Monday, February 11, 2008

Restaurant Review - Avani Asian Indian Bistro

The restaurant Khaarma was recently bought out and renovated, we thought to go check it out. A big sign proclaimed an Executive Buffet, costing $9.99, for a limited time, they asked us when we entered whether we wanted go for the buffet, we said yes. There were no other customers in the dining area when we arrived, though it filled up quickly about a half hour later. Perusing the menu we were given, we found that it was a different kind of buffet, there were no tables to go and choose your own, instead you choose from Starters, Mains and Sides, and afterwards a dessert. You could choose three each of five Starters (vegetable pakoras, tandoori chicken, potato roll, Manchow soup or fresh salad); three of the six Mains (four vegetarian and two meat); there were no limits on the Sides.

We each chose vegetable pakoras and Manchow soup (a Moroccan totally vegetarian spicy soup); I chose potato rolls and my beautiful Bride chose the fresh salad. The Manchow soup came first, it was quite delicious, though quite spicy. The vegetable pakoras were quite good, though they were cold (I suspect they were made earlier in the day, but at least they could have nuked them), and the potato rolls (mashed potatoes with peas rolled into cylinders and then fried) were quite good, and hot. The fresh salad had an interesting little oil dressing that pleased the palate of my beautiful Bride.

Being mostly vegetarian, my beautiful Bride chose three of the four vegetarian Mains, I chose the other of the chose, plus the two meat-based Mains. They arrived in small sterling silver bowls with two handles. The butter chicken and the lamb curry that I ordered were both delicious. The other one, a Karahi Paneer dish, with green pepper and curry, was also good. My beautiful Bride enjoyed the Karahi Paneer, also her Paneer dish, which was tomato-based, and her Dal Makhani, which is a black lentil dish. She would have liked her Saag Ghobi, which is fenugreek leaves (like spinach) and potatoes, but she found a foreign object in it that put her off. Otherwise, it was quite good.

The sides that we could have included a vegetarian chow mein, basmati rice, which was excellent with the other dishes, a raita or cucumber and yogurt, very sour, and garlic Naan, quite good, not excellent, but a good Naan.

Overall, we thought that the food was very good, and we could come back here. I don't know quite how much it would cost for the buffet when it comes off special, but, if it's not too expensive, it will be worth going than once in a while.

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