When you christen your new restaurant Indiya, the least you ought to do is ensure the food doesn’t disgrace the wonderful, rich cuisine from Mera Bharat Mahaan a.k.a Incredible India.
Should you fail, then you’d be sullying and bastardizing the name of a great nation just so you can rejoice in the jingle of a few pennies in a faded green coat.
Indiya on Haddon Ave, Collingswood, NJ
Indiya Food – Disappointing
Alas, its name notwithstanding much of what I sampled at this new Indian restaurant on Haddon Ave in Collingswood, NJ turned out to be a travesty.
Following yet another disappointing lunch buffet ($10), I consider it a mighty shame that every Bhasin, Reddy and Singh has taken to unleashing mediocre Indian restaurants on the unsuspecting American populace these days.
Just like the Romney-Ryan duo. They look like nice and fresh White boys on the outside but peer deep into their souls and all you see is dark rot.
Right at the outset, by leaving the silverware directly on the table, Indiya’s management is tacitly owning up to complete ineptitude and unsuitability for the food business.
No sensible person leaves the silverware directly on a table that is invariably, frequently cleaned with chemical solutions. Even if it’s wiped later, the chemical residue stays on the table.
Silverware Placed Directly on the Table
Indiya – An Indian Impostor
After a most unsatisfying meal at Indiya, I staggered out in high dudgeon with the thought that the New Jersey authorities must put up some basic requirements for starting an Indian restaurant.
That’s the only way public interest would be served in this ‘Curry’ matter.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a gazillion times.
If an Indian restaurant cannot get the simple Dal right, then the odds of its getting other, more complex items right is bound to be miserably low.
Dal with Rice (below), Mixed Veg Curry (top right)
Indiya’s Dal was a most unsatisfying, unflavorful yellow mess.
I’ve never been able to fathom why 99% of Indian restaurants that yours truly has graced give Dal the cold shoulder, the royal shaft.
If you don’t care enough for the Dal, then don’t shovel it before diners
Mixed Vegetable Pakora
During my visit to Indiya, the mixed Pakora appetizers looked appetizing but to my utter dismay they were not in the least bit warm.
Either you replenish the Pakoras in small batches or make sure your burners are working.
Otherwise, like it happened to me they’d be cold comfort.
Vegetable Soup was thick, a bit warm and while not too disappointing was lacking in spice.
In any case, who goes to an Indian restaurant to try the soup.
Plus, it was a hot day during my visit and soup was not high on my list.
Chicken Makhani (bottom), Tandoori Chicken (left), Naan Bread
If I had my way, it’d banish Tandoori Chicken off the menus of Indian restaurants across America.
There’s nary an Indian restaurant to be found without this pinkish-hued, poorly marinated abomination.
If you’re bent on dishing out Tandoori Chicken to customers, then, at least, make an effort to distinguish your offering from that of countless others. Why not give it a spiced coating to set it apart.
What a shame, there was nothing to set apart Indiya’s offering from every other crappy Tandoori Chicken indignity I’ve been subjected to.
Chicken Makhani was one of the lesser disappointments of my meal.
In a creamy sauce, the dish had some flavor and was all right with both Naan Bread and Plain Rice.
Not surprisingly, my Indian palate is partial toward spicier items and Chicken Makhani is not a spicy dish per se.
Dal Tadka, Sabji Bhaji, Cabbage Masala
Both the Sabji Bhaji and Cabbage Masala were so utterly devoid of spices that I wondered if a human cooked them.
Or perhaps a misanthropic savage was venting his wild fury.
What’s so difficult in stirring up a mixed vegetable curry.
If you can’t get it right, you have no business being in a kitchen.
I won’t waste much bandwidth on a Cabbage Masala that’s better labeled Disgrace Masala.
It seemed like I was teetering on a flavorless culinary highway with more potholes than I could navigate.
Naan Bread turned out to be a mixed bag.
The first basket was nothing to write home about.
Mercifully, the second batch was better.
Daub a bit of butter being bringing out the Naan bread to diners.
Saffron Kheer did not belong in the bad category but was nothing to get euphoric about.
I liked that it was on the pleasantly cold side.
Were it a wee bit sweeter, I’d have sung paeans in its praise.
But I’ll let it go without any damnation.
Indiya – Poor Service
To my great irritation, Indian restaurants frequently treat some customers better than others.
Or as I like to put it, they kiss some asses more than other asses.
I overheard the unschooled waiter offering some customers a choice of Naan Bread or Roti but didn’t care to do the same to me. He just dumped a basket of Naan Bread on my table.
Also, it’d be nice to see the staff spend more time in the dining room than gather at the cash counter and stare at the monitor.
Besides the absence of proper table hygiene, Indiya also turns a blind eye to customers carrying their used plates to the buffet station for a refill. I hope the NJ Health Department takes note of this most unhygienic practice during their next inspection of this joint.
Indiya Collingswood NJ Rating -Avoid
Given the below par quality of Indiya’s food, I will not recommend this impostor of an Indian restaurant to any of my friends.