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Lawrenceville-to-Edison Indian Buffet Review

Haven't done the circuit of Route 1/Route 27/Oak Tree Road corridor Indian buffets in a while. Anyone have any good neys or yeas about them?

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  1. Spice Melange in Metuchen has been getting a lot of positive comments recently. I will be going there tomorrow and will let you know about their (lunch) buffet.

    http://www.nj.com/entertainment/dinin...

    The last Indian buffet I went to was at Moksha on Oak Tree Road. It was very good. You can find some information about Moksha by searching this forum.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ambrose

      I didn't make it to Spice Mélange until late December. My experience was positive and I posted my comments in the following thread:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/586789

      As you will see, another poster had a less than satisfactory experience.

      1. re: ambrose

        Spice Melange is excellent, and we've never had a bad experience there. We live too far to go regularly now, but it's definitely the best we've had since moving to NJ.

        1. re: Caralien

          I was in Metuchen last week and noticed that Spice Melange has closed.

    2. We went to a place called Malgudi once up on Oak Tree Road and had a pretty decent lunch buffet there. I wish we had a place like that here in Hamilton.

      1. I recommend Mehek on Nassau Street in Princeton. The food there is the best Indian food I've ever had (experience limited to about 6 others). I find that the way they spice the food is more layered and complex than other restaurants. If you go, order the assorted Nan basket, which includes whole wheat, onion, and garlic nans.

        7 Replies
        1. re: njchowgal

          I'll give it a try. We've gone to Vasanta Bhavan on Quakerbridge Road a few times, and while we haven't yet been really disappointed with the food, the service has always been beyond bad to the point that it's become painful to be there.

          1. re: njchowgal

            I didn't like Mehek at all--it smelled wonderful from outside, as I pass it daily, but the food was very bland and we had too many funky (liver-like) bits in the lamb saag.

            1. re: njchowgal

              I agree with Caralien...don't like Mehek...among the worst Indian in the area. I've eaten here several times and each time I remark at how bland the food is, washed out flavors, low quality meats. My Indian co-worker won't step foot in the door. The take-away counter downstairs is even worse. But, as you say, it may be others liking...lots of different palates. I prefer Kalluri Korner, two blocks down, much more, especially the lunch and dinner buffets.

              1. re: frackit

                I am now quietly mourning the fact that Sally Lunn's - dessert and scone and tea bonanza if there ever was one - has been replaced by substandard Indian fare. I think I like the Masala Grill better than Kalluri Corner though.

                1. re: Heatherb

                  I liked Kalluri for their lunch buffet, but even though the food was replenished constantly, the burners were set too low and the food was cold. I prefer Masala, my husband Kalluri. Palace of Asia, which we haven't yet been to for their lunch buffet, had the best Indian food we've had since Taj Mahal, Bay Ridge (73 & 3rd)

                  1. re: Heatherb

                    Yes, I really miss Sally Lunn's! The food was amazing, like it came out of my grandmother in London's kitchen. They closed mysteriously because of "staffing problems"...such a shame.

                    1. re: frackit

                      Frackit, I assume you know that Sally Lunn's still exists, but in Chester. On recent visits we've been a little disappointed, not in the food but in the surroundings. Seems a little run down.

                      http://www.sallylunns.com/

                      Far better in my opinion is Teaberry's in Flemington. It has been rated the #1 tea room in NJ by Teamap. Terrific food and pastries.

                      http://www.teaberrys.com/

              2. Not exactly on the route you mentioned, but in West Windsor, you should try Urban Todka. The buffet was fresh and very good. If the ethnic make-up of the diners is any indication of authenticity, then this was entirely authentic.

                2 Replies
                1. re: glutton

                  I know this post is old, but Urban Tadka was awful when I visited in 12/10 and is closed now anyway, I think.

                  1. re: loraxc

                    it was an old post. It's a shame to hear that it went downhill so quickly. I had moved onto Paratha Junction in Franklin Park as my go-to Indian place, thankfully.

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                    Paratha Junction
                    3201 Highway 27, Franklin Park, NJ 08823

                2. Has anyone been to any of those on Oak Tree?

                  See many there and don't know which are the best to try.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: yankeefan

                    You should check out Saravana Bhavan in Edison. It's not on Oak Tree, but it's in Edison, so I think it's still relevant. They have outstanding dosas that the kitchen turns out fresh and quickly. This restaurant has many locations around the world and I have never been disappointed, despite my typical knee-jerk aversion to chains.

                    1. re: glutton

                      Is that like Vasanta Bhavan in Hamilton, which is also a chain from what I've heard...

                      1. re: Heatherb

                        I drive by that place in Hamilton almost every night and keep telling myself to stop. However, I have not eaten there yet. The menu looks a bit different and the conversations I have had with friends suggest that Saravana Bhavan is better. However, my friends say nice things about Vasanta Bhavan, but they are not proven foodies yet, so I take their comments with a grain of salt (I am seemingly a rather judgmental friend...) When I eat there, I will post something.

                        1. re: glutton

                          I'm kind of one-note - I like the dishes I get there, but I haven't explored much beyond basically three items. The place is vegetarian, so some of my traditional favorites are not available there. They're definitely ok if you need an Indian food fix though:-)

                          1. re: Heatherb

                            The food is fine at Vasanta Bhavan, but the service has got to be the worst on the planet. I keep going back for the food, but always walk out thinking I'll never go again because of the service. If I could find an equal or even close to equal option in the nearby area, I probably wouldn't go back.

                        2. re: Heatherb

                          I went to Vasanta Bhavan on Saturday and was thoroughly disappointed. I know that my standards are pretty high, but this did not even vaguely approach the food at Saravana Bhavan in Edison. They started with a free cup of soup that tasted like a dirty dish towel. I ordered a dosa, which was mediocre. It lacked the crispiness around the edges that I like and the ingredients stuffed inside just never melded or had any distinctive flavor. The "condiments" on the side were not fresh and were generally lacking in flavor. Since I was trying to evaluate the restaurant, I got some paratha aloo on the side, but they delivered naan instead. That's a pretty basic mistake. Neither the naan or paratha was fresh -- it tasted like the frozen stuff they sell at the grocery store a few doors down. The mano lassi I ordered was fine, but nothing spectacular either.

                          The service was fine for me, but there were very few people in the restaurant, so it was not really much of a test for them.

                          I won't be going back. I'd rather make the drive up to Edison.

                    2. Some of the places mentioned...

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                      Rasoi
                      1567 Oak Tree Rd, Iselin, NJ 08830

                      Spice Melange
                      419 Main St, Metuchen, NJ

                      Swagath Gourmet
                      1700 Oak Tree Rd # 17, Edison, NJ

                      Kalluri Corner
                      235 Nassau St Unit A, Princeton, NJ 08540

                      Mehek
                      164 Nassau St, Princeton, NJ 08542

                      Masala Grill
                      15 Chambers St, Princeton, NJ

                      Palace of Asia
                      540 Lawrence Square Blvd S, Lawrence Township, NJ 08648

                      Vasanta Bhavan
                      3800 Quakerbridge Road, Hamilton, NJ

                      Saravana Bhavan
                      149 Wood Ave, Edison, NJ

                      Teaberrys
                      134 Main St Ste 1, Flemington, NJ 08822

                      Moksha Restaurant
                      1655 Oak Tree Rd Ste 200, Edison, NJ 08820

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Caralien

                        wow thanks caralien! use this as my checklist :)

                        1. re: Caralien

                          Great post. We should make it a requirement for any poster with a new restaurant pick to place such a link in their post.

                          1. re: Caralien

                            Don't Forget:

                            -----
                            Harini Indian Cuisine
                            3349 Brunswick Pike #66, Lawrenceville, NJ

                          2. We just had the most authentic Indian food at this clean and friendly restaurant. The buffet is served on the weekend for lunch, and we can't wait to return for the food. So good, and actually spicy!

                            -----
                            Abhiruchi Indian Cuisine
                            2800 State Route 27 North, Brunswick, NJ

                            1. I know this is an old thread but for hounds seeking good Indian buffets you might want to check out the following discussion. Two of the places mentioned fall into the area mentioned by the OP.

                              http://www.nj.com/entertainment/dinin...

                              1. I make a habit of trying out the local Indian Buffets (I live in Edison) and yesterday I went to the Saturday Sankalp (South Plainfield, Golden Acres Shopping Center, Oak Tree Road) luncheon buffet. I was most pleased!

                                To begin, the price was $10.95, and for a weekend buffet this is certainly reasonable. Incense in the entrance foyer was pleasant. I always start my buffets with the selection of appetizers and here I could have made a meal. Pani puri, in addition to a make-it-yourself-chaat selection, very good. And, there were two different fried items: the small lentil donuts (vada I think they are called) and small vegetable fritters, and pickle and papadams. There was corn chowder soup and sambar, in addition to various chutneys. Masala dosas and bread were automatically brought to the table.

                                There were at least 5 vegetable curries in addition to meat and fish selections (didn't have these, I'm a vegetarian). The mixed vegetable curry with the star anise seasoning was delicious and the mutter paneer sauce was velvety to the taste. I wish I could have had seconds of the curries, but I was leaving room for the desserts. The coconut kesari was good and I really enjoyed the mango bars with the fresh cream on top.

                                Tablecloths adorned every table and there was a very pleasing presentation of the food items, such as... the padadams were rolled into cone shapes and arranged nicely on a platter. I would recommend this buffet as my 3 criteria for a repeat buffet visit met or exceeded my expectations on the following counts: price, quality, and variety. Service was also very good as used dishes were quickly removed from the table.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Lenio

                                  What other buffets in the area have you tried, and how would you compare them?

                                  1. re: albinoni

                                    Good question... well with me one interest lead to another. I was making of survey of the various thalis served at local Indian restaurants, and that lead to my interest in buffets.

                                    I am a regular of the Dosa Grill weekday buffet in Franklin Park on Route 27. At $7.95 for a weekday buffet the price is right, and this includes a dosa of your choice of 4 types. I went to a week buffet there once and found too many Indian style Chinese dishes, like hot and sour soup and stir fry noodles. I prefer Indian dishes. Service is very good.

                                    I've gone to the weekday luncheon buffet at Akbar on Route 1 South, Edison. The ambiance is great, plush with tablecloths, and waiters professionally attired, but somehow the food missed the mark with me. It did not sing to me. It was all there, but empty. Service was good.

                                    I am a regular at the Coriander weekday buffet on Talmadge Rd, Edison. I love to make my own chatts there and their pickle chutneys are very good and the chefs here have a way with spices that is of a higher order than a place like Akbar. I don't recall the price of a weekday buffet, but it is reasonable (I think it is in the $7.95 range), but I did have their weekend buffet once, but toward the end of the 11:30-4pm time. The foods were dry at this point and I missed out on some items that were not replaced. But this was my own fault for going so late. However, there was plenty to eat and it was delicious. Meat is also available here.

                                    I am tempted to try a Sankalp weekday buffet soon, even though it is not really in a my weekday price range at $9.95. And I have gotten some ideas from reading the above posts for other places to try.

                                    -----
                                    Dosa Grill
                                    1980 State Route 27 Ste 3, North Brunswick, NJ 08902

                                    1. re: Lenio

                                      Coriander is not far from me--sound like it is def. worth a try. Thanx.

                                      1. re: albinoni

                                        Tried another buffet yesterday, Dimple Fast Food, in Iselin on Oak Tree Road. Their lunch buffet was $8.99 (sort of on the high price end for me for a weekday buffet). The ambiance was austere, but adequate. Molded plastic dishes are used with about 9 or so compartments for the various foods. I liked this because I was able to get all my choices in one shot. Sada dosa, coconut chutney, bread, and a most excellent chaat were brought to the table. I found the foods to be boldly spiced and the rice was a good quality basmati. Lately, I guess because of the price of rice these days, the taste of the basmati rice seems to be lacking in other buffets. The dal, sambar, vegetable dish, and spiced potatoes, etc. were very good. But Dimple's rice was very aromatic. I would return to this place, though the cost would be a consideration.

                                        -----
                                        Dimple Fast Food
                                        1326 Oak Tree Rd, Iselin, NJ 08830