The Missus's latest obsession is Indian Food. After years of laying dormant; she now craves it again. So one recent morning she told me she wanted to eat "Indian again", but "I want to try something else", so we set off for the Little India Center on Black Mountain Road in the Miramar area, and settled on Ashoka the Great.
Though Ashoka seemed a little shop-worn on the outside, the interior of the restaurant was quite large, clean, and well lit.
Of course, many Indian Restaurants feature a lunch buffet, and Ashoka is no exception. And being absolutely starved, and not wanting to wait, we went for the lunch buffet($8.95). There were about 20 items featured, with vegetarian items such as Saag Paneer, the spinach and cream dish featured in almost every Indian buffet I've ever seen. The meat dishes featured Chicken Makhni, Lamb Curry, and Tandoori Chicken.
While we were going through the buffet line, our Naan arrived at our table:
The Naan was much too doughy and bread like, and not charred enough on the outside for us.
Overall, the vegetable dishes at Ashoka really outshone the meat dishes. The Chicken Makhni was really much too mild and somewhat watery, the Tandoori chicken while well caramelized, and very moist, was very bland. The we enjoyed the version we ate at India Princess alot more. The "curry" portion of the Lamb Curry was very tasty and herbaceous, if not a bit too watery, but the chunks of lamb were not gamey and rich enough. You really couldn't tell you were eating lamb.
There were two vegetarian dishes that were very good. The Malai Kofta, which can probably described as a vegetable, potato, and nut fritter in a creamy-curry sauce. The combination of flavorings and texture made this dish stand-out. The Bindhi Masala, sort of a stir fry of okra, onions, and tomato, with the distinct flavor of ginger and garlic, was another very tasty dish.
A nice little bowl of Kheer(rice porridge), was a nice refreshing finish to the meal:
The food at the buffet at Ashoka was pretty good, with the vegetable dishes outshining the meat dishes. We'd visit again in the future to try some of the other items on the menu. In the meantime, we noticed several other restaurants in the plaza which we'll try in the near future.
Some notes; the service at Ashoka was very nice, relaxed, and laid back. Though the buffet at Ashoka is $8.95, compared to India Princess at $11.95, drinks are not included, so in the end it's a wash.
Ashoka the Great Cuisine of India
9474 Black Mountain Road
San Diego, CA 92126