Indian weekday buffet lunch in the Village?
Ahah, you've come to the right place.
Easy answer is: They're all bad. Indian food+hot plates usually= bad idea.
However, they are also one of my guilty pleasures when I feel like having some saag with my tikka and not paying 24.50 for it.
My (bad) guilty pleasure is Indian Taj, since it's by me (Bleecker bet. Sullivan and MacDougal). The food is acceptable if never great and the service gives you water on time and doesn't glare at you, which is about as nice as can be said.
Ghandi Cafe (Bleecker bet Cornelia and 7th Ave) also does one if I recall. They are explicitly Indo-Pak, so they might do their goat some more justice if that's your bag, though my experience with them has been mixed as well.
Finally, an actually fairly good and interesting lunch buffet is to be found over at the Leela Lounge (3rd and Broadway). This one's actually a fairly new development, but everything I had there (except the corn palak kebabs) was very good. Most importantly, they insisted on bringing me fresh, buttered naan as opposed to the dry stuff you get in most buffets. Classy, I think.
These are all, necessarily, not transcendent. But they do fill my Indian buffet urge I seem to get on a bi-weekly basis.
Let me know what you think!
re: Nick F.
"They're all bad" is probably a safe answer, and I'd certainly include Gandhi among the category of bad restaurants, and ergo, bad buffets. anooks, if I were you, I'd go to a really cheap place patronized by cabbies, like Punjab, on 1st St. between 1st and A, where they don't have a buffet but do have a bunch of dishes that you order and then they nuke for you. The best of those kinds of places (like Punjab) are pretty decent and quite cheap. I know there must be similar places in the (West) Village, but I don't have any experience with them.
Truth be told, I do know a pretty good Indian place with steam trays. It's on 31 St. between 5th and Broadway, though, which doesn't help you.