Sunday, June 5, 2011

Royal Palace

White Plains,
It would seem that with a retooled menu, royalty has returned to the Royal Palace in White Plains.  I used to come here several years back, but the food, unyielding in monotony, had driven me away.  But this afternoon it was different—somewhere along the way they changed the menus and upgraded. 

The lunch buffet has a wide variety of choices.  Spend some time on the appetizers. Too many customers head quickly for the curries--they know not what they miss.  Ask Abdul, one of the managers, to make you a dosa—he is from Kerala, he has been making the dosas for years, and he gives them a touch of perfection.  Grab a few alu tikkis (potato fritters) from the big black tawa (a heated flat cast iron skillet), go easy on the dipping sauces for it screws up the taste.  Make yourself a chat or a bhel puri.  Savor this gently, go for a few more helpings, forget about the curries for now. Some Manchurian Gobi (cauliflower) arrives magically, the name signifying some ill-defined chinese inspiration (Manchurian Gobi, though not quite Vindaloo level in recognition yet, is fast catching up as a popular dish).   A bit heavy on the grease, but tastes good. Have some dahi vadas, potato filled vadas in a sea of spicy yogurt laced with tamarind, you get a khatta mitha feel where different spots on your tongue feels sweetness and sourness simultaneously, bewitching in effect, like being hit by both sides of a swinging pendulum at the same time.  There were new appetizers that I had never seen, new creations that may need a bit of smoothing around the edges, chilli idli, not a great sub for the regular ones, spinach sprout chat –wonderfully khatta mitha, just a bit short on the sprouts.

This is not to say that the curries were not up to snuff.  Goat meat was a pleasant surprise, the puris were good.  This is all that I could get myself to taste after splurging on the appetizers, and ended my meal with some ginger tea.  I will be back here in another 2 months.
ROYAL PALACE on Urbanspoon

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