Aaron and I recently discovered another place in River City (that’s Richmond, VA) to get a great meal for not a lot of money. New India at 5516 Lakeside Ave. in Richmond is probably the best Indian food to be had in the city. The lunch buffet is about $8 per person and is available every day except Wednesday. Aaron and I have gone on two different Sundays, and the buffet items have been different both times, with the exception of a few items like pakoras, chicken tikka masala, jasmine rice, warm naan, and a variety of chutneys and sauces (I like the tamarind chutney and raita). Last Sunday, this is what my plate looked like:
At the bottom left, you see the famous dish of home-made cheese and peas, mattar paneer. This was really spicy and the cheese was mild and lovely. Next to that, you see a dish of various vegetables, including green beans, carrots, and potatoes. This is vegetable korma. On the upper right are three crunchy little vegetable pakoras, which I happily dunked into sweet, tangy tamarind chutney. In the middle of the plate is my favorite (Aaron’s favorite, too) thing on this buffet – the chicken tikka masala. It’s pieces of the most tender chicken EVER in that delicious orangey-red sauce. At the very top is some jasmine rice, though it got a bit washed out in the picture, and on the left is a piece of fresh, warm naan bread. Aaron can’t get enough of that stuff – he uses it to sop up all the yummy sauces and gravies.
Everything on the buffet was piping hot, and the staff never let any of the buffet items run out. Service was excellent. The first time I went here, I went up to the counter to pay (that’s how they do it there) and totally forgot to put a tip on the receipt. And yes, I definitely tip around 10% on buffets, especially since on this occassion our server never let our ice water run out and offered us fresh naan with each buffet plate. Our server didn’t bat an eye. He smiled and said, “Thanks, have a great day.” I realized I’d forgotten the tip halfway through the door, whipped around, and added the tip, apologizing profusely. I was impressed with his ability to remain friendly in the face of what looked like a non-tipper. Personally, I would have been miffed.
If you’re ever in the northside of Richmond and need a tasty, affordable lunch – try this place. Just come pick me up first.