Fresh naan, gulab jamun–the dish that will delight any sugar-holic, authenticity to the nth degree, and a frugal feast fit for royalty in a family-friendly setting is found at Palace of India on Fulton Street. From the butter chicken to the goat curry, patrons will find a flavor of India to support passionately.
Palace of India opened in 2008 to a supportive community of those familiar with Indian cuisine and those discovering it. The daily lunch buffet is a steal at $8.95 and offers a taste of India. The buffet consists of eight chafing dishes of vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian food. This reasonably priced buffet comes with a basket of naan and chicken tandoori to nibble on. The dishes offered in the buffet are rotated daily. The buffet is mild in spiciness and the dishes ordered a la carte can be quite the spicy tearjerker but let the waiter know your comfort level and dishes can be adjusted accordingly.
In addition to the naan, my friends and I were given a garlic naan which is a garlic lover’s delight. The buffet offers a wide range of Indian food from this menu that mainly consists of food from the northern India region but ask for a menu. There are some items that can not be missed–mango lassi, gulab jamun, and masala chai. Plus, there is an extensive list of naan in case the plain flavor does not cut it.
Mango lassi is mostly mango and yogurt. I do not enjoy eating yogurt but in a lassi it is pleasurable. Palace of India also offers sweet and salty lassi. Gulab jamun is a sweet doughnut hole shaped dessert that consists of dough with milk solids in a sugar syrup flavored with cardamom seeds and rosewater or saffron. Masala chai is often mistakenly referred to as chai tea but chai is the Hindi word for tea. This masala chai is strongly spiced as any good chai should be. The service is unobtrusive and demure but perhaps a more attentive and noisy approach would be appreciated.
When I interviewed the owner, I was surprised to learn that Palace of India is a chain with two other locations, one in Las Vegas and one in St. Louis but in those cities, this Indian menu is found at India Palace. Don’t let the restaurant’s chain status disappoint you. The menus are not exactly identical and each chef takes great care to provide quality food and fresh ingredients. Come for a mug of masala chai and stay for the gulab jamun.