A couple of weeks ago, I visited Copper Chimney, an Indian restaurant down around St. Mary’s and Dakota. In between there and St. Philip’s is another Indian restaurant, Karahi of India. KarahiofIndia is located in what was for many years Dante’s. Both restaurants offer reasonably priced buffets, and have a good variety of items on their table service menus.
One marked difference between the two is the decor. Copper Chimney reflects the fact that the previous tenant was a fast food outfit, with nondescript tables and large, bright windows. Karahi, on the other hand, has rich woodwork and and intimate booths among it’s seating arrangements. The Bollywood videos playing on the television offering a romantic soundtrack to your meal(though not so much when dining alone).
As I said, the Karahi buffet is fairly similar to the Copper Chimney buffet. The biggest difference was that Karahi had a slightly larger selection of pickles, chutney, etc. Karahi also had Palak Paneer, one of my favourite dishes. The other thing that stood out at the buffet was that all the chicken was served on the bone. Every other Indian restaurant that I can think of, has served their Butter Chicken as chunks of boneless breast meat. Not so here, but I did really enjoy the bite it had. The Naan served with the buffet was thinner than some I’ve tried, but I rather liked the less doughy consistency.
I topped off my buffet offerings with a few Gulab Jamun in a bowl. I was able to scoop out enough syrup to make these moist, sticky and sweet.
The next time I dropped by, I decided I would order off the menu rather than go with the buffet. I started out with samosas and pakora. These were both a little bit disappointing. Both seemed a little on the overcooked side. I also got the impression that the cooking oil needed a changing. It is possible I just happened to hit on a bad day. I would definitely say I preferred the Copper Chimney samosas and sauces to the ones I had here.
For my main dish I went with the Chicken Vindaloo. The sauce was rich and thick, but again, wasn’t what I would call particularly spicy. Nonetheless, if was an enjoyable dish, and there was lots of sauce to enjoy with the rice, which was a basic basmati.
This time around, instead of sticking with water to drink I decided to have a Mango Lassi. This beverage is like a milkshake, but not particularly thick. It has a nice mixture of salt and sweet to it that makes it refreshing, but without being particularly filling. I tried several light settings, but I couldn’t quite get the pale yellow of the drink.
One thing I did really like about Karahii was the service. The server basically stayed out of sight but was by the table frequently enough to allow me to obtain extra water, etc.