Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Leptologists Eat at Taj Mahal

Paul: And where are we going today for lunch?
Candice: Um, The Taj Mahal.
Paul: That sounds like... Indian food.
Candice: It is.
Paul: I remember when you wouldn't even consider Indian food! Now we've done reviews of 3 Indian restaurants in the last 2 months: Amul India, Aab India, and now Taj Mahal.
Candice: Tastes can change, can't they?
Paul: I can't argue with that. Taj Mahal it is. Where is it located?
Candice: On High Street just north of Ohio State's campus. I've been there for dinner but not for lunch.
Paul: Parking is a little tough because of the one-way streets. High Street can be busy, but we find a place to park nearby.
Candice: The restaurant is situated in a remodeled house. It doesn't seem like a restaurant at all.
Paul: The inside is dimly lit.
Candice: That's because you just came in from the sunny outside.
Paul: We're led past an elegant dining room to the rear of the restaurant. In the back room is the buffet and about 10 tables.

Buffet View #1
Candice: It's 11:20 and we're the first ones here.
Paul: Shall we have the buffet?
Candice: We shall!

Buffet View #2
Paul: The buffet features salad, rice, pakora (deep fried veggies), Dal Makhni (lentils and beans), and cabbage and peas.
Candice: We are told that the Keema Lamb is a special today. It's minced lamb in peas and spices.
Paul: I also see my favorite Chicken Makhni, also known as butter chicken, Mali Kofta, Tandoori Chicken, Naan, and Souji Halwa, as dessert.
Candice: There's an array of chutneys and spices at the end.
Paul: For my first plate, I try the Chicken Makhni, Dal Makhni, Mali Kofta, and of course a piece of Naan.

Paul's Plate #1
Candice: For my first plate, I get the Tandoori Chicken, Peas and Cabbage, Pakora, Chicken Makhni, Keema Lamb, and Dal Makhni. And some chutney.
Paul: Can you get more on your plate?
Candice: Yes, yes I could, but this is a buffet and I can go up as many times as I like.
Paul: Point taken. Mmmm. This Chicken Mahkini is spicy, but oh so flavorful. It's very good.

Candice's Plate #1
Candice: The rice is done right. It's easy to mess it up on a buffet, but not here. I am not a lamb fan, but this Keema Lamb is excellent. The Pakora's cauliflower is yummy. It's not been overly fried, and the texture is perfect. The batter is crisp but not burnt.
Paul: I will have to try Keema Lamb. I'm not a lamb fan either. The Mali Kofta is even more spicy than the chicken. But the texture of the veggies is wonderful. I'm gonna need more water, but in a good way.
Candice: The Naan is crispy at the edge and soft in the middle. Seldom do we see a truly differentiated Naan, but this is very good.
Paul: Time for plate #2. Dal Makhni for me, and I'll try the Mali Kofta and the Keema Lamb.

Paul's Plate #2
Candice: The Dal Makhni is awesome. It's chock full of beans.
Paul: The lamb is mild compared to the other spicy dishes. It tastes like a ground turkey, but a little more pungent. I like it more than I guessed I would.
Candice: On my second plate I get more peas and cabbage, more Dal Makhni, more Keema Lamb, and more mint chutney.

Candice's Plate #2
Paul: I can't eat another plateful.
Candice: Really?
Paul: Oh, okay, one more plate.
Candice: This mint chutney is fabulous. And the peas and cabbage is great comfort food. The Mali Kofta has the best sauce of all of the dishes.
Paul: Plate #3 is just for my favorites: Chicken Makhni and Dal Makhni.

Paul's Plate #3
Candice: My second plate has filled my belly. I'm done.
Paul: What about the dessert?
Candice: Did you just say 'dessert'?
Paul: You know I did.
Candice: Fine, I'll try it. One bowl of the Souji Halwa, please.

Souji Halwa
Paul: I like this. It has a lemomy flavor.
Candice: It's so refreshing. Savory, sour, and sweet in the perfect combination.
Paul: Ah, that was good. Roll me back to the office.
Candice: You can roll yourself.
Paul: So, overall what do you think?
Candice: Overall, a great Indian buffet, with some dishes we haven't seen before. The flavors were complex and well-done. And even when the room was filled, there was no wait at the buffet. It's a win all around.
Paul: Yep, the $10 price tag makes this a value. Worth the price, worth the wait, and worth coming back, just not next time.
Candice: What? You're tired of Indian food?
Paul: A little.
Candice: I promise we'll do another cuisine next time. Maybe Southern Indian.
Paul: Argh!
Candice: Pakistani?

Candice   Paul   

Worth the Price?
Worth the Wait?
Worth Coming Back?

Taj Mahal on Urbanspoon

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