Taste of India

An alternative to (increasingly disappointing) Dale’s in Durham? Yes. Taste of India (4215 University Dr.) is not the best Indian in the Triangle, but it might be the best in Durham.

First, the bad.  The lassi tasted like pure yogurt and the naan tasted like cardboard. The deterioration of the naan may have been the result of the 25 minute drive home, but still.

However, the chicken saag (basically chicken spinach curry) was delicious.  The rice was also unusually flavorful for Indian take-out. 

Hopefully we will have more menu insights soon, but right now this is the Indian spot to beat in Durham.

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Published in: on September 21, 2008 at 11:35 pm  Comments (20)  

20 Comments

  1. I’m excited to try Taste of India as well – I’ve been hearing good things about them.

    However, I think the prize for best Indian food in Durham goes to Spice and Curry (down in RTP on 54). They specialize in South Indian dishes – my understanding is that they’re owned by the same folks that run Udupi Cafe in Cary (which is a wonderful vegetarian south Indian restaurant). Anyhow, be sure to try the coconut fish curry, dosa (big crispy crepe like dish made with rice and bean flour) or sambar and idli (spice soup and small fermented rice flour cakes) – all great dishes that you don’t find at most Indian restaurants.

  2. I dine at their lunch buffet about once a week and have been impressed with the variety of dishes they have each time. The naan isn’t on the buffet, but instead a hot basket of it is brought to your table when you sit down. I currently prefer Taste of India over Sitar.

  3. kpw,

    Have you been to Spice & Curry recently? I heard that it switched owners in Aug. and that the quality of the food has decreased dramatically. I would love this information to be wrong as I haven’t been able to make it over there yet.

  4. Best in Durham? Not Sitar India Palace in Regency Plaza? http://www.sitarindiapalace.net/ My faith in CarpeDurham has been shaken.

  5. I have only tried Sitar once, and was not impressed. I will give it another try though (you know, in order to restore your faith). Do you have a menu recommendation?

  6. sitar’s a bit overpriced, given the other options you have in the RTP area.

  7. Bombay Grille on NC 55/54 is, in my opinion the best in Durham.

  8. Tandoor in RTP is pretty solid, as well – don’t know if it technically counts as “in Durham” but I lead a lunch charge down there at least once a month with some of my coworkers. Can’t complain about a place that has goat on the buffet. I’ve been wondering about this place, though – I’m going to have to check it out, now.

  9. I agree with Brandon above – Sitar is the restaurant that actually made me fall in love with Indian food. Whereas Dale’s is what gave me the long lasting impression that I would never like Indian food. Sitar all the way (and oh so veggie friendly!)

  10. Thanks for the blog and comments on Indian food. I’m no expert on anything about the continent, so it’s useful to me to have guides — even if they aren’t all in agreement 🙂

    One peculiarity about Indian food blogging is that many of their common recipes don’t look good on camera. (Same for Ethiopian food.) Click on my link for illustrative photos from Udupi (and some words and links to other Cary Indian) — even with the availability of greens, reds, yellows, and some silver and white for them to stand out against, I still think it all looks entirely bleah.

  11. Sitar is awesome! I love the Sunday brunch buffet with all the South Indian specialties like Dosas and Iddly. They’ll also have some regulars like Chicken Tikka Masala, as well. And I love the Mali Kafta…sp?? Mmmmm….
    Dales is terrible these days.

  12. I never understood the obsession with Sitar. I find it mediocre at best.

  13. My wife says the (and I can’t spell here) Chaana Saag. I went one weekend for the buffet and they were making a dish (I don’t remember the name) where they mixed rice and crunchy nuts and some other stuff (scallions, tomatoes, chickpeas). Yeah … I’m no help.

  14. Dale’s lunch buffet has been a disaster lately. I will definitely try Taste of India sometime. Sitar is my personal favorite though! It is expensive for the weekend dinner buffet but the weekday lunch buffet is around $9 and very worth it. I think their bread is always fresh and the vegetarian dishes are terrific. I really like malai kofta and the paneer dishes. Definitely support Sitar while that shopping center undergoes renovation.

  15. Eh, Sitar’s ok.

    Bombay Grille used to be my fave but their food grades have fallen to the basement. I heard that the chef at Taste of India used to be the chef at Bombay Grille – which makes sense bcs the food is so much alike. I’ll never go to BG again – they got an 86 this year.

    I LOVE Taste of India! In fact I’m going there right now

  16. It’s amazing to me that Tandoor in RTP is also owned by Dale, but the food is so way better. Dale’s on 9th has consistently disappointed me, and it’s a shame b/c Dale’s a great guy and Tandoor is one of my favorites.

    Agreed on Sitar being overated. Durham (ex-RTP) is in some serious need for good Indian.

  17. I have found Taste of India and Sitar India palace to br quite comparable. And teh reason is, both places has Bengalis (i.e., folks form West Bengal, India or from Bangladesh) working in the kitchen. Each has a few things in its favor though. TI is a little less expensive, the hot, fresh naan brough to the table is a nice touch, and as another poster mentioned they do a good job of offering variety in their lunch buffet. The downside is that their menu is very generic. Sitar’s advantage is that because one of the owners i South Indian while his wife is a bengali from Calcutta, they offer a mix of both South and North Indian dishes on their dinner menu and weekend deluxe lunc/brunch buffets.

    I am a Bengali myself so I know a little bit about the topic…

  18. Sant: I would love to get some menu recommendations from you (either for TI or Sitar). Will eat anything..

  19. Update: Taste of India is under new management. I had lunch there today and noticed that the selection on the buffet was much smaller than the last time I was there.

    Today, there were some salad items, some entrees, and one dessert. For salad, they had cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, some kind of sad-looking tomato wedges, and onions. Various pickled things and sauces were on display by the salad items. Entree options included chicken tikka masala (mildly soupy looking, but I did not try it), tandoori chicken, chicken saag, cauliflower-green bean curry, potato and pepper curry, and some kind of pea and cheese curry. Note that I have used the word “curry” for anything saucy. Both vegetable biryani and jasmine rice accompanied the entrees. There were also some onion pakoras and some dumplings in gravy. Dessert was rice pudding.

    The staff were extremely friendly, and seemed sincerely interested in my answer when they asked how the food was. I said it was fine (this was true), but that I had noticed a reduction in the number of options. The staff person told me that they have switched to a “quality v. quantity” model, and implied that the food is fresh every day.

    Frankly, I did not notice an uptick in the quality, but I was able to find enough good things to eat. The cauliflower and green bean curry was very good, and the rice pudding was deliciously creamy and not too sweet, unlike many Indian desserts I’ve tried.

  20. I thought something was different. I thought quality went down. Sadly, Taste of India has now closed. There’s a little sign on the door stating that they will open again, but I’m not so sure.

    They double billed my credit card once, too.


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