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Fearless Critic restaurant review
New Haven
Food
Feel
Price
7.1
4.0
$25
Indian
Casual restaurant

Hours
Sun–Thu 11:30am–10:30pm
Fri–Sat 11:30am–11:00pm

Features Delivery, kid-friendly, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

Upper Chapel Area
65 Howe St.
New Haven, CT
(203) 776-9010
India Palace
The Indian lunch buffet taken to the next level

We have raised India Palace’s food rating since the last edition of our restaurant guide. The food has been more consistent lately, with the typical Indian gravies and curries coming out with depth and clarity. There’s nothing groundbreaking going on here, but there’s extreme bang for your buck at the lunchtime buffet—where it’s way too easy to over-gorge to the point of physical discomfort. It’s a good deal, considering that you can conceivably reap an entire day’s caloric nourishment from the spread.

Vegetarians and carnivores will both be pleased by the options. Chicken tikka masala—entry-level Indian for the ages (and once famously named Britain’s national dish)—is as it should be: creamy, tomatoey, and delicious. Saag paneer, too, is texturally spot on. Vindaloo is perfectly competent, as is lamb rogan josh. Naan is chewy and gooey in all the right ways.

As for feel, nothing much has changed there—we’ve scarcely seen worse décor. It’s as if you tried to fashion an Indian restaurant out of a deserted high school classroom, and then stopped halfway through. The emptiness of the room makes the blank white walls seem all the blanker. When you peer in through the front windows—even during the lunchtime buffet, at India Palace’s busiest time of day—the atmosphere seems to have a tangible effect on the emotional states of the customers. Otherwise gregarious groups seem somehow disconnected, and even couples in love seem lonely. Servers, at least, are a friendly bunch.

New Haven might be saturated with several similar Indian-American joints, but India Palace is a winner, especially because Indian food is particularly well suited to the lunch-buffet steam table, which is where this place shines; the long period of time spent simmering only intensifies the flavors. Throw in an Indian beer, and you’re in business.

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