One of my goals for 2013 is to try more Indian restaurants in Buffalo. Personally I’ve only visited two locations and I’d definitely like to explore the cuisine more. I decided to take Rachel Fix Dominguez’s recommendation and check out North Buffalo’s Taj Grill as my next Indian restaurant; you can read her review in Buffalo Spree here. My brother and I visited on a slow Wednesday night for dinner, the dining room was mostly empty and we were seated right away.
The restaurant has a large dining room which is very clean and well designed. It’s not hard to see that the restaurant is relatively new (opened in May 2012). Tommy and I looked over the very large and very intimidating menu, I was hoping the buffet would be open and we could just try a bit of everything but that night it was not. Instead we ordered a couple appetizers, some naan and a sampler platter. We tried to cover as much ground without going broke or eating ourselves into a coma.
- Restaurant Type: Casual, Lunch Buffet
- Cuisine: Indian
- Location: North Buffalo
- Prices: Appetizers $3-9, Entrees mostly $10-15
We started the meal off with a couple dishes that really anyone could enjoy; Lamb Samosa, Gobi Pakora (fried cauliflower), Onion Bahji (fried onions). The restaurant was particularly busy that night with take-out orders, so our appetizers took a while to arrive and came the table one after another instead of all at once. The waiter was incredibly apologetic but I think the pace of the meal actually worked out, Tom and I were really able to focus on one dish at a time and enjoy ourselves.
The Lamb Samosas (2 per order) were absolutely loaded with ground lamb, which had a nice kick of spice. They were a little bit larger then most of the samosa’s we’ve had in the past, so just one order (of 2) would be enough to share with a friend. My only complaint was that lamb was a little dry, but the sweet and sour dipping sauce and flaky outer crust helped overcome the texture. The Gobi Pakora had a very light layer of chick pea batter that gave the cauliflower a nice crunch without being too greasy. The Onion Bhaji tasted like a mix of onion rings and home fries. They were pretty greasy, definitely an interesting order but probably not one we’d revisit.
The Keema Naan was fantastic, warm freshly cooked naan that was filled with beef and spices. It was a little too thin and flimsy to eat with our hands, but using a fork and knife seemed to work out and made dipping into the side of Dahi (yogurt) even easier. Tom and I ordered the Taj Grill Special to share and sampled a variety of grilled, seasoned meats. It came on a sizzling hot skillet and had pieces of Chicken Tandoori, Shrimp Tandoori, Chicken Tikka and Boti Kebab (mutton). Again, all of the meats had really good flavor but some were a little bit tough or dry (especially the boti kebab). The chicken and shrimp tandoori had a little heat but in-retrospect we should have ordered something spicier. The side of beef curry had a really nice kick and was delicious when used for dipping pieces of naan or spooned over rice.
For under $40, my brother and I had a nice variety of Taj Grill’s menu and the perfect amount of food that just bordered on over-eating. I’d love to go back with a larger group and try to order more dishes and do some ‘family style’ dining. Both Tom and myself enjoyed our meals but perhaps we didn’t order some of the more ‘impressive’ dishes because we were not blown away. I’m looking forward to trying out more Indian restaurants this year and getting a better idea of the cuisine and Western New York’s offerings. But in the mean time, given the close proximity to my house, the nice interior, friendly service, good Indian beer selection and good food, I will definitely be checking out Taj Grill again.