do these dishes much better. But they also excel at fish. Try the fish pakora for sure... the breading they use is something I crave. It may be made with egg...?
Haven't tried Royal Bengal yet, but I'll suggest avoiding the rest, which range from mediocre (India Pavilion) to downright awful (Shalimar). You're much better off heading to Kebab Factory (on the Somerville/Cambridge line between Inman and Porter Squares), Namaskar (Davis Square in Somerville) or Tamarind Bay, Cafe of India, or Tanjore (Harvard Square).
Royal Bengal is my favorite in/near Central Square, for lunch buffet and dinner. I actually like their Indian stuff in addition to their Bengali menu, in fact the chicken tikka masala is delicious--very red and rich. I've noticed a bit of inconsistency over the past year or so, however.
India Pavilion is my second choice, good but not spectacular, and again inconsistent. Sometimes the vindaloo is great.
I've tried all the others at least once, and I agree they're not so good.
Here's the secret about Central Square Indian restaurants. They are all connected by underground tunnels that lead to a single giant kitchen where the food for all of the restaurants is cooked by the same chef before it's whisked above ground to the various buffets. I'm kidding, but you get the point: if you want better than average Indian food and anything with a remotely distinctive character, skip Central Square and go elsewhere (I like Kebab Factory a lot and enjoy both of the Davis Square Indians, just to name three).