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“Quality has gone down.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Kamal Restaurant

Kamal Restaurant
140 Howe Street, New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 498-2801
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Ranked #179 of 508 Restaurants in New Haven
Restaurant details
Auckland, New Zealand
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
“Quality has gone down.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2008

Quality has gone down.

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15 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“Absolutely the best Indian in New Haven. Our favorite!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2008

Absolutely the best Indian in New Haven. Our favorite!

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“Never eat the buffet.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2007

Never eat the buffet.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
157 helpful votes 157 helpful votes
“Bland food, dull decor, not worth your time.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2007

Royal India

Indian style cuisine, vegetarian and non-vegetarian.
They offer free-validated parking at a nearby lot.

I should have known, walking in at prime time on a Saturday night when school is in session, that all the empty tables were a tip-off. Only two other tables were occupied (out of 15), and it's clearly because this place is at the bottom of the list for the locals. I suggest you put it at the bottom of your list too.

As far as the food goes, it started off well. They served me a crispy and tasty papadum, with some delicious dipping sauces, as they brought the menu. I had a lamb samosa for an appetizer, and was somewhat surprised to see that it was made with ground lamb, rather than shredded meat. The flavor was virtually nil, and there were peas mixed in with the meat. The samosa shell was crispy though, and it was hot throughout. Acceptable as an appetizer, but not having any flavor that I'd call "Indian". My entree was lamb biryani, a mix of lamb chunks and seasoned rice, served with raita (flavored yogurt) on the side. The biryani was presented with chopped cilantro on top. The lamb was nothing special, and the rice was wet and mushy. And there was virtually NO flavor to it.. even the visible cloves on the plate had somehow been boiled free of all flavor. I was heartily disappointed, and thankful for the cilantro, just to remind me that my taste buds were still working! Furthermore, the raita was just terrible. Virtually no of the flavor (or texture) of shredded/mashed vegetables (cucumber or onion or mustard seed) that I expect in a good raita. Instead it was a gooey, almost mayonnaise-like sour yogurt with just a trace of something in it, and none of the tang or zest that makes raita worthwhile.

To make matters worse, this place seemed to me to be run with the sensibilities of a bachelor. Although there was a candle on each table, none of them were lit, regardless of whether a guest was at the table or not. The plastic flowers at each table were dusty, and those decorating the wall were equally filthy. There were some nice painted textiles framed and mounted on some of the walls, which added a bit of Indian feel to the dining room, but the carraige-house lamps on the wall clashed with the rest of the far-east decor, and the ceiling light fixtures were dirty, and in some cases hanging unevenly to look like they were about to fall down. The carpeting was totally disgusting, with heavy soiling in all traffic areas. The tables were topped with a linen cloth, but a plastic sheet overtop that, so that the cloth wasn't replaced between guests. And if you weren't annoyed enough by the filth and tackiness surrounding you, one whole wall is mirrored, so that you get to see the dismal dining room again.

No, I cannot even give this restaurant an "okay" rating, because the only good thing was the papadum, which is like complimenting a potato chip. Avoid the Royal India. My dinner cost me over $20, not including any alcoholic beverages (they serve wine and beer), and I'd rather have gone elsewhere.

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