last saturday, after returning from my wedding dress shopping fiasco, seth and i headed out for a bite to eat. we decided we wanted indian, but had no leads to the best indian in portland, so we headed down congress to india palace (565 congress st.). there was absolutely no one in the restaurant. usually i take this as a message that i do not want to eat in such an establishment. but as i had just alerted seth that i was about to have a hunger melt down, we went inside anyway. needless to say, as the only costumers, the service was very prompt.
we quickly ordered the palace mixed platter (a favorite of seth's at any restaurant and any cuisine). along with our taj mahal beer, it came out fast and proved to be a plate of fried deliciousness. it included samosas, tikki pakora, paneer pakora, and papadam. the accompanying sauces, we will call them brown, green, and oniony, were great.
i'm a very adventurous eater, and in some circles the pure fact that i eat indian food would be considered adventurous. but in truth i tend to play it pretty safe when it comes to indian. for our mains we ordered chicken tikka saag, a perennial favorite, and malai kofta, a relatively new favorite. we ordered them at medium spice which was the perfect amount of spice -- enough to give the dish a nice heat but not so hot that all other flavors are overpowered. along with some naan and basmati rice, the dinner was really great. both dishes were richly flavorful and aromatic. it absolutely satisfied my indian food craving and didn't cause a stomach ache later on.
the atmosphere of the restaurant was a little lacking, though this may have been helped if there were other people in the restaurant. as it was a saturday night at 7:30 pm i can only imagine that india palace must do a great lunch business in order to stay in business. but in these hard economic times, maybe less people are going out for indian.