Tonight's dinner was the 7th time I've eaten at Shahi Palace...and the first time with people who have had experience with real (Punjab and Nepalese food).
The flavor, the service, the quality of all the food is consistently awesome and to hear others (first timers) absolutely RAVE is unusual. I mean...when was the last time you went out to dinner and everyone at the table carried on about how great the meal was (for more than 30 seconds)?
We got to meet the owner...and our server was pretty cool about teaching us Indian words for "Thank you" and "This is good!".
However, for the upper-midwesterner, try the sampler appetizer and start with the Chicken Tandoori. On the next trip, try Curry "mild" and work your way up; but recognize that "hot" with Indian cuisine is nothing like "hot" with Mexican or even Thai food...it's a different 'feeling' altogether. In fact, I think Indian "hot" is a lot easier to take than the raw chili-power of Mexican or Thai.
Anyway, the quality, uniqueness and fresh experience is why we go out to eat in the first place (why replicate what you can at home better and cheaper?) The servers answer questions well and the food is of the variety that one can easily see this place replacing American-style comfort-food (steak, burgers, pizza) altogether.
Go with a group and share food, too.
However, for an end-cap at a strip mall, don't expect the accoutrement of fine-dining. It's nice, but it kinda feels like a local Chinese restaurant - sparse, open dining area...but that's not the point. The food is why you go here and it will not disappoint.
AND, for those who are a little freaked out about anything outside of the norm...the place is clean, the food was well done, served professionally...I'd worry more about a Mall food court than Shahi Palace and I got the vibe the owner was especially sensitive about presenting his best-self to the the normally conservative and reluctant Scandinavian-Germans around here... ;)
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