Palace of India
By Lydia on May 10, 2008 9:49 AM| | Comments (1)
Every time I drive down 28th street I am overcome with giggles. Why is every business named something excessively literal? World of Floors. Mattress World. Auto Zone. House of Blinds (and Drapery!) It seems like ethnic restaurants follow the same pattern of christening. We have Little Africa, Little Mexico, Bombay Cuisine, Pita House, and now Palace of India. Not that I am complaining too stridently, I am really damn happy to have another indian spot in moped-riding distance, especially one I didnt get fired from, but really guys, work on the names? I went to Palace of India on the rainiest tuesday ever. Andrew and I walked from our houses and met up on Fulton to get there. We were both soaked, though I had an umbrella. We attempted to share the umbrella for the remaining walk, which was innefective as Andrew thought I wasnt as wet as he was, and kept inching the unbrella from over my head. The Palace was pretty crowded when we got there, though we got a table immediately. We were, I think, scarily gleeful. Side note about my feelings on lunch buffets, and buffets in general. Ok, obviously the food isnt going to be as good as food prepared individually for each customer. That is a fact of food service. Apologies to Ming Ten and Old Country Buffet and hell, the San Chez Mothers Day Buffet Bullshit, but this is true. Making and holding huge quantities of food just does not do much for quality. That said, buffets can be fun, and they are a great way of using up leftovers in a kitchen! Just douse them in sauce and pawn them off of the luch crowd! Given this, the buffet at the Palace was good. There were six curries, rice, tandoori chicken, pakoras, salad, kheer and chutneys. All this was 8.99, about 4 dollars less than Bombay. Also, on a weekday at Bombay you do not get the chutneys included in buffet price, but must pay 2.99 for them if you want them. Starting from the begining, here are my capsule reviews. Salad: Not a green salad: very indian. So cut up veggies is what you get. Hard to review. Tandoori Chicken: Moist enough, which is difficult to accomplish as it tends to dry out quite a bit on buffet, but less flavorful than I'd like. Needs to be garnished with more lemons. Butter Chicken: Good, if not my favorite thing. Creamy and tangy, and carries just a touch of heat. Goat Curry: Large chunks of meat on bone. Sauce is incredibly rich, I am guessing that is the bones talking. Goat is tender to point of falling apart in your mouth. Really good. Saag Paneer: Canned spinach, I believe, which is pretty standard. Again, nice touch of spice. Paneer chunks are softer than I am used to, and this makes me like them more. Here is a secret, I don't really like paneer. It reminds me of tofu and I don't really like tofu. Its ok and all, but I always feel like "why bother?" Veggie Korma: Again with the spice. I love that the Palace has the balls to put some chillis in their buffet. Veggies seemed frozen, and there was a dominant flavor of corn, which I didn't care for. Texture of vegetables left something to be desired, they tended toward mushiness. Daal: Its daal, what do you want from me? Soupy as all hell. Soy curry: Spongy tofu-y balls that made me want to spit my mouthful out. Yuck. Just yuck. Kheer: Seems to be made with half and half instead of regular old milk. Decadence? Sickening? You decide! Also, they let us buy a plate to go! Bombay wont let you do this! We brought goat curry and saag and such to Herm, and he told me the next day the he had dreamt about how good it was!! This is a glowing review!! So generally I like this place. I am very excited to see what the dinner menu looks like. I need some more basis for my judgments, but I think it is going to be awsome.

Taking about names, my favorite Punjabi restaurant in New Delhi is called the Colonel's Kababs. There are a couple of branches with lots of pictures of the Colonel and his troops in the field. I don't know if he was the guy who did the cooking or if it was his retainers but it's a great place. They do amazing Paneer kabobs; its like roasted, spiced cheese.