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Tamarind Bay buffet

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DotDiner Jan 3, 2008 09:55 AM

Stopped in at Tamarind Bay in Harvard Square on New Years Day for the buffet. Unfortunately, my husband and I agreed that it was the worst Indian buffet we had ever been to. I rationalized to him that maybe it was because it was actually more authentic Indian and less American that we didn't like it, or maybe it was because it was a holiday. But for whatever reason it was not good. When we arrived at 1pm there were six tables filled (about half the restaurant).

For starters, the area by the buffet was so dark I couldn't see what was in the pans. At the beginning of the buffet table there were a dozen or so small bowls of stuff (all unlabeled) and I couldn't make heads or tails of what was in the bowls.

As for the main dishes there were three chicken dishes, something called "plain curry" which appeared to be very soupy yellow curry sauce with nothing in it, an onion pakora type of thing, and a pea/potato dish. I was really surprised there weren't more vegetarian options. And three chicken options?!

This was on my list of places to try, but I really wish I hadn't.

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  1. Prav RE: DotDiner Jan 3, 2008 10:16 AM

    DotDiner, I think you might benefit to give it another chance. Tamarind Bay has to be, in my opinion, one of the best Indian restaurants in Boston. It sounds like it was an off day, especially being a holiday. I usually find their buffet to be a welcome respite from the typical greasy North Indian style buffets everyone else offers.

    I find the dishes to be much more imaginative than the standard chicken-tikka-masala/palak-paneer spreads found in a majority of buffets here, especially in terms of spicing. Definitely more nuanced and delicate spicing, without the lingering peppery (kali marich) taste that I get out of other places.

    It sucks that you had such a bad experience at one of my favorite Indian places! Based on the number of wholeheartedly positive reviews on this board, I think it might be worthwhile to give it another try.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Prav
      a
      autopi RE: Prav Jan 3, 2008 10:42 AM

      i agree, in a qualified manner, with prav--tamarind bay is prob. one of the better indian outposts in the city. that said, i've found their lunch buffet increasingly so-so over the last 2 years or so (i.e., last 4x or so, which is not often enough to be independently meaningful, i know.) they don't do a great job of labeling things, i suppose, but since i eat anything that's never bothered me. for lunch buffets, i prefer kebab factory. nonetheless, i would never think of tamarind bay as the worst indian--they are quite good, even if possibly not as good as to begin with.

    2. Luther RE: DotDiner Jan 3, 2008 10:55 AM

      I feel the same. Dinner there is always rather good (albeit foofy and expensive) but the buffet is not good at all. I'd rank it along with the best of the Central Sq buffets (that is, not good).

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