Wonderful life

Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine shares space with the Comfort Inn.

Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine shares space with the Comfort Inn.

Photo By Allison Young

For more information, visit www.tajmahalindiancuisinereno.com.

If you travel to India, you can visit one of the wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. If you just feel like staying in Reno, you can visit Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine and experience one of Reno’s wonders, the buffet. Buffets are hit and miss, but I wanted to check out Taj Mahal’s lunch buffet ($7.99), which is offered every day 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., because it seemed like a good, cheap way to try out what they have to offer. I took my friend Brett along to check out the place.

Taj Mahal shares space with the Comfort Inn, so I guess if you overdo it on curry, you can just grab a room to crash out. When we walked through the lobby of the Comfort Inn to get to the restaurant, I wished for a little more wonderment. The restaurant is large and clean, but outdated with wood paneling, glass and brass throughout. Large flatscreen TVs and new window treatments helped to liven it up a bit. We were greeted quickly, led to a table and told that if we wanted the buffet, we could just go on up and help ourselves and our naan, Indian bread, would be brought out to us.

I’m not an expert in Indian cuisine, so I was glad to see labels on the buffet items. Otherwise, I would have just been saying, “Well, the green lumpy one was my favorite.” The buffet had a ton of choices ranging from salads, noodles, rice and soups, along with entrée type dishes such as tandoori chicken and egg curry.

Brett and I loaded our plates up and headed back to the table. True to buffet style, some items were great and others not so much. The goat curry had low spice. The goat pieces still on the bone were chewy and fatty, while boneless pieces fared much better and were tender. The saag paneer, which is spinach and cheese melted together, was amazing while the tandoori chicken was too dry. The chicken tikki masala was a hit, with a great combination of sweet, spicy and nicely cooked chicken. My favorite of the night was the dish called kadhi pakora, a really spicy vegetable dish. I guess the bright yellow color should have tipped me off, but it tasted so good with the naan, that I just kept eating it.

Speaking of the naan, Taj Mahal serves it fresh and it was probably one of the best items we had, leading me to believe ordering freshly prepared items might be the better way to go. Brett and I also ordered both types of Indian beers offered, the Taj Mahal and the King Fisher ($5.99 for 22 ounces). Both were light beers that went well with some of the spicier dishes. We finished our meals with some desserts offered from the buffet, including a mango pudding, which I would describe more like melted mango ice cream. I also tried the gulab jamun, which are like spongy donuts in rose water.

Service throughout was a bit distant. It was hard to get anyone’s attention, but once you did, someone would rush right over. Overall, it was a fun experience. I doubt I’m going to make it to see the Taj Mahal in India anytime soon, so I guess I will have to stick with what Reno has to offer me and settle on a little culinary adventure at the Taj Mahal restaurant.