Indian and Asian cuisines are always a safe bet for me, as many of their most common dishes are dairy-free and/or gluten-free. There’s one Indian restaurant that I’ve been dying to try because I always pass it on my way to the grocery store. So, this week, I finally got myself to Haveli Indian Cuisine.
A few days a week, Haveli has a phenomenal deal for a $12 all-you-can-eat buffet. I didn’t even know this existed before I got there. I just happened to walk into pretty much my dream scenario. Of course, in true buffet fashion, I could not resist trying at least a bite of almost everything offered. So, I’ll keep my reviews of each individual food fairly short — just a taste of everything.
Additionally — just to point out allergens — I did try a couple of dishes containing wheat, but I went mainly dairy-free for this review. This was fortunately very easy, as the buffet offered tons of vegan dishes. I was especially impressed by how knowledgeable the staff were about the allergens in the dishes as well. So shout-out to the Haveli staff.
To start off with some non-gluten-free offerings, I tried two different “bready” options at Haveli. The free naan was superb — I almost ate half the basket of it. It had a nice buttery taste and a chewy, bready inside contrasted by a light and flaky outside. Totally worth the wheat-induced pain. Also absolutely worth it was the bhatura — for which I went back up for seconds. This one had more of a flaky, pastry texture rather than a bready one, and it was also super buttery and salty. Crisp on the bottom and light and flaky throughout, these were impossible to put down.
Now for vegetable dishes. My companion Ben and I both fell head-over-heels for the aloo tikki. The vegetable filling was rich and warm with spices, and the fried exterior was addictively crispy with a sharp saltiness that highlighted the flavors of all the wonderful spices. Another top vegetable contender was the saag, which was shockingly creamy for a vegan dish with an overall vibe of salty richness and comfort. I also enjoyed the mixed vegetable dish. It had a wonderful warm, tangy flavor and a stewy, creamy texture.
For those who enjoy meat and seafood, I would recommend every such dish I tasted. The shrimp kadal featured well-cooked shrimp in a fresh tomato sauce brightened by punchy spices. From the tandoori mix, I tasted the tandoori chicken, cooked perfectly — moist inside with blackened, crispy outer edges — and seasoned well with a delicate spice mix.
Even more addictive was the chicken biryani. It offered more overall flavor from the spices rather than heat. The chicken soaked in the spices like flavor bombs, while the rice was more subtle, acting almost as a palate cleanser.
I was bursting at the seams, but I just had to fit in dessert. I tried the barfi, which had a surprising, satisfying, almost cheesy tang to it. Above all else though, was the gulab jamun. It was sweet, moist, and spongy. I could have easily eaten an entire plate of just this.
Every step of the way, I was impressed by Haveli Indian cuisine. They not only have a huge variety of incredible food including allergen-free dishes, but also the endless buffet being offered for $12 is a steal if I’ve ever heard of one.
For those of you who are now considering heading over to try Haveli — which you undoubtedly should — I would say the dishes you absolutely don’t want to miss are the bhatura, aloo tikki, chicken biryani, saag, and the gulab jamun. Ben and I decided on the spot that we want to go back to Haveli together at least every couple of weeks to hang out and catch up over their delightful delicacies, so you might catch me back there soon.