Some of you may be familiar with the old Roy Rogers (sort of) by Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester, close to the VIP side of the mall. It’s also a former stop for the infamous, now suspended Fung-Wah Bus. If you weren’t aware, it was transformed (and is still transforming) into India Kitchen. (This has been going on for years.)
The Pilot and I decided to try it out using a Groupon last weekend and it’s a darn good thing we had a Groupon. If you remember the old Roy Rogers, the building still looks just as run down. Don’t expect a lot from decor, because you won’t get it. Most of the time, I don’t really care because I assume the bigger the shithole the more delicious the food.
First, there are a few sanitary questions that came immediately to mind. It’s been a while since I worked in the restaurant industry, but some just seemed like basic sense to me. First, they were cleaning tables with Windex which not only smells, but it doesn’t actually disinfect anything. Second, their place settings, including silverware, are sitting out and not changed out if two people sit at a table set for four (they just leave the unused two despite dirty dishes and food bits). Last I checked, any pre-placed silverware should be wrapped anyway. Third, I love a lot of water–especially those places that give you a carafe or pitcher when you sit down. Then you don’t have to bother the waitstaff every time you want a refill. However, their pitchers of water are sitting on tables all night, meaning you have no idea what could have landed in that thing. Okay, I will stop my anal retentive/slightly germaphobic ranting now.
The service was fine–clearly the waitresses were daughters or nieces or something of the family. While not overly friendly, they were polite. We ordered veggie samosas, onion naan, saag paneer (me) and chicken vindaloo (The Pilot). I ordered mine medium spicy and he ordered his slightly more than medium spicy. The samosas were pretty good and had a lot more flavor than most–as in heat and spice. The naan was decent too, and The Pilot said he liked his vindaloo pretty well; not the best ever but not the worst. Mine, however, was bad. It was like pureed spinach you might feed to a baby with some chunks of paneer. There was no flavor or spice or anything to it. I was highly disappointed. I know that saag paneer isn’t the most explosive dish you can choose, but I like it and it usually has at least SOME flavor. It’s not completely bland like this was.
There’s so much good Indian out there that I definitely won’t be going back here, Groupon or no Groupon. I also suggest you don’t either. One salt shaker because I needed to use the other two to give my dinner some flavor.