Dakshin v. Shalom Bombay
In an effort to establish the chowiest kosher Indian fleishig lunch buffet in NYC, I visited Shalom Bombay today (having previously been to Dakshin a number of times).
Shalom Bombay was very disappointing. Dakshin offers roughly 8-10 hot entrees (which typically include a lamb dish, a curry, chicken meatballs, several vegetable dishes and tandoori chicken in addition to salads and breads). S.B. had 3 hot dishes: one chicken dish, one squash dish and a cabbage dish, in addition to “da’al,” a bowl of onion fritters, tandoori chicken and a green salad.
The onion fritters were raw in the center and the experience of eating the grainy batter inside the fritter was just unpleasant. The chicken, which I think was a curry, was overcooked and the sauce bland. The table next to me was complaining about it so it’s not just me. The squash dish was a mush with little in the way of fresh vegetables. The cabbage mush was much like its squash cousin (they shared a brown sauce, had little flavor, no herbs, no ginger and little in the way of fresh vegetables). The “da’al” was just a liquid – no trace of lentil to be found; and I looked! Tandoori chicken was fine; it just happens not to be a dish I enjoy.
Dessert was tapioca (pudding?). It bore a strong resemblance to Elmer’s glue except the latter most assuredly tastes better. I would not usually order a pudding at a meat restaurant (though I have had some very good pareve puddings) and I advise avoiding this version, which had a strong chemical taste.
As to price, S.B.’s buffet is $2 more than Dakshin. They do accept credit cards, which Dakshin only does in-house for some ridiculous minimum, but S.B. will not be seeing my credit card anytime soon.
I have not been to Dakshin. Its location is terribly inconvenient for me. I have been to SB and though I wasn't terribly impressed, it was much better than you've described.
I actually enjoyed Shalom Bombay more than Dashkin. Granted I had the Dashkin buffet and ordered a la carte from Shalom Bombay for dinner, so it's not a fair comparison. But at minimum, I wouldn't let the bad lunch buffet experience deter you from going for dinner.
I recently attended a large event catered by Shalom Bombay, although I haven't been to the restaurant itself yet. It was wonderful Varied, hot, crisp, flavorful. I have been to Daksin twice and, once fo r the lunch buffet and twice for dinner, I liked it , too. i do like Indian food. And make it often at home, both dairy and meat versions.
Frankly, in those three meals I didn't see al lot to choose between the two. i liked them both.
I am a regular at SB NYC, and I get from the buffet often. I am sorry that your experience was so different then the ones I have had.
I enjoy the fritters, and like that they are not fried to oblivion, and lets you enjoy the vegetable for the flavor. They also, always have tandoori chicken in the buffet as well.
I still think it is the best bargain for meat lunch in midtown.
I have been to both buffets, and have been to both restaurants for dinner. I was not frum my whole life, and in my non-kosher days, I went to many Indian restaurants, especially in the "Little Indian" section of Manhattan (East 6th Street). I believe I know my indian food. To me, Shalom Bombay's food is significantly better than Dakshin's. Perhaps you went on an "off day." Also, as one person pointed out, Dakshin is in a very inconvenient part of town - 1st Avenue, between 63rd and 64th Streets, far from mass transit. By contrast, S.B. is in the heart of midtown. And, for a lack of a better description, there is almost a "trashy" ambience to Dakshin.