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Flavor of India At Plainsboro Plaza
Flavor of India, the newest Indian restaurant, has
in the space formerly occupied by the New Delhi at Plainsboro Plaza,
and its owner, Surinder Singh, is also co-owner of the neighboring
Crown of India, at Princeton Meadows. "At Flavor of India we keep
two kinds of food, northern and southern, and at Crown, there is only
North Indian," says Singh. For instance, he offers the South
Dosais, thin savory crepes made from a fermented batter of rice and
lentils and served with coconut chutney. Singh says that the $8 lunch
buffet compares well to Crown’s at $7 because it is "a very big
On a recent Monday, accompanied by Dipti Sinha, a programmer who works
at Cylogix on Washington Road, we tried it out. A native of Mumbai
(formerly known as Bombay), Dipti is a good cook with definite
about area restaurants. When we were there, just a handful of tables
were occupied, but Mondays are slow for most restaurants, and the
service fit the mood — pleasant, but leisurely. With its subdued
lighting and paintings of maharajahs in elaborately carved frames,
the new decor seems more appropriate for saris than jeans.
Our friend Dipti was, indeed, pleased by the buffet choices offered.
Too often, she says, a buffet offers an unidentifiable melange of
curries. This one had three meat entrees, including the ubiquitous
Tandoori chicken, and three vegetarian entrees. And the recipes were
not drenched in oil.
The vegetarian entrees featured on the buffet would be $9 or $10 if
they were ordered a la carte. Two of the three have a minimum of oil
and therefore qualify as heart healthy: Dal Makhani (black lentils
with tomatoes, garlic, and ginger, simmered overnight) and Channa
Masala (chickpeas with herbs and spices in medium-hot sauce). Muttar
Paneer has more fat because it has homemade cheese (cubed and fried)
in it, along with fresh peas. The cheese seems to be a specialty here;
other varieties are flavored with coconut, served with a delicate
creamy sauce, or combined with spinach.
Tandoori dishes are good for heart healthy diets because they are
marinated in yogurt and spices (no oil) and baked in a clay oven.
Chicken Tandoori was the featured meat on this buffet. For dinner,
it costs $11 for a half portion and $16 for a full portion.
Also on the meat side of the buffet, and rather rich for some tastes,
was the Chicken Makhani (boneless chicken in a tomato sauce with
and cream). It would be $11 on the dinner menu. Not quite so rich
was the Lamb Saagwala (morsels of lamb in minced spiced spinach),
which would be $12 on the dinner menu.
Aloo Tikki (a potato pancake) was a favorite of my friend ("not
too oily") and she also liked the dessert, Gulub Jamun, soft
balls dipped in honey syrup, served on the buffet but available for
$2.95 a la carte. "Just like my mother makes," she said. Also
popular for dessert at that price are Kheer (rice pudding with
and pistachios) and Rasmalai (cottage cheese patties in reduced milk
with cardamom and pistachios).
Basmati rice, raita (the cooling yogurt dip), and Naan bread completed
the buffet. We also ordered Mango Lassi yogurt drinks — a must
for soothing an over-spiced palate — at $4 each, so the bill for
two was $24.
by Barbara Fox
Plaza. 609-936-8484. North and South Indian cuisine. BYOB. Surinder
Singh, owner. Chef: Panalal Sharma.
Open daily for lunch and dinner. Weekday lunch buffet,
$8. Dinner buffet on Tuesday and Sunday, $11. The brunch buffet on
Saturday and Sunday includes a South Indian entree and costs $9. A
combination dinner for two is $35, and a three-course vegetarian meal
is $12. Reservations and credit cards accepted. Wheelchair accessible.
An elegant look and an exotic feeling: pink napkins
on glass-topped tables, cushiony leather booths, colored lights behind
traditional cut-out valances, quietly energetic ethnic music —
Crown of India provides an atmosphere that sets it apart from your
standard dining experience. Something else that sets Crown of India
apart is the service. If you don’t see it on the menu, ask for it.
They will make your food as spicy as you dare order.
You get a lot for your money here, which may account for the
of this place. Just one of the combination trays — with soups,
breads, and lots of little dishes plus rice — could be enough
for two people, and it costs $17, or $14 for the vegetarian version.
The daily lunch buffet is $7, a dollar cheaper than most places,
Flavor of India, another restaurant under the same ownership. That’s
partly due to the fact that Crown’s menu concentrates on just one
The menu effectively describes the dishes for the novice. Chicken
Mango, for instance, is a fancy, rich dish said to be a favorite of
Indian bureaucrats, while Lamb Pasanda (with a North Indian sauce
of poppy seeds, cashews, almonds, and herbs) is "a favorite of
Indian Maharajas." Punjab dishes include Bhindi Masala (okra with
onions and tomatoes) and Gaigan Bhartha (roasted eggplant with peas,
tomatoes, onion, ginger, and garlic). Tandoori chicken is $11 for
a half serving, $16 for a full serving.
Fair warning is given for spice, as with Chicken Vindaloo, a Goan
special — vinegar marinated chicken cubes in a hot, spicy coconut
and tomato sauce.
All the soups are $3. Try Mulligatawny (lentils and vegetables), tangy
Tomato Rasam, or fresh grated coconut cooked in milk with almonds
and pistachios. Lassi drinks are $2.25; a mango shake is $2.95.
Meadows Shopping Center. 609-275-5707; fax, 609-275-9503. Indian
BYOB. Surindar Singh and Kewal Singh, owners.
Lunch and dinner daily. Reservations and credit cards
accepted. Wheelchair accessible. No smoking. Private room up to 40.
Entrees from $9 to $17. Multicourse dinner for two, $35. For one,
$17. Vegetarian dinner, $14.
Innovative Indian cuisine with an emphasis on fresh,
local, and organic ingredients is the goal at Masala Grill, and it’s
a promise that is largely kept. Originality marks the menu that
a variety of low-fat, healthy choices, meats, fish, vegetarian, and
vegan dishes, creatively seasoned and attractively presented.
Prices are slightly higher than average, but servings are generous
(our excellent Salmon Tikka, $14.95, could have served two). The
is just one of the "Sizzlers from the Clay Oven;" Masala also
offers a Portabella mushroom, cauliflower, and free-range Chicken
Tikka sizzling on an iron dish insulated with wood. For a fine
of this fare, the Mixed Tikka Sizzler ($14.95) from the appetizer
menu is ample for two to four starters.
A generous lunch buffet, at $10, includes soup, salad, appetizer,
two rice items, three vegetarian and two meat or fish entrees,
and breads. A la carte lunch items might be chicken or salmon tikka
salads or sandwiches ($7.50 to $10), or go for the express masala
lunch, which includes green pea pullao (with a choice of rice), a
curry, pappadam (bread), salad, and raita (cucumber/mint yogurt).
The vegetarian version is $6. Mango lassis are $4.
Lovers of cuisine from the western region of Goa should know about
the fish curry (salmon or shrimp in coconut, tomato, and ginger sauce)
at $15 and $18 respectively.
This is the closest restaurant within walking distance to McCarter
Theater; service can be a little slow, so allow extra time. It’s worth
— Nicole Plett
fax, 609-921-2857. Indian cuisine. BYOB. Suchitra Patel, owner.
Open daily for lunch and dinner. Daily lunch buffet,
$10. Reservations and credit cards accepted. Wheelchair accessible.
No smoking. Entrees priced from $9 to $15.
The name means "College Corner" and decorated
with an unlikely mix of college banners and Indian folk art, Kalluri
Corner has created a niche for itself with the college crowd.
upstairs or downstairs dining, white tablecloths, and moderate prices
(most entrees $10 to $15) make it a popular gathering place for groups
and couples. It has 20 seats downstairs, 70 upstairs, and in this
season the outdoor balcony is an attractive option. "Good value
but not exciting" is how one of our critics describes it, but
for an Indian friend from Calcutta, Kalluri is his current favorite.
Menu offerings include a tender Lamb Rogan Josh ($12) and a savory,
sizzling Lasan Fish Tikka ($14). Appetizers are something of a
($4 and $5) and include Mini Samosa and South Indian dishes.
entrees are all under $10, and any of the menu’s six bread choices
($3) generously serves two. Tandoori Lobster at $22 is the most
item on the menu. A lunch buffet is $9.
— Nicole Plett
fax, 609-688-8926. Saro Ramasamy, owner. Indian cuisine. BYOB.
Lunch and dinner daily. Reservations and credit cards
accepted. Entrees priced from $8.95-$21.95.
The handsome menu invites diners on a culinary journey,
and indeed it offers an amazing variety of taste treats from all
of India. It is very popular with expatriates and other devotees of
Snack on lentil donuts steeped in yogurt, topped with a sweet and
sour tamarind chutney, sprinkled with fresh coconut and mustard seed,
$4. Then choose from Chicken Vindaloo, at $13, or Lamb Pasanda, with
lamb marinated and vacuum-simmered in a mild yogurt sauce flavored
with onions and tomatoes, $14. The Tandoori mixed grill is $18.
The flavor of fenugreek stars in Methi Macchi, a fish dish from the
western seaboard, $14, and in Alu Methi, which combines potatoes and
fenugreek greens, $9.95.
From the Kerala area, try seasoned fish fillets in coconut sauce
with fresh curry leaves, $14. South Indian Dosai (crepe) platters,
an unusual offering, served piping hot with a choice of fillings,
are $8 and $8.50. A "lunch box to go," including Naan bread,
Basmati rice, and salad, is $6 or $7, with tandoori items and seafood
fetching the higher price.
Passage’s buffet is $9 for weekday lunch, $2 more on weekends. The
dinner buffet is $12. On Wednesdays the buffet features Chaat, an
array of vegetarian appetizers. Lassi drinks cost $4.
Shopping Center. 609-637-0800; fax, 609-637-0880. Indian cuisine.
Amit Kapadia, manager. Chef: Anil Gomes.
Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Sunday. Liquor
license, full bar with smoking allowed. Reservations and credit cards
accepted. No smoking in restaurant. Private room for 30 to 140 people.
Entrees priced from $10 to $18.
Palace of Asia has a liquor license, which makes it
suitable for a leisurely business lunch. It is distinctive among area
Indian restaurants in that additionally serves American fare —
burgers, chicken fingers, fish and chips — ostensibly for
but it also means that group can meet here for a business purposes
without offending traditional palates. Perhaps this catering to
taste account for the comment, by one of its managers, that most of
the customers are Caucasian.
The Tandoori mixed grill for two, $17 on the appetizer menu, is a
healthy, low-fat choice that arrives on a sizzling platter. Also low
fat is Aloo Palak, potatoes cooked in spinach and spices, $10.
Chicken dishes are favorites as well — 13 varieties, all about
$13. Choose from many different sauces: coconut/peanut/sesame, cashews
and raisins, garlic/ginger/tomatoes, tomatoes/green peppers/onions,
cream with coriander, coconut cream with raisins and cashews,
Combination dinners for two people are $45, but there is no lunch
or dinner buffet. On the a la carte menu, you will probably want such
extras as Raita (yogurt and cucumbers $2), breads, pickles, and other
South Indian dosai, the little pancakes, are offered for lunch on
Saturdays and Sundays. Most dessert items sell for $3.50, about 50
cents more than elsewhere. Gourmet ice cream is $4.50, and the
a Persian drink of rose-flavored milk with tukmuria seeds and ice
cream is $5.50. A mango lassi is $4.25, and iced tea is $1.75.
fax, 609-987-1061. North and South Indian cuisine. Liquor. Sukhdev
Open daily for lunch and dinner daily, with South Indian
dosa (crepes) served for lunch on Saturday and Sunday. No smoking.
Entrees priced from $10 to $17.
Named after an historic port city in Kerala — the
southwestern coastal part of India that has a very high literacy rate
— this restaurant tucked into Franklin Towne Center’s outdoor
mall offers cuisine not only from Kerala but also from other parts
of South India.
A favorite is the traditional palappamm, a light, crepe-like pancake
made of rice flour and extract of palm and vegetable oil in a batter
made of fermented palm — or even beer. It goes with meat or
stew, $18. Or try the Kerala fish curry or mixed vegetable curry with
mashed spicy yucca, called kappa ($16). Call in early for the Kadala
curry (black chick peas) or fish molee with puttu — steamed rice
flour flavored with coconut flakes, $16. No fewer than nine different
breads and five soups are on the menu.
Asked about south India’s reputation for rich food, the manager agrees
that coconut milk is a standard flavoring but that "only a little
corn oil is used," and canola oil can be used by request. For
a heart healthy entree, choose a dish that is cooked in the tandoori
charcoal/clay oven, such as chicken ($9 or $15), Chicken Tikka
in spices & yogurt ($13), Tandoori Salmon ($18) or one of the lamb
kebabs ($13 and $15).
Special "chat" or "street food" appetizers include
boiled, boneless chicken chilled in a spicy sour mix ($4) and aloo
chat — diced potatoes, chick peas, and herbs in a sour/spicy
($3). Dosais, the thin savory crepes made from fermented rice or
batter, can be ordered from Tuesday to Thursdays.
732-422-1163. South Indian cuisine. BYOB. Sebastien Chirayil, owner.
Chef: John Joseph.
Open daily except Mondays for lunch or brunch and
Brunch Saturday and Sunday, $11. Outdoor tables. Wheelchair
No smoking. Private room for up to 32 people. Entrees priced from
$8 to $20. Dinner specials $11 to $13.
John Chandy hopes to change the way Indian food is
in America. Most Indian restaurants, he claims, use the same basic
sauce and add the appropriate flavors when the order is made, whereas
his curries and kormas and biriyanis are cooked separately. Chandy
packages the sauces in freezer portions for restaurants and retail
In addition Chandy serves his specialties at Forrestal Village’s food
court, Market Hall. Nicky’s offers both American and Indian dishes,
and Sadya (which means feast) will open nearby at that food court
restaurant. It will be limited to vegetarian cuisine, and banquet
service will be available.
Until then, at Nicky’s try Chandy’s version of a taco, now at an
price of 99 cents. He stuffs the familiar Mexican taco shell with
the usual onions and tomato but uses Indian cheese (paneer) and
cilantro for the lettuce. Taco choices include lentils, chick peas,
ground lamb, or ground beef with green peas in a spicy hot sauce.
For takeout dinner try the $9 Shrimp Theeyal, cooked in a sauce made
of ghee, shallots, and coconut, a specialty from Chandy’s native
A low fat choice, says Chandy, might be Kerala fish curry —
fish fillet in curry sauce made with carmelized shallots and tamarind.
Biriyani rice specials, with Raitha (the spiced yogurt) and pappadam
(crisp bread), are $6 to $8. Chicken and lamb curries and kormas are
$7 and $8. Mango lassis are $2.69. Side dishes are just 50 cents and
Market Hall. 609-520-1105; fax, 609-520-8337. Takeout and food court
dining. BYOB. John Chandy, owner.
This banquet hall, a favorite for weddings, can host
up to 800 people but also has a dining room and is one of the few
Indian restaurants with a cocktail lounge. It lists four Indian beers
($4) and such exotic drinks as the Ali Baba (rum, pineapple juice,
grenadine, and club soda) or a serious concoction called Sharibi —
rum, vodka, gin, tequila, scotch, lemon juice and coke, also
$4. Children and teetotalers get to choose from exotic juice drinks
called Batman and Crow’s Nest or the various lassi drinks, $3 and
For appetizers try the mixed grill for two ($8 for the vegetarian
version, $10 with lamb, shrimp and chicken). Or Aloo Papri Chaat,
a combination of wheat crispies, chopped potatoes and peas, tossed
in yogurt and topped with tamarind sauce ($3.50).
Among the tandoori specials are chicken ($11), lobster ($22), paneer
or cottage cheese ($11), and Malai Kabab — boneless chicken chunks
marinated in ginger and garlic ($13), all barbecued in the clay oven.
Among the vegetarian masala dishes — and masala refers to spices
in general, not to any particular spice — are Chana Masala (chick
peas with tomatoes) and Aloo Gobi Masala (cauliflower and potatoes
with ginger, tomatoes, and spices) both $10. In the Indian Chinese
section on the menu — which is more spicy than the usual Chinese
food — try Vegetable Manchurian, $9.
Manor Inn. 732-422-7700; fax, 732-422-7309. Cocktail lounge. Owner:
Woody Patel. North and South Indian and Indian Chinese cuisine.
Open daily for lunch and dinner, with weekday lunch
buffet, $9, $12 for the weekend buffet. Three private rooms for from
20 to 800 people. Entrees from $9 to $18.
Thursday evenings, when a special $11 buffet is served,
are popular here. The lunch buffet is $8 on weekdays, $9 on weekends.
Two shad fish dishes are listed, one in red pepper gravy, one in
sauce, $11. Tandoori chicken is $11, and Fish Tikka (swordfish steak
cooked in the clay oven) is $14. Five Kulcha ("stuffed" Naan
breads) are offered with fillings that include chicken, lamb,
cheese, and onions, $3 and $4. Mango Lassi drinks are priced low,
at Route 571, Windsor Hights Shopping Center. 609-490-0100; fax,
Northern and eastern Indian cuisine. BYOB. Sam Sanyal, owner.
Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations and credit
cards accepted. No smoking. Private rooms for up to 100 people.
$8 to $15.
Curry flavors are less numerous in Bucks County, but
Shano’s Indian Cuisine offers has been in Newtown for a decade.
Though it offers no buffets, its entrees are likely to come with side
dishes. For instance, the Tandoori items — barbecued over charcoal
in a clay oven and served on a hot skillet on a bed of onions and
green peppers — include a yogurt salad, basmati rice, and dal
(lentils). Prices range from $14 for chicken, $16 for lamb, $20 for
prawns, and $21 for a mixed grill. A specialty is shorba, a soup
with white chicken meat, $4. Requests for low salt, low fat, and
of spiciness are encouraged.
Among the 10 different breads are six Naan varieties, ranging from
$2.50 to $5, including onion, cheese, mushroom, chicken, and lamb.
The "do-piaza dishes" involve cooking the meat twice, $14
for the lamb, $13 for the chicken. The Aloo Gobi (cauliflower and
potatoes) is $11, as is the roasted eggplant and most of the other
vegetarian dishes. Raita (homemade yogurt and cucumber) is $3.25,
and lassi drinks are $3.50. Lunch and dinner daily except Monday.
Road, Newtown. 215-579-3000. Indian cuisine. BYOB.
credit cards accepted. Entrees priced from $10 to $21.
609-799-2715; fax, 609-799-4639. American cuisine.
The Bog’s menu changes with each season — selections
are made based on the freshest and most natural ingredients available
at any given time. The chef also presents nightly specials, aiming
to create pleasing sights and tastes.
Lawrenceville. 609-896-5995; fax, 609-896-0445.
Skillman. 609-252-0880; fax, 609-252-0099. Italian cuisine.
Center. 609-987-1234; fax, 609-987-2584. American cuisine.
609-924-7400; fax, 609-924-7070. American cuisine.
Shopping Center, West Windsor. 609-716-8983. Chinese cuisine.
fax, 908-359-8551. Japanese cuisine.
Way, 609-419-9699; fax, 609-419-9698. Catering.
fax, 609-921-9363. Italian cuisine.
609-924-3623; fax, 609-249-9118. Takeout, with pasta specialties.
Route 29 south, Trenton. 609-396-8878; fax, 609-396-5514. Spanish
fax, 609-921-2857. Indian cuisine.
609-921-7500; fax, 609-921-9385. American cuisine.
fax, 609-924-5170. American cuisine and seafood.
Hall. 609-520-1105; fax, 609-520-8337. Indian and American cuisine.
fax, 609-921-3091. Lebanese cuisine.
518), Rocky Hill. 609-683-8930; fax, 609-683-8931. American Southwest
732-422-1117; fax, 732-422-4688. Japanese cuisine.
Shopping Center. 609-882-3760; fax, 609-882-5451. American cuisine.
732-521-0070; fax, 732-521-0687. Regional American cuisine.
Featured entrees include Citrus-Coriander Crusted Tuna
Loin with Blood Orange Lie at $21.95. On Mother’s Day Stirling’s
a prix fixe menu or brunch buffet at $31.95. Call 732-656-8912.
fax, 609-520-8998. Chinese cuisine.
fax, 609-734-0910. Japanese cuisine.
609-897-7979; fax, 609-897-1204. Japanese cuisine.
609-683-3896; fax, 609-683-1981. Thai cuisine.
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