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Oct 14, 2013 06:40 AM

Review: Annapurna Gardens in Round Rock

We checked this place out after reading stellar reviews elsewhere (none here) and its fantastic. The Indian food scene has really opened up in our area in the past couple of years with Asiana south, and Dawaat and now Annapurna north. The chef personally came around to greet us and talk about his food - all Halal meats, all made fresh each morning. Lunch buffet and menus Tues thru Sunday. Free hot chai tea. The best dal in town, the best chicken tikka masala in town. And their chicken tikka is boneless some of the most moist I've had. This isn't a huge buffet line, but every dish is complexly flavored and well balanced. Not as spicy as Asiana, actually not much at all in terms of heat. But very good. Highly recommend this place for you round rockers. Especially since Chola has just gone bust in my opinion - last time I went it was nearly inedible to a tee.

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  1. I second this recommendation! Thanks for the reminder, slowcooked. I've only ordered off the menu since it was a weekend. Malai kofta and I can't remember what else. Both were excellent. Portions were huge too.

    1. thanks for mentioning this. looks and sounds good!

      your pics indicate the buffet doesn't suffer from the usual dried-out sadness.

      2 Replies
      1. re: dinaofdoom

        Not sad at all Dinaofdoom. I appreciated that they didn't try to overdo it and make everything from the same base gravy.

        1. re: slowcoooked

          it looks really fresh. lotsa buffets don't. definitely gonna check it out. mmmmmm indian.

      2. So I have to share my dining experience here from my second visit yesterday (Wed) for lunch. We arrived about 12:40 by necessity - a couple UT professors with a campus meeting that ended around noon. The food was fantastic again - and I swear this is the nicest (not drowned in cream) saag paneer I've had, ever. But I must admit, the lentils and chicken tikka masala and chicken 65 were on the room temp side. My advice - get there at 11:30 when they open (this is just good buffet behavior in general with hot food and untouched buffet spoons). But the chef comes around to ask us how we liked the food and remembered me and told us he fired his kitchen staff on Friday because they weren't cooking the food properly. Nicest seeming fellow but he's determined to provide authentic tasting indian food. When you go, be prepared to have a short, even if longer than desired, conversation with the chef. I didn't have the heart to tell him about the cool few dishes because I thought he might fire some more folks :-)

        1. Any idea on what the heck happened to Chola? Last time I went it had obviously gone downhill in a big way. The service was lacking, the food took forever to come out of the kitchen (45+ mins), and the quality was not nearly as good as it used to be.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Mike B

            Mike I haven't a clue. I used to really enjoy their lunch buffet. But I will never go back after my last experience and frankly am grateful that it didn't cause me to miss a few subsequent days of work it was so bad. The saag paneer that used to be really great even if a tad on the overly creamed side for me became this darkened old looking swill of a dish. I didn't go near it. The only thing my dining partner and I enjoyed that last visit was the goat curry. I wonder if they've changed chefs or something. Annapurna kicks Chola's ass all over the place - I hope their head chef keeps up the quality and consistency. Try Dawaat if you haven't on a Tues or Thursday (goat biryani days) or Annapurna if you're up in that area needing an indian fix.

            1. re: Mike B

              mike, i was actually going to post something about chola. we visited on saturday and it was dreadful. our nickname for the waiter was eeyore, because he was so glum and slow and pitiful. they ended up bringing us the wrong meal (meat version of the dinner for two instead of vegetarian). we're not veg so it would have been fine except the food was cooked very poorly. my friend was especially saddened by the subpar saag paneer.

              1. re: dinaofdoom

                Dinaofdoom they've just imploded it seems. They set the bar for Saag paneer first time I tried it a few years back, and now it's gross. I was wondering if my last experience a month or more ago was just a one off-er of awfulness, but apparently not. I will not return.

            2. To be fair I have now visited Annapurna three times and the last two were met with cold dishes on the buffet line. I've not tried the menu and have no doubt items from there would be hot, but the reason I like buffets despite what can be common failures is the chance to try different dishes without paying for 6 dinners worth of food when eating on my own or with one or two others. So chef will have to work on keeping the dishes piping hot. Flavors are on point - very nice. But he will lose customers over this issue if it's not fixed in short order. The tandoor kabobs, for example, were COMPLETELY room temp and we were there when it opened on Sunday. Chef makes his food daily and doesn't reheat, and even at a bug-inducing risk at room temp its better than Chola by a long shot and is nice and light. Dawaat just down the street doesn't have temperature problems and is consistently delicious (especially the goat biryani tues / thurs). If Annapurna's line could become hot, I'd prefer it to Dawaat by a slight margin.