I went there recently and had a conversation with the head cook/chef. He actually understands the nuances of cooking and leverages them to make some more complex dishes. Nirlep and ToI are simply a mediocre attempt at trying to replicate what their mothers taught them. I can outcook both of them and I am not exaggerating. Bombay's service has not been consistent, i.e. sometimes I would get excellent service and attention and sometimes it would be spotty at best. Their fresh naan is a definite win. I would say the buffet is a conventional option at many indian places, but I would recommend dining in and trying something more sophisticated instead of settling for buffet. The buffet is nice to get a sample of different elements of the thoroughfare, but if you are not a beginner when it comes to eating indian food, I recommend trying something from the non-buffet selection.
People, if this place closes because your lazy butts can't get to NC I will be very angry. That is just what happened to Euro Cafe (Serbian)!!!! Regardless, I will never go back to N's or ToI.
I am sorry to say I went back today with a bunch of folks for lunch and the food was gross and the service was bad. I liked it before, I wonder what happened ?
a friend and I happened upon Bombay Restaurant after a very long day....We were totally delighted by the food and the service. The tandoori chicken was sizzling, juicy and delicious, and was enough for two people to share. The breads and condiments were also tasty. The service was provided by the young son of the owner, and he was both smart and organized, beyond his years.
Both my friend and I wish that Bombay Restaurant were closer to J.I., but the drive to N.C. is worth the time and effort in order to enjoy first-rate food.
We ate there today and enjoyed it. Some in our party still thought Nirlep was better, but I liked this place better, even though it's buffet selection is less extensive than Nirlep.
However, they charge you for Diet Coke refills, which is unusual.
We used to LOVE Nirlap.... used to is the key word.
But, the past two visits (last one was today....) for lunch buffet, we were met and 'served' by a sour/angry and impolite host (head cover and a long beard).
We are disappointed.
And since there is a slightly cheaper Indian Restaurant, offering similar lunch beffet, a block up the road - that is where we'll go. So Sorry.
Seriously people.....If you want the most authentic and best Indian food in Charleston you need to head to Bombay. Fantastic food. Nice people and it blows away the other 3 in town. Great Indian grocery store attached next door if you feel like making your own. I have been getting carry out from here at least once a week since it opened.
Pariah, you are nuts. Taste of India has maybe one veggie option on their buffet and everything else tastes the same. Nirlep is by far the best Indian food in Charleston!!!!!
This is my favourite place whenever I visit charleston. This is the best Indian restaurant I have ever been to. The food is good, the atmostsphere wonderful and the people very friendly. Great curry and saag. mango lassi wow.
LOVE this place! I like to get take out. The vegetarian dinner for two is great, and is enough for four.
Chicken Tikka Masala, rice pudding and some bread; always love the food, the lunch special buffet is great, as is the Sunday lunch buffet with the extra special offerings! Like that you can order the 'heat" to your specifications.
Taste of India restaurant now has a new website located at www.tasteofindiacharleston.com
Forgot the stars! Nirlep is a five-star place!
Best buffet in the Lowcountry!
Absolutely fantastic Indian food! The chicken masala and shrimp korma are two of the best Indian dishes that I have ever tasted and their naan is great. Although the meal can get quite pricey with drinks, we've never had a bad dish here. The slightly angry male owner/waiter just adds to the ambience- his wife is much nicer!
Wow. Reading factoryconnection's review, I can hardly believe this is the same place we're talking about. We went for lunch as my birthday treat...and figured an hour long lunch hour would be sufficient. Uh, wrong. First of all, the host completely froze and panicked when we said 'No, thank you, we didnt want the buffet, we wanted to order off of the menu.' The place had folks in it, but was far from packed, and although everyone in the restaurant was eating the buffet, it still took 50 (yes, 5-0)minutes for our food to come out. We had to get them to box it up b/c we had to go back to work! And, I maybe could have understood this, IF it looked like they were busy re-stocking the buffet, but the dishwasher/bus boy/cook only came out ONE time to put ONE item on the buffet bar. We ordered very simple dishes off of the menu as well. When we got back to work and opened up our sit-down-turned-take-away to eat at our desks, we were so disappointed with the food (ie., only a couple of tiny pieces of chicken in my chicken vindaloo & stiff,dry rice) and the really hi cost of what we had paidfor and in turn, gotten. I guess factoryconnection and the hipster college kids will have to keep this place afloat!
Welcoming, satisfying, reasonably priced.
My wife and I shared a dinner and some people-watching at Chinar on a Saturday night. The standard, unleavened bread and three sauces (chutney, mint, onions) were tasty and also worked well with our order of tasty Garlic Naan and Aloo Paratha breads. I had the Mutter Paneer and my wife had the dark lentils (I forget the proper name) as our entrees. We had plenty of basmati rice on a common dish, with our curries served in interesting and kitchy (perhaps even authentic) crocks. There was plenty of food for our dinner and a solid portion of leftovers for later. "Mild" is truly spice-free, "medium" had a pleasant heat but was nothing imposing. We didn't get "hot" but figure it was tolerable, and I'm sure I could have asked the kitchen to crank it up to eleven for their own amusement. Otherwise the dishes were subtly seasoned, distinct but not overpowering. Craving for Indian: sated, $30 for two plus tip.
Our server was attentive but not overbearing, and unfortunately was the only other person in the entire dining room, save for two take-out orders. This place is suffering from a major lack of exposure, press, and PR... no reviews on here or the P&C, and only two user reviews on Google. It did allow us to have the window seat from which my wife learned all about hipsters.
Please note that my rating is on an absolute scale, where 5 stars is reserved for really stellar restaurants and thus is not a dig at casual, tasty Chinar.
I MUCH prefer Taste of India which is only a few blocks away. I found their buffet to be sporadically stocked and cold, more often than not. If you are going for take-out buffet, be warned they charge by the pound instead of a flat rate. They're in a building that used to be a pizza hut and still have the same sticky, falling apart booths. The atmosphere is dreary even for a quick lunch & if they're busy at all, it will definitely reflect in the service you'll receive. And all things considered, I wasn't overly impressed by the quality of their dishes. They aren't bad, just nothing to write home to Mama about.
Best Indian food in town-as a transplant from DC, I was thrilled to discover an Indian place on par with the myriad of authentic Indian restaurants in the city. They have an absolutely delicious buffet every day of the week that's always warm & well-stocked. They offer special regional dishes from south India on the weekends and the relaxed atmosphere is much more comfortable than the ancient, sticky ex-Pizza Hut booths at Nirlep. I make it a point to eat there at once a week, I love it so! I particularly recommend their lamb saag and aloo gobi!
Nirlep is a great choice for authentic Indian food. My wife and I have eaten at many Indian restaurants both in the US and abroad, and we keep coming back here. The lunch buffet is one of the best deals in town for the quality and quantity--we always leave full and happy. And while more expensive for dinner, it's worth it for the taste. Our only negative is the overbearing owner/waiter who's constantly trying to get us to buy drinks...other than that, A+!
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