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Coridander Indian Bistro Voorhees

Coriander Indian Bistro
Ritz Center Mall
910 Haddenfield-Berlin Road
Voorhees, NJ 08043

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Coriander Indian Bistro Voorhees Review : Lousy Indian Food; Rotten Service

Fusion of Awful Food and Lousy Service

Coriander Indian Bistro in Voorhees (New Jersey) is a new kind of fusion restaurant - a fusion of awful food and lousy service.

If only Coriander's chef Vipul Bhasin would invest as much effort in honing his cooking skills as he does in pasting marketing material to the glass front of his Voorhes restaurant, diners may have some chance of getting real Indian food here.

Being diehard connoiseurs of Indian cuisine in all its avatars, we've dined at scores of Indian restaurants in NY, NJ, PA, DE, DC and CA over the last decade. In our continuing quest for fine Indian food, we've had some pretty tasty stuff and some so-so Indian food. Likewise with the service at Indian restaurants - we've experienced warm and friendly reception and also indifferent and careless service.

We think we've seen it all. And seldom are we surprised.

But the fusion of disgusting food and pathetic service that we encountered at Coriander Indian Bistro left even folks like us zapped.

For some diners, the unpleasant service at Coriander starts even before they are seated. Although there are several tables vacant, the restaurant makes people wait until they clean up some corner table. Making people wait is understandable if there are only one or two tables that are more suited for a larger group. But when there are plenty of vacant tables around, making folks with young children wait is inexcusable.

Unhygienic Practices

Next there is the restaurant's dirty practice of keeping knives and forks directly on the table just after spraying some foul smelling chemical on the table-top. Why can't these folks keep the forks and knives on a napkin? Even cheap American diners do that.

If Coriander Indian Bistro was a new restaurant, we would brush off some of the rough edges as initial teething issues.

But as Coriander'ss owner Amalesh, a garrulous middle-aged man from the South Indian city of Hyderabad, explained to us the restaurant was started about three years back.

More than the pathetic service, what got our goat at Coriander is its unpalatable food and shoddy handling of takeout orders. We tasted several items at Coriander only to be disappointed each time.

Lousy Indian Food

One letdown dish relentlessly followed upon another.

We tried plain Naan and our perennial favorite, the Garlic Naan. Both were terrible. Their problem was that they landed on our table only partially cooked, having been prematurely removed from the Tandoor (Indian clay oven).

Dal Makhani and Diwani Handi (a medley of vegetables cooked with spinach in a mild sauce) were hopelessly bland leaving us with little appetite for either dish. Dal Makhani was so sour as to cast doubts about its freshness.

Upon tasting Coriander's Chicken Tikka Makhani, insulted diners would have dared the restaurant's inept chef to a duel if this were the late 18th Century or early 19th Century.

By this time, we were in a state of utter bafflement as to how an Indian restaurant could turn out to be this bad.

One hypothesis is that the restaurant is saddled with a mediocre chef and untrained wait staff. Absence of competition in the immediate neighborhood of Voorhees may have also made Coriander complacent. But Philadelphia with nice Indian restaurants like Sitar and Uduppi Dosa House isn't too far at all from Voorhees.
Alu Capsicum seems to have been brought into the dining room with the sole goal of unashamedly displaying the kitchen's ineptitude in preparing even the most ordinary of dishes. Apart from capsicum and potatoes, the tasteless dish seemed to lack all other ingredients that go into this dish.

Coriander offers little respite from the mediocre run of dishes. Mixed Vegetable Curry, a seemingly hastily assembled medley of vegetables boiled together, was a veritable assault on the taste buds. What was its raison d'etre?

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken was one of the rare saving graces of Coriander. Cooked well and marinated with care, the chicken was juicy, tender and tasty.

Cheap Tactics

Coriander also has a cheap and nasty practice that we've encountered at other Indian restaurants occasionally. This is the restaurants' disgusting practice of offering one plate of Papri Chaat, Dosa or some other snack/entree even when two people go in for a buffet. In this instance, our clumsy waiter brought one plate of Papri Chaat to our table of two diners and simultaneously one plate for a single diner at the adjacent table.

It's no coincidence that the words Cheap and Coriander both start with the letter C.

Bad Desserts and Horrid Madras Coffee

Just as we were dreaming of some fine desserts, reality dealt us another knockout punch.

Our two desserts Kesar Kheer and Kulfi Berries were more engrossing to behold than to ingest.

Kesar Rice Kheer was a sweetless mess while the Kulfi Berries was unimpressive and thoroughly overwhelmed by the tiny Berries surrounding it.

Coriander's Madras Coffee ($3.25) is an absolute ripoff lacking any of that fine flavor that accompanies genuine Madras Coffee. We've sipped Madras Coffee countless times that we can recognize an impostor with just one sip. Stop by at any New Jersey Turnpike rest area and you are likely to get far superior coffee than the Coriander Madras Coffee impostor.

Takeout Order Mess Up

Little did we know the horror that lay ahead of us with our takeout order of Kadai Paneer ($12.50), a vegetarian dish made from cottage cheese and peppers sauteed with tomatoes, ginger and coriander. On being asked how we wanted the Kadai Paneer cooked, we answered spicy.

Alarm bells should have immediately rung when a few minutes later - in the midst of our lunch - one of the waiters came by and rhetorically asked us, you got your takeout, right? We still hadn't and said as much. At the time, we dismissed the waiter's confusion as just another instance of Coriander's clueless service.

But much to our dismay, on reaching home we found the careless zombies at Coriander had packed non-vegetarian mild Kadai Chicken instead of the vegetarian spicy Kadai Paneer that we ordered. Since we saw another person waiting to pick up a takeout order at the same time, it's possible that the two orders got exchanged. Irrespective of how the mistake occurred, it's gross negligence and real sloppiness on the part of Coriander Bistro to pack a Chicken Dish when a Vegetarian Curry is ordered.

Also, it's customary to pack two paper plates, a set of forks/knives and some napkins with a takeout order. But don't expect the bozos at Coriander Bistro to know such basics of service.

In any case, the Kadai Chicken was pathetic - the Chicken was too hard and the curry far too mildly spiced to satisfy Indian palates.

Coriander Indian Bistro Rating

In the utter lack of attention to service and repeated displays of amateurish cooking, Coriander Indian Bistro is a true disciple of mediocrity.

Coriander also offers catering and private room dining services but you'd have to be totally reckless and completely masochistic to entrust your important event to this bunch of amateurs. - ©

Nearby Indian Restaurants:

Nimit Palace Voorhees
Bombay Local Pizza

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