The Wallet-friendly Take-out Lunch Box at New India Buffet

By Tana Kosiyabong

$5 Take-out Lunch Box from New India Buffet: butter chicken, rice, naan, Aloo Gobi, diced cucumber

Last time I wrote about East Indian food was over a year ago when I visited the Taste of Vancouver event. Since then I hadn’t stumbled upon a good material for the second review. This doesn’t mean that Vancouver is in shortage of this exotic cuisine. However, my wallet usually cringes and whines whenever I think of expensive East Indian dishes. To avoid an upset wallet, I try to steer clear from them.

However, a couple of weeks ago, I discovered an East Indian restaurant that got two thumbs up from my frugal wallet. Thanks to the tip from Nancy, my co-worker whose five-dollar-lunch-box pitch was more than enough to convince me to declare a new Cheap Appetite mission.

A couple days later I walked down West Broadway on my way to pick up the take-out lunch box. New India buffet was hidden inside a building on the 800 block. Once I got there, I was a bit confused by its décor. The restaurant somehow looked more like an Irish pub than an exotic Indian eatery. However, since I wasn’t going to dine in, I didn’t care to find out more.

New India buffet boasts 40 varieties of East Indian dishes on their buffet stand. For $12.95 to $16.95 (depending on when you go), you can shove as much food in your mouth as you like.

However, the take-out lunch box deal was why I visited New India. For $5, you get butter chicken on basmati rice, naan, and a veggie side of your choice; Aloo Gobi (spicy cauliflower and potatoes), Channa Masala (chick peas in Punjabi curry sauce), Palak Paneer (spinach puree with cheese), Mutter Paneer (peas and cheese in curry sauce), Daal Makhani (Lentils in curry sauce), or Punjabi Kadhi (Indian yogurt curry).

Take-out Lunch Box and Beef Samosa fromNew India Buffet

Since I love spicy food, I chose Aloo Gobi for my lunch box. I also ordered a $1 beef samosa to go with the meal in case the lunch box alone wasn’t enough. Shortly after, the lunch box and samosa were ready. I then walked to a food court nearby and ate my lunch there.

When the box was opened, I was very impressed by the amount of food I got for five dollars. It was plenty enough to fill my empty stomach even without the samosa. I first started the meal with the butter chicken. I could taste tomato paste and a little kick of East Indian spices in the sauce; however the butter flavour was undetectable. The tandoori chicken soaked up the sauce pretty well. The basmati rice was well-cooked. The Aloo Gobi was spicier than the butter chicken. And the contrasting texture of cauliflowers and potatoes make the side dish more enjoyable to eat. The crunchy diced cucumbers and onions not only add a new texture to the meal, but also effectively reduced the heat from the spices. Unfortunately, the naan were slightly damped and chewy due to the steam inside the box.

Beef Samosa from New India Buffet

While I was eating the lunch box, I also broke into the samosas. The crispy, yet greasy crust was loaded with ground beef, onion, peas and aromatic East Indian spices. The sweet and tangy tamarind sauce was a great compliment to the salty samosa. What a lovely flavour combo. It was definitely a dollar well spent.

Once the East Indian meal had all disappeared into my belly, I felt so happy I could have run along the rolling hills singing and dancing Baliwood style. Although I will never be able to justify spending that much money for their buffet, my wallet and I agreed that the take-out lunch box definitely worths five bucks.

New India Buffet $5 Take-out Lunch Box: ©©©©

New India Buffet $1 Samosa: ©©© 3/4

New India Buffet is located at 805 W. Broadway Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (T) 604.709.8226

BUDGET BREAKDOWN:

Remaining Budget: $107.72

Budget Spent: -$6.00 (not included HST)

Budget Available: $101.72

©2010 Tana Kosiyabong and CheapAppetite.com™. All rights reserved.

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12 thoughts on “The Wallet-friendly Take-out Lunch Box at New India Buffet

  1. Hey Tana

    There’s another Indian restaurant down the street called Saravanaa Bhavan at 955 West Broadway, they sell 2 for $1 samosas and also have the $5 lunch boxes to compete with the Indian Buffet…howevere they are a VEGETARIAN restaurant.I’ve never tried it but the place is always busy when I walk by.

    1. Oh my there’s another indian restaurant nearby and they are competing. The 2 for a $1 is a great bargain. I thought $1 is already cheap! But hey mine has beef in it. lol. I’m sure the vegetarian east indian will be quite yummy. I may check it out tomorrow. Thanks for the tip Thrifty & nifty.

  2. Tana – we used to live 2 blocks (7th Ave) from New India so it
    suffices to say we spent quite a bit of time there. It WAS an Irish Pub at one time (forget name, they were a branch from an Edmonton restaurant) hence the decor, which is quite nice. And the panoramic view …. one of the best secrets in the city.

    I should note the current owners are not the original New India owners. The food stayed about the same, but over the years the buffet prices crept up. I find their food ok but not spectacular by any means (I wonder if their buffet still has Chinese spring rolls and chow mein !) I also found much of their food salty, too salty in fact. And the curry lamb and butter chicken pieces ….. boy you sure have to “fish” around a bit to find decent-sized chunks. The lamb pieces were always boney.

    Anyway it’s been at least 2 years since I’ve been to New India.

    I’ll let you in on another good-valued Indian buffet: Nakodhar Restaurant on Main between 49 and 50 Ave (east side). All-day buffets for $10 flat. IIRC you can get a take-out container from them and pile up the food as much as it’ll fit for around $6-7.

    http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=indian+restaurant&sll=49.223694,-123.100369&sspn=0.006376,0.013089&gl=ca&ie=UTF8&hq=indian+restaurant&hnear=&ll=49.225095,-123.101656&spn=0.006026,0.021265&z=16&layer=c&cbll=49.224917,-123.101659&panoid=e9yk870H6fdXOT3UIsDsiA&cbp=12,93.62,,0,7.82

    1. Hey LotusRapper,
      That so cool. You’d probably know about New India way more than I do. I have only been there for the lunch box, so I don’t know how the buffet is. But I don’t think I will ever try it because of the price is way over my budget. Perhaps they make it salty so you’re unknowingly forced to eat the dishes with rice and naan. This way, you won’t eat too much meat which is way more expensive than the fillers. It’s another trick many buffets use.

      Nakodhar sounds interesting. You can fill the whole box for $7? Hmmm I’m tempting. lol. If I have a chance I’ll go check it out. I still haven’t had time to go to Lin Restaurant you suggested. But I will. I’m just so freakin busy lately. 😛

  3. “Perhaps they make it salty so you’re unknowingly forced to eat the dishes with rice and naan. This way, you won’t eat too much meat which is way more expensive than the fillers. It’s another trick many buffets use. ”

    Hmmm, I hadn’t thought of that ! I just figured buffet places are liberal with salt and/or MSG to cut back on using real spices and good ingredients. But your theory definitely sounds intriguing.

    Nakodhar ….. pls. call them on the take-out box price. I only ate in and vaguely recall the $7 price, and I’m easily wrong.

    Lin can sometimes be “under-“whelming of peoples’ expectations, as they have generated a lot of food blog publicity. They are good, don’t get me wrong, but in the past 6 months as I’ve eaten in many more Shanghainese restos (many in Richmond), Lin isn’t quite as high as I used to regard them. Recent good experiences I’ve had include Chen’s and Old Beijing in Richmond. Long’s Noodle House at Main/33rd is a good bet not far from where you’re currently spending your time in Central Broadway.

    1. Just went to Lin for lunch today. I had Szechuan Beef Noodle soup. It was pretty good. Rich beefy soup. But I had a better one at the Peaceful Restaurant. It was spicier and tastier, although the soup wasn’t as rich and it was 50 or 75 cents more. It was good to check Lin out though 🙂

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