Mela Lunch Buffet
We finally tried Mela today and WOW. The lunch buffet was fabulous. Delicious salad, two very good rices, four or five vegie choices (all yummy) and two chicken dishes. I only had the tandoori, but it was moist and very flavorful. The other chicken looked good but was too creamy for me. The nan was very good and the chutnies, too. The only thing that we didn't care for was the soup. We even shared the dessert which was the rice pudding with nuts. I can't remember the name. It was also delicious. At $7.95 it's no wonder they were doing well. If I worked downtown it would definitely be a place I would frequent. I look forward to going back for dinner and ordering some very nice sounding dishes off the menu.
India Garden is good, but I find Mela's has greater depth of flavor. Parking & price are both better at India Garden. India Garden was a gift to have after Mother India closed!
Just had dinner at Mela (very good!) and saw the steam tables getting ready for the lunch buffet. I can see theirs being really nice, since to me, the key is in the flavor profile of the base sauce of the dishes (especially in a lunch buffet, when they back off of the more expensive proteins). At dinner, our best dish was vegetarian (potato and cauliflower masala). Great depth of flavor.
Also nice that they keep a good (but not crazy) level of heat in their dishes. Just right, in my opinion.
Mela is consistenly one of our favorites! I love the interior...it has more ambiance than a lot of Asheville restaurants in my opinion. And the food is reasonably priced, the service always good, the flavors amazing and the rice oh so perfect.
I need to try India Garden....had no idea it was on par with Mela.