Oak Tree Rd
Masala Grill Princeton Indian Restaurant
Masala Grill19 Chambers St
Princeton, NJ 08540
Masala Grill Princeton: Treat for Indian Food Lovers
Masala Grill - Nice Ambiance
I've always believed, and very rightly so, that on most subjects I know better than my fellow human beings.
As the saying goes, it ain't boasting if it's true!
The other day I was in Princeton visiting a friend on Nassau St when the urge for Indian food overwhelmed me.
Since Masala Grill was close by I suggested popping in for a quick curry fix.
My Princeton buddy quickly vetoed my suggestion bringing up accounts of disappointing meals at the restaurant.
But I persevered for two reasons - Because it was close by and I did not have much faith in my friend's taste. Not everyone is blessed with a 'quality' gene like mine.
Plus, my sixth sense steered me to the restaurant.
And so into Masala Grill we stepped in.
Delicious FoodMost visits to an Indian restaurant in New Jersey put me into a terrible funk.
Both food and service are often so below par that it takes me at least a week to recover from the assault on my tastebuds and my tender soul.
To my pleasant surprise, Masala Grill on Chambers St in Princeton turned out to be different on both food and service.
Virtually, everything I tasted at Masala Grill was delicious.
Boy, did I do myself a favor!
Lunch BuffetMasala Grill offers all-you-can-eat buffet for lunch along with an a la carte option.
Being price conscious cheapo desis, my friend and I opted for the lunch buffet ($10.99).
During our visit, Masala Grill's buffet station included the customary Tandoori Chicken, besides Pappad, Alu Bonda, Chicken Kababs, Chicken Makhani, Saag, Navratan Kurma, Mixed Vegetable Curry, plain Rice, Naan bread, Rice Kheer and Gulab Jamun.
There was also a small Chaat station where you could rustle up a Chaat (Indian street food).
I'd consider Masala Grill's buffet a decent spread with a nice mix of vegetarian and meat items.
FoodHere's my take on Masala Grill's food starting with Tandoori Chicken:
I loved the restaurant's Tandoori Chicken for two reasons.
First, it did not come with that ugly, unhealthy reddish-pink food color smeared on top.
Alu Bonda (left), Tandoori Chicken (middle)
Kabab (right) Pappad (top)
Second, the Tandoori Chicken was well marinated and neatly grilled.
Chicken Kababs too left no room for complaint.
Juicy and tender, they quickly disappeared from my plate!
Alu Bonda appetizer usually gets cavalier treatment at most Indian restaurants.
But the Masala Grill version was not only tasty but crisp. And more importantly I did not find the necessity to use green chutney or tamarind sauce as sides.
Pappad was crisp as it should be.
I skipped Chaat, preferring to focus on the entrees.
Set in a creamy, yummy sauce, Chicken Makhani had me swooning.
The chicken pieces were tender and the sauce was a tasty delight. With Rice or Naan, you were a winner!
Chicken Makhani (left), Navratan Kurma (right)
Saag (top) Mixed Veg (middle)
To my great relief, Saag did not suffer from the commonplace problem of raw flavor.
Though it did not include customary Paneer cubes, it was delicious and mucho relished with both Naan bread and White Rice.
Ditto with Navratan Kurma and Mixed Vegetable Curry.
Navratan Kurma was creamy, medium thick and packed adequate flavor.
Naan BreadNaan bread was served piping hot at the table.
I hate it when restaurants dump it at the buffet station in a heap.
Naan Bread - Good
As the picture shows, Naan came daubed with some butter enhancing its taste.
I used the Naan to scoop up my Chicken Makhani, Saag and Navratan Kurma.
Plain rice was fresh and did not suffer from the common problem of dryness.
Gulab Jamun at Masala Grill was heaven.
Gulab Jamun - Divine
Look at the pictures (above). Surely, this must be what the Gods in Heaven feast on every day to obtain their miraculous, divine powers.
Well cooked inside and out, Masala Grill's Gulab Jamun was delicious beyond description.
It had the right texture and the thick, sweet syrup had me sighing for more.
I've made up my mind. My last meal on Earth must include at least four Gulab Jamuns from Masala Grill.
Rice KheerAt most Indian restaurants in New Jersey that I've graced with my presence, Rice Kheer is an atrocity.
But at Masala Grill it was a treat that kept giving and giving.
Rice Kheer - Delicious
Made out of thick milk, cardamom and other ingredients, it was ecstasy.
In retrospect, I was glad that I took a large helping!
Service and AmbianceMasala Grill was quiet when we walked in around 1:50PM for lunch.
We were greeted by an elderly Indian lady (owner??) with a smile and shown to a table promptly.
She informed us that we could either go for the buffet (with the caveat that the food will not be replenished after 2pm) or order a la carte. Since we are cheapo desis and because there was still sufficient food at the buffet station, we opted for the buffet.
Used plates were removed and water glasses refilled without prompting.
Masala Grill Princeton RatingSomething is terribly wrong with Masala Grill.
Obviously, the management has not received the message that it's the obligation of a New Jersey Indian restaurant to serve inedible food accompanied by unendurable service!
Folks, Masala Grill in Princeton is one of those rare Indian restaurants in New Jersey where I did not suffer buyers remorse.
If I have any complaints with Masala Grill, it's that my spice hardened palate prefers Indian food a few degrees spicier.
As for my whining Indian friend who reluctantly accompanied me to Masala Grill, all I can say is that he fell upon the food and desserts with a rapacity that would embarrass a starving Ethiopian or a Congo refugee!
I would unhesitatingly consider revisiting Masala Grill during my next visit to Princeton. - © Sagar.com
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Tandoori Bite Princeton
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