Monday, July 4, 2016

Affordable and Delightful Indian Buffet at Narayanni's

Very nice looking buffet line
We were invited to try out Narayanni's new lunch buffet, and although we were able to attend, they extended us an invitation to their dinner buffet instead.

Arndt's Machine Shop

Located on a quiet and unassuming street just a block off Whyte Ave, Narayanni's is housed in a historic building that was once the home of a car repair store. So they have ample space both inside and out, with a parking lot for customers located around the back of the building. Once inside, the space is large with high ceilings, ample seating consisting of both booths and stand alone chairs and tables, while the star attraction, the buffet, is located in the centre of the restaurant.
Grilled Masala Chicken

We were immediately told by one of the servers, that it was a family restaurant and that her mother does all of the cooking. Once seated, we immediately made a dash for the appetizer table located off to one side of the restaurant. Their papadums were super light and crisp, while the potato samosa was lightly seasoned and crisp without being greasy, a welcome change from samosas found at many other establishments. There were also a variety of dips including a hummus and a spicy mango chutney that had much more heat than I was anticipating, but not so hot that it wasn’t enjoyable.

Desserts galore
On their main buffet line, there were ample options without it being overwhelming. We quickly found that unlike many Indian buffets we’d been to, Narayanni's was different in two very distinct ways. Firstly, they did not chintz on the meat as I’ve come to expect at Indian buffets. In fact, my chicken curry contained more chicken than sauce! The juicy, flavourful chicken were cut into very large chunks, and trying to find a small piece of masala chicken is a fruitless endeavour. Just embrace the idea that at Narayanni's  you’re going to get a large bone in piece of masala chicken, with a crispy delicious skin, with juicy and moist meat beneath. The second way in which they differ was I didn’t see a single cream sauce on the buffet line.

Most Indian buffets I’ve been to Edmonton tend to drown everything in cream sauce of one type or another, whereas at Narayanni's they let the primary ingredients in the dish shine. All of the dishes such as the lamb curry, were savoury, the meat tender, and nothing was too spicy to eat. The service was also quick, with our water glasses constantly being filled, and used plates being cleaned away. The seasoning was perfect and as compared to other Indian buffets, I did not find anything to be too salty.

They also have an abundance of desserts, however, skip all the cakes as I found that they were a little on the dry side and the crumble had too much crumble and not enough fruit. Just go with the cinnamon infused rice pudding. As a person who really dislikes rice pudding, it is saying a lot that I enjoyed this creamy, warm and slightly sweet dessert.

Rice Pudding
We were also invited to try a mug of chai, which is another thing I’ve never acquired a taste for, but the chai at Narayanni’s was actually very enjoyable. The smell of chai is quite strong when they put the mug down in front of you, but the taste is mild and not overly sweet.

Overall, we enjoyed our meal at Narayanni's and given the price, we would most definitely go back. The dinner ranges in price from $15 - $25 per person, depending on the night you go, there’s even a vegan night! They recently started serving lunch and it’s an even better deal than dinner at only $12!

10131 81 Ave NW
Edmonton, AB  T6E 1W9

Narayanni's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

(Note: There was no financial compensation from Narayanni's for this blog post, although they provided free food and drinks. Any review provided by me will completely reflect my thoughts and opinions – good or bad – and will not be swayed by having fee food and drinks provided.)

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