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Apr 18, 2010 10:16 AM

Southern Spice...still very strong, makes me do vegetables

Went for the buffet on Saturday.
Vankaya(baby eggplant) masala, that is good stuff.
Veg korma was blah, at best. Looked liked a mixed vegetable frozen pack thrown in.
I do not know what authentic or proper is for this dish but green beans, corn, potato slurred
together do not do it for me.
There was another excellent veg dish but I did not catch the name. Nice heat to it. Thought it was another okra dish(have had a great one there before) but was not entirely sure to be honest about my ignorance. I was lazy and stupid to think I would be able to match it up from the menu.
Had mutton biryani also. I like the flavor of their biryanis.The mutton tasted fine but dried
out a bit in the buffet, I think. Also, the rice always seems a bit on the dry side but I do not know if this is proper for the dish or a slight problem in execution. It is not so much.The flavor is worth it even if there is an execution mistake. Seems like broken rice which is not my favorite.
Boneless chicken in some brown sauce was good, did not catch the name of that either.
I ate more servings of vegetables than I do in a month. Great stuff and for 10 dollars, worth the trek. Planned on ordering a couple of dishes to go but plans changed so that did not happen.
Only complaint, bring the naan at the beginning, please.
Also, strikes me as odd that nobody eats there until 1pm. Then a few people, by 130/2pm, getting towards full.
Best in the city, no doubt.

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  1. anyone ever tried their chicken tikka, and is it thigh or breast? and any comments on any shrimp dishes, or the boneless chicken in mint? thanks.

    5 Replies
    1. re: janie

      Chicken Tikka is good, the sauce is a little darker then usual. What bothered me was that the meat (thigh as best I remember) had NOT been skewered and cooked in the Tandoor then added to the sauce as it should be done. No hole in the meat nor nice char. It is not a dish I would go there for but when you have young kids along it will keep them satisfied while you eat the good stuff. The single best dish I have ever had there was the crab cake. It was not served in a very South Asian style but it was exceptional in taste.

      1. re: stuartlafonda

        thanks stuart--has anyone seen the indian blog site, that gave southern spice such a scathing review..they also, are pretty ruthless in their reviews of many other indian nyc restaurants, and even have an entire section devoted to their doh reports--it is indian run--they recently gave a thumbs up to a new place Cinnamon in the city, and had some nasty things to say about the ownership of Bhojan, and the dynasty behind's a very bitter site to read--and I wonder if anyone has checked it out--since they claim to have a lot of authority on the subject...

        1. re: janie

          Janie this is a hilarious website.
          Id say the reviewer had bad luck in his single meal , maybe the real cook wasnt around that day? Certainly dont agree withi his conclusions on this one tho I agree with some other judgements.

          . If the Cinnamon in the City is related to Cinnamon on Rte 10 in NJ it i may be ok - the NJ place has good not wonderful north indian style cuisine. They have one of the better buffets (veg and non-veg) in the Parsippany/Morristown area.

            1. re: janie

              i love that site; it is so funny!

    2. Was there on Saturday as well. Thanks for identifying the eggplant dish. I had praised that one on another thread, but never caught the name. I also dug the okra dish. I asked about it, by the way, and was not given a name, but was assured that it's not on the menu. The stewed, slow-cooking chicken dish is called Chicken Chetinnadu - the one dish whose name I managed to catch. I liked it fine - but consider it second tier at this place. I liked the other chicken dish, the one on the end, with onions. It went very quickly, I noticed. I also love the rasam soup here. It's served with the weekday lunch specials, as well as the weekend buffet, and it might be my favorite dish at Southern Spice. Wonderful depth plus nice peppercorn heat.

      Much like Bownie, the underrated Sri Lankan across the street, I have yet to see this restaurant ever filled to capacity. Then again, I've never been there past, say, 3pm on a weekday. I'm glad to hear that it ever fills up at all.

      Southern Spice
      1635 Hillside Ave, New Hyde Park, NY 11040

      143-05 45th Ave, Queens, NY 11355

      2 Replies
      1. re: Polecat

        Has anyone been there recently for a weekday buffet? Last time i went on a weekday it was pretty ordinary and not very "southern".

        1. re: el jefe

          No buffet on weekdays anymore. They have a lunch specials menu, the prices ranging from 4 to 8 bucks, pre-tax. It's whatever you get plus rasam, dhal and your choice of rice or naan. There are some more Southern-leaning dishes on the menu than on the buffet. I recently enjoyed a "southern-style" pan-seared tilapia this past week.

      2. I love that eggplant dish. (It's on the regular menu as Noona Vankaya Pulusu.)
        I'm not usually a fan of eggplant, but for some reason I go crazy over some Indian preparations of it.