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Mar 29, 2012 11:17 AM

Lucky South Austinites: Asiana

Hit up the Asiana Indian food joint on the west corner of Ben White and 35 today for the lunch buffet and must say I loved it and it just might be my new favorite if the second visit turns out as wonderful as the first. It was a big surprise treat. I found out from over on Yelp that the owner is a former owner of Chola's, one of my favorites in the area but it's far for a work lunch. Inside Asiana is clean and simple with seating for I'd guess 60. The fare is mostly south Indian but they serve a flavorful and more peppery than average Chicken Tikka Makhani. The Naan was excellent and tender with just the right amount of burnt edge. The chutneys (cilantro, coconut, a red hot one, and lemon pickle, and the Raita, were all excellent. The pakoras were light and good and ungreasy. The chicken curry was brown, rich with ginger and chilli and thin like soup with chunks of chicken breast. That was my favorite. The sambar was lovely. They'll give you dosas if you ask, for free apparently. The saag paneer is like Chola's to a tee, and is the best version I've had in the USA. They had a great green bean dish with onions and these small tan seeds or nuts or legumes of some type that added a lovely crunch - Sarovar does a version of that dish too. It was fantastic, but less spicy and significantly less oily than sarovar's. The desserts were a standard but delish rice / vermicelli pudding (more like a soup) and a very good gulab jamun. The tandoori chicken was comparable to other places in town. MENU:

Two months into business they're putting out great food. Much less greasy on average than Sarovar and Chola's. None of their dishes felt heavy and none had floating oil in the pan. And after eating a pretty solid two full plates of food, I feel like working instead of sleeping. bonus. On the weekends they have several additional dishes e.g. Chicken Chettinad that I'm really excited to try.

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  1. Went there two wknds ago for buffet. Soooo impressed. My favorite is still
    Bombay Express (all vegetarian) up on Parmer and Lamar. But...we live south and this place knocked it out of the park. Like the prior poster mentioned, not too greasy-although I ate too much Cauliflower 65. Different than the standard buffet. We will be back!

    1. glad to hear as i live in rr and remember the old owner of chola.

      1. went to dinner here earlier tonight and was impressed with the food. the dosa was great, the lamb was tender, and every dish we had was a winner. sadly, only two other patrons were present while we ate. hope the place starts getting more popular.

        1. Run, don't walk to Asiana if you like south Indian specialties. The mysore masala dosa, sambar and chutney were as good or better than I ever had in south India (!) or in LIttle India on Lex Ave in New York City. If you've never had a DOSA, you should try it - crispy rice/lentil crepe stuffed with spicy potatoes w herbs and nuts. Also other stuffings, but that's the classic. The sambar and chutneys were generous too, not always the case. They offer small dosai on the lunch buffet as well. The staff are all Tamil, and really nice and attentive - like an experience of India in Austin. My other Indian food experiences here have been run of the mill - this was exceptional. Check it out 'cause "sappadoo nalla irrukuh" - the food is really good!

          But watch out - they are closing on Mondays as of April 9.

          1. Yeah, it's not been packed in my three visits yet. But I am committed to eating Asiana at least once a week. We've got to do our part to keep this kind of authenticity alive or suffer the clay pit type of consequences.