My husband and I went with numerous colleagues to eat at this socially responsible restaurant. The Indian owner is known for giving a lot back to the Chapel Hill community. Both of us are huge lovers of Indian cuisine. We have had great Indian food in India, London, and Vancouver, BC. Upon numerous rave reviews, we decided to try out Vimala's Curryblossom Café.
For a Monday night, the place was rather busy. One orders their food like a fast food restaurant. There was only one cashier and her order taking was extremely slow. The line started to snake through the restaurant before we could place our order. My husband exclaimed, “Thank goodness we are not at the end. It will take them 30 minutes to just order their food!” Getting adult beverages with our meals is rather confusing as there is a bar in the other room. We had to ask how we could get two pints of Kingfisher beer (We were thrilled to see it on tap).
We ended up ordering Tandoori Chicken Thali – a large platter with a sampling of many small dishes, including basmati rice, dal, vegetable bhaji, chutneys, raita, chappati and pappadum. An order of naan was added to our meal. We also had some Pakoras. Vimala’s uses local farm-fresh vegetable to make these fritters that have a crunchy chickpea batter with cilantro and tangy-sweet tamarind chutneys. The seasoning was rather mild for Indian food. It may be suitable for the average American palate, but for lovers of good Indian food, it was way too bland. A friend of ours who has been to many Indian restaurants and sat next to us concurs with this analysis of the seasonings. Our dinner was rather large thus we were able to take some of it home.
The décor of Vimala’s is more like a fast food joint. The table and chairs were primitive. A TripAdvisor reviewer last year stated it correctly that it is like a "take out shack”. Since it is winter, cold air rushed in to the restaurant when the door was opened. One of our friends that ate with us was very cold and had to wear her coat while eating her dinner!
Service was extremely slow! My husband received his order after numerous other people who were behind us in line. My order took an additional twenty minutes to make it to my table! I was just about to go back to the cashier and ask her where our food was when the server finally came with my food. The staff made apologies for the extremely long wait for food, but this was not good enough for the average fare and lousy service.
This is definitely not one of the four best restaurants in Chapel Hill, and it is certainly not the place to go for good Indian food. The next time we want good Indian food, we will have to go to Morrisville and Cary as they have numerous Indian restaurants due to their large Indian population.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.