Housed in an unlovely modern building among endless malls, Viceroy of India features white tablecloths over Formica and stoic though capable servers. The real bargain is the $9.95 lunchtime buffet ($11.95 on weekends); at dinnertime, the buffet shuts down and prices creep up. Many dishes come without accompaniments, so the first thing we ordered was a basket of breads--kulcha with onion and coriander, garlic naan warm from the tandoor. Take a pass on traditional fried appetizers such as pakoras and samosas, which seem made well in advance and lack fresh sparkle. Better are standard entrees such as dal gosht, trim chunks of luscious lamb with mild seasoning, and mattar paneer, i.e., peas and cheese. The large menu includes many northern Indian specialties such as tandoor-cooked meats and raita. But pick up a takeout menu at the front desk and youll find a section devoted to southern Indian dishes, some mysteriously not on the regular menu but all available to those eating in. Packing peppery punch, south Indian offerings include the classic, perspiration-inducing chicken vindaloo as well as milder biryani, saffron rice with meat or seafood, and rice-based dishes such as idli, steamed cakes of rice and lentils. For dessert we had a house-made mango ice cream with nuts and gaijar halwa, shredded carrots cooked in milk and sugar. Theres a full bar with many reasonably priced bottles--e.g., a Tattinger champagne for $49 and many reds and whites around $20. However, with Indian food, beer seems best; a large bottle of the Indian lager Taj Majal is $6.
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