Saturday, December 24, 2011

Surabhi – Bloomington, MN

One of my blogger friends, Jen, recommended this place to me after reading one of my reviews on a local Indian buffet in Bloomington. I took her advice and tricked M. and Trash Giant into meeting me there for lunch. It’s in a strip mall, so it’s already got something going for it. Minnesota is known for having amazing strip mall food. Seriously.

M. and Trash got there before I did and were seated and given a pitcher of water. This is the last time there would be interaction with the staff until we got up to pay. Really. Hilarious. We even get to fill our own water cups with the pitcher on the table.

When I sat down, Trash was excited to show me that M. had commandeered a giant bag of gross candy and we’d be finishing our meal with some tasty desserts. Brilliant. Let’s get started.

This place has many of the things you’d expect to see on an Indian food buffet, Tandoori chicken, Naan, garlic naan, different rices, palak paneer, goat curry, and a few others. But it also has Okra Masala, butter chicken, some other paneer with orange mush and cheesy bits (shahi paneer, perhaps?), potato pakora, sambhar and a bunch of other things. They even have the rolled up crepe-like things called dosa – there wasn’t any filling, so I’m assuming it was the Moong Masala Dosa (based on their website photos).

I loaded up the plate with considerable portions and then laid my various breads over the top of everything. There wasn’t a single thing I didn’t like, but I will tell you one of my favorite surprise things I liked. The Okra Masala was sooo good. Very spicy and not at all what I expected. I’m not always a huge okra fan, but prepared this way was the best I’ve ever had it. It wasn’t slimy at all and had great seasoning, heat, and flavor. I had to get seconds of this stuff. The goat curry was nice and tender and fell off the bone, which was nice. The butter chicken also had some kick to it, so I really enjoyed that. And you could tell M.Giant also did, since he loaded his entire plate with that and naan. He doesn’t ply around when he finds something he likes.

And of course I went back for a second plate. I mainly got the same things I did the first time, since I didn’t fine anything I didn’t like on the buffet. The paneers were quite good and had flavor, which some Indian places manage to cook OUT of the dish sometimes.

M.Giant also pointed out a hilarious note taped to the buffet. “Please ask your Waiter/Manager If you are Allergic to Nuts of Spices.” M.Giant simply asked, “How would they know?” We chuckled about this throughout the meal, trying to figure out if they had some sort of mind reading ability, or millions of years of Indian medicine had flown under the radar. One of the best signs ever.

This was one of the best restaurant recommendations I’ve ever gotten, and I can’t thank Jen enough. She’s absolutely right. It was some of the best Indian food I’ve eaten and it was spicier than any I’ve eaten, as well. Be ready for it! I can’t wait to come back to this place.

Despite sharing odd candy for dessert after the meal, I’ll review the candy in separate posts. They deserve their own attention.


Jen said...

ahhh! i'm so glad you liked it. i would have been mortified if you did not.

jake and i are home and are going to get take-out for the family tomorrow. i've been craving surabhi for months and came home with the mantra "if i don't eat surabhi i'm going to die."

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.

Matt said...

Ah, yes I went there a few months ago and it was pretty good. Spooky quiet, but good food. That whole Oxboro area has a few gems but needs a little more energy!

Anonymous said...

Try Dosa King

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