All India Sweets & Restaurant

All India's vegetarian buffet was featured on a few deal sites for $4 per person, which sounded like a really good deal. I had doubts as to whether there would be any traps, but I'm happy to report that my experience overall was satisfactory. The food selection was quite limited with a small salad bar and a few choices of hot food. I didn't touch the salad section though because it looked quite messy.

Now for a closer look at the hot foods. There was rice on the far end which was a good thing because curries and other Indian dishes are no good without rice. The brown stuff beside it was made of beans and tasted like watery chili. I didn't like it much, but Mom seemed to enjoy it. The yellow curry had pieces of fried vegetable pakora inside, but I think they should have served the pakora and curry separately. I picked up my first piece of pakora when one of the servers brought a tray fresh from the kitchen and it was nice and crispy. When I returned for more later, they were soggy and mushy from sitting in the curry sauce for too long.

The naan, just like the pakora, did not taste good when it was not fresh. My first piece was stale and hardly warm, but the freshly baked naan they brought out was warm, soft and fluffy. The paneer and peas right next to the naan was one of my favourite dishes. I loved the soft squeaky cubes of cheese in sweet and spicy curry. Another of my favourites was the curried cauliflower on the lower right of the picture below.

The papadums were browner than the ones I've had in the past, so I think they were slightly more roasted. They were crispy and a bit salty, but there was no depth to the flavour. At the end of the table next to the papadums were 2 Indian desserts that rounded out the buffet selection. The gulab jamun was unbearably sweet. Biting into one of these was like biting into a lump of pure sugar. The spherical donuts were completely soaked through with syrup that oozed out with every bite. I'm sure people with a major sweet tooth would really enjoy them, but they weren't for me. As for the pale yellow liquid beside the gulab jamun, I took a rather large serving because I thought it was soup. Boy was I surprised when I tasted it and found it cold and sweet. It tasted just like condensed milk with the consistency of yogurt. I just googled this dessert and I think the name is badam kheer, a sweet drink made by cooking milk with sugar and ground almond. That's the exact recipe for condensed milk! Well apart from the almond, but close enough. I couldn't actually taste the almond anyway.

I ordered a mango lassi ($3.50) on the side, but unfortunately it was one of the worst I've had. All I could taste was the strong tartness of the yogurt. There was absolutely no hint of sweetness. The flavour was very flat and I could barely taste the mango.

I should also mention that the metal food trays and cutlery were extremely dirty. The stacks of trays beside the buffet table were wet and most of them had bits of food still stuck to them. I had a really hard time looking for a tray with no leftover food crumbs, especially since I felt embarrassed about being so picky with other diners watching me. I think the kitchen has been so busy accommodating all the new customers using deal vouchers that they could not find time to wash the dishes thoroughly. Hopefully this is not the usual cleanliness level... Of course for the price of $4 per person, I'm willing to look past this and other issues. But to be honest I wouldn't come here at the regular price of $9.95 because the food was all vegetarian, there was not a lot of variety, and none of the dishes really stood out.

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  1. I went there almost 13 years ago and again a few years ago(to give it another try) and both times, I found the food to be "watery" with none of the intense flavour usual with Indian cuisine. I wouldn't pay 9.95 either, I've had better Indian food buffet with meat dishes, its also twice the price. However, I also tried the a la carte menu recently (I live in the area) and I found that to be much better. Perhaps it was because it wasn't vegetarian and I ordered what I usually like (Butter Chicken, chicken tikka, chicken vindaloo etc.) Re the cleanliness issue, I also had dirty cutlery this time. Although I won`t have dinner there again, I still buy the samosas for take out, its cheap and pretty good. Plus I figure frying kills everything.

  2. You're right about the food tasting "watery" and not very intense in flavour. This place definitely will not come to mind when I'm planning on going out for Indian food. But since you live in the area, it's probably convenient for you to get take-out. The good thing with deal vouchers is that you get to try eating at places that you otherwise would never visit. As I said, it wasn't a bad experience for $4, but the cleanliness issue is enough to discourage me from going back.


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