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Best Indian

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Looking for a great Indian, Boston or Cambridge or South of Boston. We haven't had a great Indian in over a year. Help!!!!

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  1. Himalayan Bistro in West Roxbury
    India Quality in Kenmore Square

    9 Replies
    1. re: mabelm4050

      Second India Quality, although we like Namaskar in Davis Square nearly as much.

      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

        i think namaskar rocks too & never understand why peeps line up for diva. i also like masalaa in billerica for south indian vegetarian.

        1. re: mr mangia

          I don't know what my favorite is but I just tried Namaskar and thought it was really good. I went last Monday and it was really empty (and Diva was packed?!) but the food was delicious (lamb vindaloo and perhaps the best masala dosa I've had in beantown)

          I found Diva's food bland so, yeah, I don't get it either.

          1. re: heypielady

            namaskar has a great buffet with lots of new dishes not the same old favorites all the time. also cafe of india in harvard sq has a decent buffet with a dosai station too although last time i went there the rush at the dosai station was mad and i yelled at the guy behind me for pushing his plate into my spine !!!

          2. re: mr mangia

            Masalaa in Billerica has closed and is becoming something else,
            Grand Pongole (sp?), which hasn't opened yet. Looks like another Indian restaurant, though.

            1. re: Kiyah

              wow, thanks for the update. i think pongol is kinda of like grits ?

        2. re: mabelm4050

          definitely India Quality! its some of the best indian food i've had. and its ridiculously inexpensive!

          1. re: NiKoLe1625

            I'll 4th India Quality. I haven't been in a while, but it's still on of my favorites.

            For South Shore, try Punjab Cafe in Quincy. It's a little lost out there on Southern Artery, but worth findning...I loved their chicke tikka masala!

          2. re: mabelm4050

            You've got great taste! Those are my two favorites as well.

          3. Only Tamarind Bay qualifies. Unfortunately, the cooks have recently discovered ghee and now the food is greasy. But at least they don't dunk the protein into pre-cooked vats of sauces like every place else.

            1. Kebab and Tandoor, Waltham, Katmandu Spice, Arlington.

              1. Grain and Salt on Cambridge st in Allston is pretty killer. The guy that runs the place is wicked nice, too!

                Grain and Salt
                431 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

                1 Reply
                1. It's very hole-in-the-wall, but I'm a fan of Rajdhani Express on River St, Central Square Cambridge. Apart from this cafe / Bollywood-VHS-store, I've been thoroughly disappointed with every Indian restaurant in the Boston area that I've visited. Maybe my curry-loving english tastebuds are different to everyone else's here.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: teaTomE

                    Dude, I have always wondered to myself about this place on my way to River Gods. Thanks for the endorsement!

                    1. re: digga

                      I too have wondered about this place. I'll have to try it!

                  2. Another vote for India Quality. They never disappoint. And they make me nostalgic for the old Kenmore Square, in the pre-Commonwealth Hotel days when there was more of a streetscape and less of a suburban big-box feeling.

                    Second place would be India Palace in Union Square. I used to frequent it but haven't been in over a year so I'm not sure if it's still as good as it was.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: nightsky

                      Glad someone else likes India Palace. It's a place I always recommend but others' experiences are variable.

                      I like Namaskar in Davis too.

                      1. re: yumyum

                        Just adding some place links in case folks want to find these places.

                        Namaskar Fine Indian Cuisine
                        236 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                        The Kebab Factory
                        414 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

                        India Palace
                        23 Union Sq, Somerville, MA 02143

                        1. re: yumyum

                          That's my list exactly! Plus Tamarind Bay in Harvard Sq.

                          1. re: jajjguy

                            Place link for Tamarind Bay (I enjoy their lunch buffet too.)

                            Tamarind Bay
                            75 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138

                        2. re: yumyum

                          3rd vote for India Palace.. Being a lover of Indian food, I have tried many places in the area, but the Palace always keeps me comin back for more. The Chicken Tika Masala and Palak Paneer are very good. Not so much the samosas, but I have yet to find really good samosas in any restaurant. Though I prefer IP for take-out rather than dining in.

                          1. re: sanfar26

                            "Though I prefer IP for take-out rather than dining in."

                            I do too. They really loom over you if you dine in the restaurant.

                      2. Kebob Factory on Kirkland St on the Camb/Som line is quite good. Different flavor palate than most Indian restaurants around here, but I don't have the vocab to describe in detail... anyone else?

                        1. Rani Bistro at Coolidge Cornerhas the best Indian food these days. Proof? My fingers aren't orange for days after eating their chicken tikka masala. Their weekend buffet is wicked good. More authentic than most of the Indian restaurants out there, they have an even mix of North and South Indian dishes.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: pinke_v

                            I agree Rani is good, but I fail to see how the fact that your fingers aren't orange proves anything other than the fact that they don't put much turmeric or saffron in that dish.

                            1. re: BobB

                              of course, they don't put too much turmeric or saffron. it's 99% times food color in tandoori meats. that's the case even in India, most times not-so-healthy coloring. fingers are pretty orange after a round of splurging at a street side eatery in north India. the taste buds are in seventh-heaven though.

                            2. re: pinke_v

                              Agreed that Rani is really delicious. They specialize in Hyderabadi cuisine, some of which are really interesting and spicy.

                            3. I have to 2nd Kebab Factory (across from Dali on the Cambridge/Somerville line). I prefer my Indian to come in buffet form since I want to try it all and I definitely feel that it is the freshest, most diverse and tastiest in town. They often have fresh Shrimp Masal/Vindaloo for pete's sake! It's only for brunch but great when you are hungry. I know that for some folks buffet's are offsetting but with quality like this it is so worth it. EVERYTHING is delicious there and I'm told regular restaurant items are incredible as well. I've turned over 20 people on to it and they've all agreed it could very well be the best place in town.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: epeselman

                                The regular restaurant items are indeed good. I bring home their chicken chili for dinner on a weekly basis.

                              2. I must be the only one here who has had nothing but aweful meals at India Quality.
                                Squishy samosa's, soggy naan and either flavorless curries or the mouth scorching (trust me ... I LOVE spicy) and somehow still underseasoned vindaloo.

                                1. Here's a 3rd for Kebab Factory. The name, logo, and feel of the place are misleadingly mediocre - but some of the best Inidan I've ever had (and this is after living in NYC by curry row and curry hill). Their soups are delicious, and so is most everything else.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: cheesenose

                                    Agreed. I actually moved to 27th and Lex for my last 5 years in New York because I loved shopping and eating there. I've had good luck with India Quality here, but there's nothing like Mitali East on 6th. Guess I'll just have to search harder. Grain & Salt gets raves on this board (and some raspberries, too) so I'd like to try it.

                                    1. re: SSqwerty

                                      ooooh Mitali used to be my heaven! but the past two times I went for that Creamy Almond Chicken, it was so so so dry and over cooked. these visits were over a year apart. I took the same person (both times) to show them how good it was...and then how that one time had just been a fluke! totally broke my heart.

                                    2. re: cheesenose

                                      I tried Keebab Factory twice using delivery and it was bad both times and incomplete once. the reason I tried in the first place was from recs on this board and the second time was to double-check. I have not been in person, but I discourage delivery, based on my experience (took too long/food was cold; under-sauced and over cooked poultry; crunchy, undercooked rice in the pulau (not kidding); wrong condiments from what was requested). while I am at it, I discourage you from three restaurants--all of which used to be great but are now going through tough spells: Gandhi, Cafe India, and Diva. it kills me to report on a couple of these, which, years ago, sustained me. tonight: I am trying takeout from Namaskar for the first time, based on recs from this string. I have high hopes, because, I too, have found myself starved for good Indian food.

                                      1. re: cef

                                        I like Shanti in Dorchester very much, Namaskar and Masala Art in Needham

                                    3. I've been going to India Pavillion in Central Square for 25+ years. Back in the day, it was pretty much the only Indian in town. It's not fine dining but I've always found it to be reliable as comfort food.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: GeoffD

                                        For my money Indian Pavilion in Central is the best place for value. It's one of the few restaurants that gives the "complete dinner" option where you can get soup, the entree, tea/coffee, and desert for an extra couple dollars.

                                      2. India Quality for me, too.

                                        A warning about Kebab and Tandoor: It is BEYOND hole in the wall. It's not just a lack of ambiance, but a seeming lack of hygiene. I'm no snob or germophobe, but I was turned off, and can't really separate my impression of the surroundings from the food we had.

                                        I love indian food, and went to Masala Art in Needham on a recommendation from my husband's Indian co-workers, and found it totally blah. Pretty, but blah. I had a cold, so maybe I didn't give it a fair shake, but my husband wasn't impressed either.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: elena3141

                                          kebab and tandoor recently remodeled and the ambiance is really nice now. i don't know what it was like before. i didn't love the food but i think it was because it was not what i was expecting not because it wasn't good.

                                          1. re: rebeccacceber

                                            We went to K&T for the first time last night, looking for something different, and we were very pleased.

                                            We had Veg. Patti for appetizer, a very light fillo-style turnover filled with savory veggies; for the main dishes we had a goat dish and chicken methi. We made the mistake of ordering two different breads instead of bread and rice, so wound up ordering an extra rice to soak up the wonderful sauces. For dessert, a custard with sweet jelly (last one on the list), which the waiter warned us would be very sweet, and it was. All and all, a very tasty dinner and welcome exposure to a new regional Indian cuisine.

                                            For the record, we were the only anglo party in the restaurant.

                                            We will return, hopefully with another couple so we can try more dishes.

                                        2. I will have to agree that tamarind bay is really the best around here. i have tried 90% of the restaurants that every body is saying to go to and find that the only one that sticks out as unique is TB. almost ever other restaurant on here serves relatively the same anglo-sized dishes.

                                          I would say forget all of these and dont waste your time, go to TB.

                                          I would also recommend Medina Market on brighton ave. in Allston which is a pakistani and northern indian place. this place is delicious and cheap, but beware there is no ambiance and you eat with plastic forks. It is also a spice market so you can get allot of stuff there.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: sekbowmeyaa

                                            any other pakistani restaurants like the ones in jackson sq @ NYC??

                                          2. Masala Art in Needham is wonderful!

                                            1. Check out Punjab in Arlington Center-- I've gone to Indian restaurants all over the Boston area for 20 years-- just discovered this place a few months ago, and it floored me-- it's unbelievable how good it is. The tandoori is excellent, the curries are superb. And they make great cocktails as well. Strongly recommend!

                                              (Bonus: the Chilly Cow frozen custard shop is right next door!)

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: food_hyena

                                                I agree. We went here with a big a group and the service was good and the food was delicious. They make everything slightly more spicy than most places. Which to me was a bonus. Go here!

                                              2. South of Boston, Punjab Cafe is good. It is in an unlikely small strip mall on Rt. 3A, but is nice inside.

                                                1. I went to Cafe of India in Harvard Square (on Brattle Street) last night...food was very good.

                                                  1. Speaking as someone who has eaten a lot of Indian food in India and who cooks a lot of Indian food, let me say that I haven't found a single first rate Indian restaurant in the greater Boston area. I've eaten at most of the places mentioned on this thread, in some cases multiple times, and they run the gamut from awful overall to mediocre. There's not a single place where you can rely on the flavors to consistently sparkle the way you can at even average places in India. It has to do with the freshness of the ingredients (or, rather, the lack of freshness), especially the spices, the lack of care with which dishes are prepared,
                                                    and the passion of every Indian restaurant in town to push food far beyond its expiry date. Certain foods -- paneer, for example, or Indian milk sweets -- must be served fresh. Keep them too long and the flavors get muted. Keep them longer and the flavors are off. Any good dairy in India will advise you to eat milk products that day itself.

                                                    Let me single out for particular mention Rajdhani Express near Central Square (the one lunch I had there -- microwaved from some stored, refrigerated food -- was entirely inedible), Namaskar in Davis Square (the lunch buffet is mediocre, and I was once served spoiled meat masquerading as a kebab), and Tanjore (the dhokla and patrel appetizer is almost always stale and dry, and the curries are a particularly egregious example of bits of meat that are precooked, then submerged in whatever sauce you order).

                                                    Tamarind Bay in Harvard Square is uneven but moderately acceptable, as is Kebab Factory in Somerville. Every once in a while there's a knockout goat curry at Diva in Davis Square (but usually it's watery and insipid). Bengal Cafe in North Cambridge is probably the best of a bad bunch. I have not eaten there in recent months, but when I have in the past It's been real food cooked to order by real people, and it has been tasty more often than not.

                                                    15 Replies
                                                    1. re: FoodDabbler

                                                      Have you been to Guru the Caterer in Teele Square in Somerville?

                                                      I have been meaning to mention them - best Indian I've had in Boston. Everything is super-fresh such that they do not have a regular menu - it changes daily with exception of fried apps. They have a couple of tables, but it is really only a take-out place.

                                                      I had a pretty good idea of what I like about Indian chow in the area - until I went here - to me at least, their food has the "sparkle" that you mention, that I had not experienced anywhere else.

                                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                        No, I have not tried Guru. I'd read about them in the Globe and was intrigued. It's on my "should try" list.

                                                        1. re: FoodDabbler

                                                          One point of reference for example - you always get a tamarind-based brown sauce for dipping your fried apps at every Indian restaurant. I generally dislike this sauce - it's too-sweet and one note everywhere I've ever tried it.

                                                          At Guru, they either doctor it or make it on their own - it's got a complexity of flavor that I had never tasted before anywhere else. I really like their version of it.

                                                          Here's to hoping you like them!

                                                        2. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                          Went to Guru this weekend for the first time. Thank you CHer's for recommending this place - what a find. The food was superb, had depth and wasn't the one note spice typical of other places I've been - it was definitely made with love. The owner (and cook - along with other people) was extremely nice and shared tastes of food he was making for a catering job - things not on the menu (wow - they should).

                                                          My only complaint is that it's just to far from the South End - but, he told me that he'll be opening a place in the financial district. Yeah!

                                                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                            I've tried Guru a few times now. It's an unusual establishment for an Indian restaurant. It's bright, clean, and airy, and has an open kitchen, not just a show-tandoor. You can sometimes see one of the owners working at large pots that are sitting on low stoves, stirring things with wooden paddles. He also takes orders -- when he notices you. (The customer behind me on one occasion, a non-Indian, asked him "Are you Guru?") There are a few places to sit, but it's mainly a takeout/delivery joint.

                                                            The lamb curry had a faint, but unmistakable, aroma of cardamom on my first visit, which elevated it above the generic. The meat was very tender. On that first visit "Guru" was cooking a goat curry in the kitchen, but it would not be ready, he said, for some hours. I've had it on one subsequent visit and it was decent.

                                                            The chicken tikka is fairly ordinary, but it's a dish that's so overexposed at this point that I don't know if it can ever taste extraordinary. At least this version is not blindingly red. The rotis are freshly cooked (sometimes on order) and although a little thicker than I like, are still pretty good. Both chicken and lamb biryanis are competently flavorful, but they were mashed around in either the pot or the takeout container, so lacked the layers that (for me) define biryani. The dal was very tasty, although a little
                                                            thick and overly buttery, and the mixed vegetables (carrots, squash, green
                                                            beans) were also quite good, although overcooked. Vegetables are tough to serve at the right texture when they are cooked in large batches and sit around for a while. The best vegetable dish here is the palak paneer: the palak is an attractive green and the paneer soft, fresh and not overly fried.

                                                            For dessert each time there's been keshari kheer, robustly saffrony, with rice that is soft and shortgrained (as I like it in kheer), but the milk is not reduced sufficiently for my taste.

                                                            I've also squeezed in a couple of samosas, one meat (really, meat-and-potato-filler) and one vegetable (pea and potato). Both were average by standards in India, but superior by standards in Boston. I'd heard good things about their tamarind chutney, and the first time I was there I asked for an extra portion. Guru assured me that there would be plenty with the samosas. When I picked up my order I asked about the chutney. He assured me that it was in there. When I got home I found that it was missing. On subsequent visits I made sure it was in the bag. Like the samosas, it's superior by Boston standards.

                                                            I can see why Guru has the following that it has in the greater Boston area. Indian food is by and large so awful here that a place that's even modestly decent can seem superb. By absolute standards (the standards of good food in India), Guru is so-so to subpar. By Boston standards it's pretty good. After trying it on several occasion early this summer, I haven't found myself craving Guru food for months. There hasn't been a single knockout dish that compels me to return.

                                                            Guru the Caterer
                                                            1297 Broadway, Somerville, MA

                                                          2. re: FoodDabbler

                                                            I agree almost 100% with your assessment. I'm Nepali and have a lot of "real Indian food" experience. Bengal Cafe tastes the most like "home food" to me.

                                                            And yes, Rajdhani is THE NASTY. :)

                                                            1. re: Prav

                                                              As a curiosity (and *not* because I take offense or want to argue with you), which of my comments did you disagree with? (You speak of "almost 100%" agreement.)

                                                              And, speaking as a Nepali, what do you think of Annapurna just past Porter Square on Mass Ave? The Annapurna menu is completely bizarre. They've kept some Afghani dishes from the restaurant previously in that space, and mixed them with an inexplicable selection of Western ones. Mantwo and Mourgh Challow mingle with Cape Cod Fried Fish, Burger and French Fries, and "Rugla Salad". It looks like the kind of menu to laugh at, not eat from. But I've found some really good Himalayan dishes
                                                              on the menu. I've had them deliver food to me several times. The vegetable momo, scallion bowlani, lamb masala (some pieces slightly tough), and chicken kebabs have all been good.

                                                              1. re: FoodDabbler

                                                                RE: your comments - ghee, I shoulda clarified. (Nice pun, Prav!)

                                                                Basically, I am a bigger fan of Tamarind than most folks here, (though admit I haven't eaten there frequently enough to assess its level of consistency). I've had some quite amazing dishes there, whose spicing is carefully orchestrated and delicate, unlike some of the overpoweringly one-dimensional, peppery curries at other places, like the Bombay Palace place across the street.

                                                                As we both know, "home Indian food" and "restaurant Indian food in the US" tend to be completely different. I have a feeling that Indian restaurants here make the same ol' greasy, rich North indian/ mughlai dishes (standard mutter paneers, chicken makhanis, saag/palak, etc) simply because US customers expect that, and are familiar with it. My hunch is that they may be afraid to take the risk of serving homestyle dishes - light on the oil, primarily fresh vegetables that aren't cooked to death, etc.

                                                                This is just my impression; also must take into consider the huge variety of regions and regional styles of cooking in India. But it's rare for me to find any Indian restaurant in the US that doesn't serve the same ol' dishes, and doesn't leave me feeling like I have a gastrointestinal greasebomb.

                                                                Re: Annapurna - I've not yet tried it. The Nepali/Afghani/Pizza House menu is indeed a strange one. Nepali restaurants here kind of irk me because they have the nerve to charge $14 for 8 silly momos, or $12 for a cup of daal. Grr.

                                                                Do you know if Annapurna serves "aloo tama"? That is one of the most typical Nepali dishes, and isn't really found in India, unlike curries/kebabs. I generally use that dish as my 'benchmark' dish when trying out a Nepali place.

                                                                1. re: Prav

                                                                  No, unfortunately no aloo tama on the menu:

                                                                  The food may not be particularly Nepali (and the mix of dishes is baffling), but, as I mentioned, I've had a few surprisingly well-cooked things here.

                                                                  1. re: FoodDabbler

                                                                    Thanks Prav and FoodDabbler. this is the type of post hat i find most valuable on Chowhound. I totally agree that Indian food here is inspid and the idea that every Indian restaurant need a 4 page menu of the usual suspects almost guarantees that nothing is fresh. I like the idea that there is a place brave enough to have a few dishes, fresh and well made, that change every day. I'll definitely give Guru a try,

                                                                    1. re: gourmaniac

                                                                      Good to see some love for the Bengal and Guru.

                                                                  2. re: Prav

                                                                    I have now eaten Tamarind Bay food extensively. I agree with Prav's general assessment that it's one of the better Indian restaurants around, possibly the best. My original complaint that it can be uneven still stands, but the good dishes are very, very good. The bad dishes are awful however, and the general atmosphere is dark and dismal for the sort of restaurant it aspires to be. I take food out whenever possible rather than eat at the restaurant.

                                                                    To start with the bad news, two dishes at TB were so spectacularly awful that they almost negate the rest of the otherwise very good menu. The spinach-aloo tikki were served lukewarm and had the sour, slightly fermented taste of food that's not just cooked bad(ly), but has gone bad. They were clearly tikki left over from lunch -- last week's lunch. And the asparagus-pea kebabs -- mashed vegetables held in elongated shapes with a not-fully-cooked besan binder -- had an appearance that was so misshapen, so terrible, so turdlike, that people insisted that it be taken off the table immediately. I wish I had taken a picture. The kebabs belong in a museum of bad food.

                                                                    With that out of the way, there's increasingly better news. The lalla mussa dal is rich but otherwise so-so (Indian restaurant chefs in the U.S. must undergo special training in order to get their dals so uniformly bland), but the kairi ki dal, which I've now had about ten times, is very good (although I would prefer raw mango in it, as the name suggests, than ripe); the naans and rotis are of average quality, but the parathas and khulchas are quite good; the chicken shorba, tandoori chicken, and lemon rice are quite decent and starting to show hints of flavor, and to the chef's credit the tandoori chicken is not painted neon red. The khumb muttar rizala is quite good, as are the mahi firdaus (salmon with green chutney), the murgh nafis, the murgh tikka, the mysore chilli chicken (although the chicken had clearly been parcooked separately and only finished with the sauce), the lazeez tikka masala, the dehati murgh, the malabar fish curry, the surkh kund an kaliya, the rogan josh, and the chilli batata.

                                                                    The best dishes (and they are very good) are the raahra gosht (described on the menu as "Lamb simmered in a wok over a period of time until it turns crisp brown & garnished with fresh coriander" but is instead extraordinarily tender pieces of meat in a thick, rich, gingery sauce that also has ground lamb in it); kabab-e-kohut, a seekh kebab coated in chicken, moist on the inside and bursting with flavor; and jadi macchi hiryan naal, almost always perfectly cooked swordfish kebabs, tender and almost creamy on the inside, nicely charred on the outside.

                                                                    I have some objections to what seem to be made-up names on the menu (Kohat is a town in Pakistan and a search for "kabab-e-kohut" turns up other dishes of that name), and to the discrepancy between menu description and actual dish, but some of the food at this restaurant is well worth having again and again. I can say that of only one or two other Indian restaurants in the Boston area.

                                                                    Tamarind Bay
                                                                    75 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138

                                                                    1. re: FoodDabbler

                                                                      Wow, thanks for the thorough review.

                                                                      1. re: FoodDabbler

                                                                        "Turd-like" may be one of the best adjectives I've ever read on Chowhound.

                                                                        1. re: FoodDabbler

                                                                          I'd like to add to my previous review. I've continued to eat the food from Tamarind Bay regularly over the last few months and it's gone higher in my estimation. I've probably had the swordfish dish, jadi macchi hiryan naal, 15-20 times in this period and only once has it (slightly) disappointed. (The fish had been marinated a bit too long and the texture was slightly mushy.) All the dishes I liked before I've continued to like. There's a new menu now, and of the additions the Seekh Pae Lapka Gosht was excellent, as was the Patrani Mahi (although it's a nonstandard version of a dish in which the fish should be served in the banana leaf in which it was steamed).

                                                                          I now view Tamarind Bay as the best Indian restaurant in town (although I still have a soft spot for Bengal Cafe and it's harried owner). Thanks Prav. It's a better restaurant than most Indian places even in Manhattan. (I'd rate only the very upscale Tabla and Devi higher.)

                                                                          Tamarind Bay
                                                                          75 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138

                                                                2. My favorite is Punjab Cafe in Quincy.
                                                                  IMHO India Quality and Tanjore are vastly overrated.

                                                                  1. India Quality Kenmore Sq.
                                                                    Punjab, Mass. Ave. Arlington

                                                                    1. surprised to not see Bombay Club in Harvard Square mentioned.
                                                                      I've eaten there at least a dozen times and have never been less than pleased!!

                                                                      1. My fav places for Indian in the Boston area are Punjab Cafe in Quincy, Indian Delight in Weymouth (though they can be hit or miss, they don't always listen to your spicy level requests), and both Bukhara and Ghazal in JP are pretty decent.

                                                                        1. Just a word to responders: it might be more helpful in the context of local Indian food if people distinguish between experiences with buffet vs eating a la carte.

                                                                          Also, to distinguish what people mean by "Indian" when they are just providing a general impression. .For some people, it means Punjabi-centered food. Before a few years ago, that was pretty much what Indian meant in Boston and indeed much of the US. But for increasing numbers of people, it now means the idli, dosas and room-temperature vegetarian fare of southern Indian regions, et cet. While we had our local such place appropriately dubbed "Woodlands" (the late lamented Chennai Woodlands in Ashland), it's still a gradual evolution in our local Indian food scene.

                                                                          1. i have to put my vote in for either Kebab Factory or Namaskar. I love them both and could never choose.

                                                                            1. I'm surprised this only came up once on this whole list but Himalayan Bistro in West Roxbury is the best Indian/ Nepali I've had... ever, I think (I really need to go to India). I went to dinner there last week and I LOVED the Bhanta ko Tarakari- it's a Nepali dish with diced eggplant pan roasted with onion, garlic, ginger and it was awesome. I know India Quality is a favorite on this board and I agree it's pretty good, but Himalayan Bistro is better. I love Indian food, it's my favorite cuisine so please believe me when I tell you all to give it a try. I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Snoop37

                                                                                Mmm, Himalaya Bistro is delicious.. but I find it to be sooo expensive. :(

                                                                                Bhanta ko tarkari, damn, I miss momz' cookin!

                                                                                1. re: Prav

                                                                                  Entrees are predominately between $12-15 which can be a lot for people, but i think they have a lunch buffet for 8 or 9 dollars? I've never been but I imagine it must be good .

                                                                                  1. re: Snoop37

                                                                                    The lunch buffet is pretty standard Indian stuff... it's tasty though.

                                                                              2. Punjahbi Dhaba in Inman Sq is a very good option and one of my favorites for Indian in the area (though I haven't been to India Quality, sadly).

                                                                                Also works out well because for dessert you can walk down a block to Christina's Ice Cream...

                                                                                1. Masala Art in Needham is the only one that is truly special but it is expensive. Punjab in Arlington is good as is Tanjore in Harvard Square. Diva and Namaskar have turned into junk. Had an inedible weekend buffet at Bhindi Bazzar near Newbury Street this summer.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: jet lagged

                                                                                    We were terribly disappointed by Namaskar the last time we went. Too bad, because for a while there it was one of our favorites.

                                                                                  2. Problem with all Indian places in Boston is that they all crap out after a few years. Happened to Bombay Club, happened to Kebob n Curry (which closed a few yrs ago).

                                                                                    My favorite place for the past few years has been Punjab in Arlington. So far, they haven't dropped off in their quality. Everything is just really really good there.

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                                                                                    1. re: chowmouse

                                                                                      I fear this has happened to Tamarind Bay. I wonder if others share my judgment.

                                                                                      I have been going there pretty regularly ever since it opened, both lunch buffet and dinner a la carte. In December I went there and was disappointed with the buffet for the first time. The tandoori chicken seemed even bonier and less fleshy than normal. The chicken masala was comprised of pre-cooked (and over-cooked) chunks of chicken dropped briefly in sauce. The dal was dull.

                                                                                      Has anyone else tried the buffet recently with a similar or different experience?

                                                                                      By the way, I did not respond to the restaurant review prompt about TB since it seems to malfunction. In addition to slowing or blocking the post itself, it also seems to force giving a star rating, an entirely inappropriate request. Is this a problem distinct to posts regarding Tamarind Bay? I had the same problem last time I wished to comment on TB and ultimately wound up deleting the posting.

                                                                                      1. re: VivreManger

                                                                                        Tamarind Bay's lunch buffet is ok, not great. Their dinner menu is much better i think.

                                                                                    2. Punjab Arlington center (mass ave), the best Indian I've had in the boston area. Tikka Masala to die for, Samosa are crisp and flavorful, you can adjust the heat of any curry by asking. The only downside is that service is sloooooww, we always do pickup because a meal at Punjab is at least and hour and a half affair.

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                                                                                      1. re: zachary6

                                                                                        I agree with Punjab in Arlington. We went a few weeks ago and had a great meal. In addition to what you posted, the vegetable pakora's are also very, very good.

                                                                                        1. re: zachary6

                                                                                          I also concur with Punjab Arlington - it's the best Indian that we've found, with the possible exception of Punjab Cafe in Quincy. But I think Arlington has been more consistent. I agree with zachary6 about the service, especially if it's a popular night. I've been for weekend lunches and the service isn't too bad, but since we live so close we almost always just get takeout.

                                                                                          I've recently gone to Masala Art in Needham, but only for the lunch buffet. It's been pretty solid as well, but I'd be curious to try their a-la-carte menu before giving any final pronouncements.