Seattle has it's fair share of Indian restaurants. Not at the level and quality of San Francisco, but in the running for the top on the west coast. And one of my all-time favorites was Tandoor which for decades operated in the north University District before seeing their building torn down and replaced by a cookie cutter mid-rise commerical/residential building.
One of my other favorite Indian buffets is served at the original India Bistro in Ballard. They're buffet is outstanding and one of the most affordable in increasingly expensive Seattle dining establishments. When they opened this Roosevelt location it meant, for me, being able to enjoy this fine dining without venturing deep into Ballard, now that Ballard is "hip" and parking requires driving around the block a few times waiting for an opening.
Imagine my joy to see that much of the Tandoor staff has moved in to India Bistro Roosevelt and raised the bar for what was already an excelent kitchen and waitstaff. Cooking up some of the most flavorful and fresh Indian food is Tandoor's former owner/chef, and I must say, he's kicked things up a notch.
I filed my first plate of salad, raita and snacks and returned to my table to find a piping hot piece of naan already waiting for me. On a side grill there are usually some nice veggie dish and some pakoras, and on the buffet itself there are at least four vegetarian dishes daily. Several salads and a good range of chutneys, as well as some meat dishes for the carnivores, rounds out the table.
Everything is fresh, hot and, unlike most Indian buffets in Seattle, flavorful. I miss the extra star of heat most SFO area Indian restaurants employ on their buffets, but India Bistro is spicier than many "family friendly" Seattle Indian joints. The dals are well rounded, saags are infused with the taste of fresh greens, curries complex, and my pet peeve: No bland raita! I could eat this raita by the soup bowl!
As usual, cool the palate with a cup of kheer and it's time to waddle off to the car, over-full again at a great all-you-can-eat buffet.
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