Welcome Back, India Palace!

By on 6 January, 2014 in Food with 1 Comment

Note: We’re going to be writing about Indian food twice this week. First, we’re going to encourage you all to go see the recently re-opened India Palace. Tomorrow, we’ll introduce MML’s new food writer, Natilee McGruder. She’s going to talk to us about Indian cuisine for the home cook. Stay tuned!

Back in 2010, we wrote some things about India Palace, which was then Montgomery’s only Indian restaurant. Since then, Taste of India has taken root out in the East. We have not been there, but knew of many people that were quite fond of India Palace. Beloved for its bountiful buffet and delicious cuisine, the Palace closed its doors more than a year ago. Being stuck in a dead strip mall probably didn’t help business much.

A few months ago there were rumors, then a physical sign, and we are now pleased to confirm that India Palace is back in business just on the other side of the Boulevard, at 2801 E. Vaughn Plaza. That’s the shopping center housing Korea Garden (which we wrote up here) as well as the new Fung Mei (which we are really looking forward to trying).

This weekend, they ran an “opening weekend special,” where the buffet was $5.99. We went Sunday during the NFL playoffs, when we assumed it would be pretty dead. In fact, it was chock full of people, and the proprietors were doing a great job of keeping all the buffet bins full and steamy. We were so happy to have the restaurant back and also happy that the community was supporting it. We wish the owners a long and prosperous time at the new location.

The night we went, the vegetarian section of the buffet had fried vegetable fritters (pakoras), rice, naan (thin bread), paneer tikka masala (a home-made cheese in a tomato cream sauce), a vegetable korma (mixed vegetables in a kind of sweet-spicy gravy), dal (lentil soup) and aloo mutter (peas and potatoes). There was also a wheat pudding for desert, which we did not try. The meat section looked well-stocked, but we don’t eat any of that stuff, so we stuck to the near side of the buffet. If any of these menu item names are a bit strange, click our above link where we reviewed the place in 2010 and offered some still-useful insight into the basics.

Everything was quite good. We did, in fact, have all we could eat. We remain a little puzzled that the pakoras (as they were at the restaurant’s previous incarnation) are not full-sized fritters, but instead shredded little scraps of things similar to the bits of “fry” found at the bottom of a box of fried fish. Still, they are tasty little bits of debris. The aloo mutter was among the highlights of the offerings, with the potatoes absorbing a lot of flavors from the sauce.

We look forward to the start of menu service (this Tuesday), when we can get some of our favorite dishes with a little more spice to them than what’s usually found on the buffet. Cauliflower, eggplant and okra are all staples of Indian food that weren’t on the buffet during our visit, but hopefully will be delicious menu options.

The new space is nice, considerably nicer than the old McGehee Road space, with soothing decor and even a nice bar area. Our only atmospheric complaint was that the table nearest to us thought that it would be good to amuse their children with electronic tablets turned to full volume. We understand that iPads are easier than, say, teaching your child how to act in public, but if you have to give your child a digital sedative before taking them out to a restaurant, some headphones could enable their concentration without piercing ours.

If you’re curious about what they’ll have, we’ve uploaded their menu. It’s a two-sided PDF you can download here. Enjoy!

 

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with two cats, a dog, ten fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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  1. Jay Croft says:

    Count me in with the India Palace fan club! I’ve eaten there three times so far and will certainly be back for more!

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