I am finally getting around to reporting on my first trip to 50th and Central since it changed from Udupi to Nalapak. My roomie and I went on a Sunday for the buffet, $12.37 with tax. They keep the weekend buffet open longer hours than Udupi did, now it's out till 4:15. I like that because I'm not that seriously buffet-hungry earlier in the day.
They did change the setup of the buffet- now it's one long table- I kind of missed the old
horseshoe arrangement that Udupi used, although this might be more efficient. They state
online that like Udupi, they have all vegetarian food, but while Udupi I believe was all South
Indian, Nalapak includes some North Indian dishes as well.
We enjoyed pretty much all of the food. I would say actually the only exceptions were
a couple of dishes with saffron in them- for some reason I can't stand the taste of saffron-
tastes like clorox or something. Maybe it's an issue of too much of it, but I don't think so.
There was saffron in a mango dessert .
There were about 8 entrees, and they were clearly labeled with the name and either
'Vegan' or 'Vegetarian' which was helpful. Some of my favorites were a white lentil porridge
type of thing (sorry can't give the name) with some sweet spices in it, rather delicate
and yummy. A very good eggplant curry. Dosas were delivered to the table, just plain
(rice flour crepes) rather than stuffed with samosa-type filling as at Udupi. So we used
pieces of the dosa to scoop up the curries. A very good muttar paneer (paneer is the
yummy homemade cheese cubes). The best raita I have ever had- it was amazingly
thick and creamy, not over-peppered or anything as I have sometimes encountered
elsewhere. Great coconut and cilantro chutneys. I usually skip the spicy soup, but
decided to try both of the 2 soups they had. They both were spicy at first, but I quickly
got used to the spice level and really enjoyed both - one was a thicker beanier one, the
other more of a broth- sambhar I think it's called.
They had the lentil donuts- medhu vada- that I remember seeing for the first time when I first went to Udupi years ago. And some white moist cakes- uthappam or iddlys? made from rice and lentils I believe- they were kind of plain but good to put chutneys on. And a layered type of bread called paratha- very good, chewier than naan.
They had a chopped cucumber tomato salad that was ok, not great.
Nothing seemed overly greasy- mentioning that since some other Indian places
have had that as a problem on this board. Also, I don't like super hot-spicy food in excess-
I am looking for a variety of well-balanced dishes- I felt Nalapak delivered well.
Thanks for the report-- it was really helpful. We recently were in Miami with CG's cousin. She is married to an Indian man and has completely taken up the veg-Indian cooking mantle (the little man who runs her local Indian foods store says she cooks better and more from scratch than the Indian grandmas in the neighborhood!). They made dinner for us, and it blew my mind. I have been looking for a place to take them when they come to visit, with good Northern Indian veg food. I knew Udupi would have been the place, and it's good to know that Nala Pak may be the one.