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Best Seattle Indian Buffet?

Where is it? Why is it the best? A friend of mine has never had Indian and I am determined to expose him. I thoguht the best start would be a buffet where different flavors can be explored. Thanks for the help!

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  1. India is a big country with lots of regional styles. That said, my choice would be India Bistro (in Ballard.) It's reliably the best northern-style Indian food in town, IMHO.

    (Unfortunately Indian cuisine isn't particularly good in Seattle compared to other places with stronger South Asian communities. While risking being called out as 'that guy,' I must strongly recommend your friend get up to Vancouver and eat at Vij's sometime to really understand how fine modern Indian cuisine can be.)

    11 Replies
    1. re: terrier

      They have a new spot on 65th near Roosevelt.
      (same low price and quality stuff on the line)

        1. re: Snapdragon

          To clarify, there's a Vij's on 65th and Roosevelt? I'm in that area often, and I don't recall seeing an Indian restaurant called Vij's, but then I'm rather aloof.

          1. re: fooey

            Sorry, there is another India Bistro at 65th and Roosevelt.

            You have to go to Vancouver for Vij's.

          2. re: Snapdragon

            The India Bistro on 65th is my new favorite. It's as good as the Ballard location and has a little more variety on the buffet for the same price. Tjhey usually have about 6 hot dishes, rice, 4 salads, mint chutney, tamarind chutney, sauted vegetables and 2 desserts.

            Bengal Tiger just north on Roosevelt Way NE is also very good, especially their Dahl, it's unusually good. On the weekend they usually have samosas if you like those.

            1. re: knowspicker

              So it's called "The India Bistro"...harumph, I was there (65th and Roosevelt) again today and still didn't see it.

              1. re: fooey

                It's on 65th. Just west of the intersection. Straight across from Julia's Indonesian. Next to the funky science store. (where Alberje used to be)

                It's possibly not the best place for a restaurant....
                I think 3 or 4 different restaurants have been tried there over the past 3 years.

                1. re: GreenYoshi

                  Thanks. I found the address online: 6417 Roosevelt Way NE.

                  Here's their website: http://seattleindiabistro.com/

                  1. re: fooey

                    I just drove by it yesterday- really easy to find. It is in the same complex as Royal Palm and assorted hair places. On one corner is the Whole Foods and on the other Primo Burger. It is right by the freeway, but you would want to take the 65th exit- going south- or the Roosevelt/65th going north.

                    1. re: natalie.warner

                      I tried it today and it was astonishingly bad, beyond awful really. Indian slop that a pig would not eat. People say Chutney's is bad, and I agree, but Chutney's is a 10 compared to this place. I know I can't expect much for $6.95, but I've never been compelled to walk out on a buffet that cheap, which is what I did today. Caveat: I arrived at 1:25 pm (that's two hours after it opens, but one before it closes); but, a later arrival cannot begin to excuse the very poor quality of The India Bistro's buffet: "Tandorri chicken that was wine-colored and hard as a rock; butter chicken probably made from yesterday's purple tandorri leftovers (it was some color I couldn't even identify); mushroom masala that could have been just abour anything. The rice, I think it was rice, was at least a day or so old; it was so dry it was crunchy. The warmest dish was lukewarn (and it's not hard to keep a buffet hot with the steam tables they are [supposed to be]) using; but, most of them were room temperature or cold. I should go back a second time and try it at 11:30 or noon just to be sure, but considering I walked out (I did pay, of course), I can't even imagine reliving that nightmare again. The parking situation will end this poor experiment/excuse for Indian food sooner rather than later. If not, at least one can hope.

        2. re: terrier

          I thought India Bistro was terribly inauthentic. I haven't been for their buffet, but I went for dinner one time. While the food was decent, it just wasn't Indian. Everything was super sweet and NOT SPICY. I wouldn't go back or recommend it to anybody.

          India Bistro
          6417 Roosevelt Way NE Ste 106, Seattle, WA 98115

        3. Not Seattle, but Udupi Palace in the Crossroads Mall in Bellevue has a fine buffet. It is vegetarian and South Indian, so it may not have the usual stuff people are used to.

          2 Replies
          1. re: NickZ

            Udupi Palace has closed down. Mayuri and Spice Route are both excellent alternatives

            Udupi Palace
            15600 NE 8th St Ste 9, Bellevue, WA 98008

            Spice Route
            2241 148th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98007

            1. re: Teknotic

              Someone has mentioned that Udupi's replacement is very nice. I have to go try it sometime.

          2. Some buffets that I like:
            Mayuri (Redmond)
            Priya (Bothell)
            Pabla (vegetarian, in Renton)
            Bombay Grill (Seattle)
            India Bistro (Ballard)

            Have only had dinner, but I think Udupi in Bellevue would have a nice buffet.

            1 Reply
            1. re: HungWeiLo

              I tried Bombay Grill for the buffet one time and some of the food was great. Other dishes were half-assed or not very good. I feel like they tried way too hard to be Americanized and pretty much everything suffered. The dishes that were really good were still inauthentic. And there were two dishes there that I could swear were made with those Tyson grilled chicken that you buy frozen out of a plastic pouch at the grocery store pre-cooked with fake grill lines on them. I got a strong impression that the place was not doing well. I am planning on going back for dinner, because I think a buffet is not much of an indication of an Indian restaurants dinner (most of them serve much better food for dinner for some reason), and because it's the only place in Seattle I can order a Burmese or Sri Lankan dish. Even if it IS only one of each.

              Bombay Grill
              4737 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

            2. Quazi in Fremont has a great lunch buffet.

              8 Replies
              1. re: irini

                I'm partial to Pabla's buffet.

                2nd Ave, downtown Seattle

                1. re: allisonw

                  I'm with you on Pabla. 2nd near Nordstrom Rack. Always a nice assortment of entrees to choose from, very well prepared and tasty. Avoid from noon to 1:00 as it's nearly always very crowded.

                  1. re: bbqer

                    Pabla's branch in Renton is lightyears ahead in quality. They're vegetarian only, though (if that matters to you).

                    I've been to the downtown Pabla's twice and I would actually rate it as one of Seattle's lower-ranked Indian buffets. As bad as Chutney's. If you walk about 5-6 blocks on 2nd towards Belltown, Tandoori Hut offers much better quality (and plus walking 5-6 blocks afterwards really helps with the whole eating too much part :-)

                    1. re: HungWeiLo

                      Just my opinion and the opinion of my co-workers (a group that numbers in dozens) but Pabla's is one of the better buffets.

                      1. re: jimhsu

                        The Pabla's in Renton or the one in downtown? Like I said, I thought the one in Renton was phenomenal in quality (though I have not been there in several years). Not so much the downtown one.

                        1. re: HungWeiLo

                          I would agree with HungWeiLo that the downtown Pabla's is definitely second rate, while the Renton branch is light years' better. Have no clue why.

                          1. re: PAO

                            I've been on a sort of Indian kick the last few months and I'd have to agree that the Pabla in Renton (buffet) was above average, while the Pabla in downtown (buffet) was below average.

                            Out of all the places I've tried so far, Roti was the best with an amazing dinner (flavors just popped) and a solid buffet lunch. I think buffet fare is always subpar so I try to judge based on the dinner menu. That being said, India Bistro was my least favorite out of all of the places I've tried to date. Chicken tikka masala was decent but their mattar paneer was oddly extremely sweet.

                            India Bistro
                            6417 Roosevelt Way NE Ste 106, Seattle, WA 98115

                      2. re: HungWeiLo

                        I've been going to Pabla (downtown) for well over 10 years and have never had a bad buffet experience. Maybe I've just been lucky :) Their curry chicken is like heroin! I have to have my 'fix' every couple of weeks!

                        And just to clear up what might be some confusion, their Renton location is veggie - but downtown isn't (hence the chicken).

                2. I went to Kebab Palace yesterday (15230 NE 24th St # A, Redmond, WA 98052), the buffet is just so-so for the $9.38 price.

                  While there, someone mentioned an Indian buffet in Redmond Town Center, but I didn't catch the name. It sounds like a free (and tasty) mango lasi comes with the buffet.

                  Anyone know the name of the buffet in Redmond Town Center?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: fooey

                    The name of the place at Redmond Town Center would be Sahib Indian Cuisine. I haven't tried it though. Spice Route in Overlake is another decent one (most of the selections are vegetarian, with a few meat selections as well.)

                    1. re: Vexorg

                      I agree on Spice Route. It's just OK, nothing special.

                      It's very busy at lunch because it's so close to Microsoft, so I usually go before or after the lunch rush.

                      1. re: Vexorg

                        Sahib use to be located in Edmonds on the waterfront... it had a really great buffet and ambiance for what it was working with.

                    2. I think it is called Cafe India in Lynwood, just off the first alderwood mall exit off I-5. Across from Chevo's. Outstanding intro to this cuisine. Worth the drive, my go-to buffet. When it is very busy, they keep up with hot off the stove replenishments,
                      so it is almost like ala carte dining. Go. Bengal Tiger was underwhelming. Bland to my taste.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: venture

                        I had the opposite experience that you did. I found Bengal Tiger pretty nice (not great, but not bad either). To be fair, I haven't been back in over 5 years, so my assessment may no longer be up-to-date.

                        On the other hand, I've had Cafe India recently and I thought it was terrible food. Not just bad Indian food, but just bad food in general. You are right in stating that it's only an intro to Indian food - everything was un-spiced and bland, and all the foods tasted cheap and starchy.

                        1. re: HungWeiLo

                          Cafe India has indeed had "off days", however, I have been there a dozen times or more in 4 years, most recently 2months ago and found it to be delicious.

                          Food preferences are subjective to many variables. Personally, I have found by eating the cleanest , freshest, and highest quality food within my budget enhances my sense of taste when enjoying sutle spice combinations.

                          Juice fast for 5-10 days, then eat some things you found bland. I guarantee you will taste things very differently!

                          Bottom line is we just are not going to enjoy the same things the same way.
                          Happy eating everyone.

                          1. re: venture

                            Consistency is the sign of a truly good chef. That being said, when I went to Cafe India, most of the dishes being served were bland, except for the Butter Chicken and a lamb dish which were phenomenal. And the chutneys were weird tasting,

                            Cafe India
                            19817 44th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036

                      2. I've had some great Indian food at Roti on Queen Anne Ave. Actually, everything I've ever tried there has been delicious. They have a lunch buffet -- but the quality is no where near the food ordered off the menu.

                        1. Since people are mentioning places on the Eastside, I think Shamiana in Kirkland is well worth a visit. Easy access from 405 and 520 (via 108th), and very high quality food

                          1 Reply
                          1. Sahib at the Redmond Town Center changed owners and the food is not as good. The service the last time I went was horrid.

                            Cafe India in Lynnwood is not good at all. Their buffet was limited, food pretty tastless and not the cleanest place.

                            My favorites are Taj Palace in Bellevue and Kanishka in Redmond. I've moved from Redmond to Lynnwood and admit I haven't been to either in about 5 months. I'm not sure if anything has changed. I haven't found an Indian restaurant north that compares to the two listed on the Eastside - yet :)

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Noturningback

                              I agree with you on Cafe India - bad bad food.

                              I've never had Taj Palace. A friend told me they were mistreated there. They went there because they advertised in the Entertainment Coupon book that they had a copy of. They refused their legitimate and valid coupon, then flat out told them that they don't care about customer service because people will keep coming anyway even without the discounts from the Entertainment Book.

                              Kanishka is very good. One of my favorites.

                              If you live in Lynnwood, try Priya in Bothell. Take 524 east to Bothell-Everett Hwy, go north about 1 minute and you're there. I think they're as good as Kanishka or Mayuri in Redmond. The only bad thing is the owner doesn't turn on the heat until right at opening time, so it gets kind of cold in there. But the food is excellent.

                              1. re: HungWeiLo

                                Thank you so much for the heads up on Priya. I will try it this weekend.

                                I'm so sorry your friend had a problem at Taj Palace. They've always been friendly with me. Then again, I never had a coupon!

                                1. re: HungWeiLo

                                  If the coupon is valid, they have to honor it. You can pay what's on the coupon and walk out. However, if they did treat your friend that way, I would I have walked out without paying.

                                  1. re: fooey

                                    Most of the Indian restaurants only take the Entertainment Book coupon for dinner.

                                2. re: Noturningback

                                  Agree with Noturningback...

                                  Taj Palace and Kanishka are probably the best buffets in the area. Easily my #2 and #1. Spice Route in Bellevue is pretty good too....

                                  Although I don't like the buffet, the curries at Naan 'n Curry in Renton are incredible - definitely my favorite in the Seattle area.

                                  Don't waste your time at Cafe India (bland). Downtown Pabla is disgusting. Mayuri in Bellevue is the most over-rated Indian place on the eastside.

                                  I'll have to try Priya...

                                  1. re: CriticalEater

                                    I don't claim to be the foremost expert in Indian food, but I see Priya half packed with Indians every night at around 9:00pm (there's an Indian grocery store down the street from there now - yea for Bothell). Mayuri likewise has a large Indian clientele. I used to like Mayuri quite a bit, but feel their quality has suffered lately.

                                    I tried Udupi in Bellevue and that was quite nice.

                                    Downtown Pabla is bad, but the Renton vegetarian-only outlet is outstanding. I'm your average American red-blooded meat eater, but I really dig their vegetarian food.

                                3. We went to Bengal Tiger after learning that India Bistro did not have buffet the day we needed to go. I have done Taste of India and Tandoor before so I wanted to try somewhere different. Thanks for the help!
                                  Here is the review I posted on Yelp-
                                  Dang good! Fine- it is kitchy!... but I was not disappointed by their buffet. There were about 3-5 tradition side dishes, rice, and a few protein dishes ( hello tender lamb!)- plus relishes. I took a friend who had never tried Indian and made him sample it all- even the "green goo"! He decided that it was all "alright". I tried my first samosa and was happily content. We were seated in the relatively empty restaurant around 1pm on a Sunday. I had done my research and had high expectations. Everything was tasty- but there was no dessert. The only item that needed more flavor was the Chicken Tikka. The best part(s)- The over abundance of fresh naan (yum! and a couple flavors) and eye witnessing the fresh food coming right of the pan and into the holding trays continuously! The servers were also quick like a bunny with filling up my water- this almost earned them their 5th star back :)

                                  Here is a link to some more reviews I have done of Indian and enthic foods-

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: natalie.warner

                                    India Bistro is the buffet I walked out on...I'd be interested in hearing what you think. I thought it was terrible.

                                    I did try Bengal Tiger (dinner, not buffet) and was pleasantly surprised. I can see why some people rate this as their favorite Indian restaurant, as it's quite good. I think Taste of India still has the edge, however. The service at Bengal Tiger was better than Taste of India, actually, but the food not as good.

                                    1. re: fooey

                                      I just had dinner there again recently and was looking for new ideas on the Indian front - um...I think..humbly humble opinion - Bengal Tiger has the best food of them all - dinner and their lunch buffet has got to be one of the best deals in the city. site not so good but great restaurant (also, not high on "ambience" but that is part of the charm...SUPER nice staff:

                                      1. re: fooey

                                        I didn't like Bengal Tiger in the slightest. Way too much cream and too many tomatoes in all the curries. Not nearly enough flavor. The sambhar is watered-down and flavorless, and the addition of celery to the soup made it just taste like something from Denny's. All the curries were bland. The use of spices was very tame, and the 4 I ordered tasted like a 2 from any other restaurant. My chai was also flavorless. To be fair, their chutneys are out of this world.

                                    2. Star India? Is that the place on Aurora Ave in Shoreline?

                                      1 Reply