Cheryl Rawden - Idahoeats contributing writer
Taj Mahal of Boise at 10548 Fairview Ave is an Indian restaurant that has been around for several years and can be found at the corners of Five Mile and Fairview. While the menu is rather engaging, the truth is diners visit for the buffet, which has a variety of dishes such as tandoori chicken and samosa appetizers, rice, saag (spinach), masala daal (lentils), a vegetable mixture, a steak and potato curry dish, and a few others. (It would be very helpful to diners, especially those not particularly familiar with Indian food, if all of the items had labels.) Also found on the buffet are salad, Indian sauces and a pureed rice pudding dessert. Freshly prepared naan bread delivered to your table is perfect for dipping into the food and sauces.
Samosas and pakoras are the more common appetizers but you should try the enticing fish cutlets, which are minced fish and herbs browned on a griddle. Appetizers range from $3.99 to $5.99 with the exception of the large platters that contain an assortment of several appetizers. The vegetarian entrees are $11.99 to $13.99; chicken, lamb and beef entrees are $12.99 to $14.99; and seafood entrees are $14.99 to $16.99. Tandoori specials, such as tikka and kabobs, are $12.99 to $13.99. All entrees are served with Basmati rice. Indian breads, $2.59 to $3.99, include the ever popular naan as well as roti. Adventurous children may enjoy the kids’ $4.95 menu with dishes such as coconut naan or lentil soup. Be sure to check out the exceptional beer list which includes Greek lagers, Belgian ales, English and Australian stout, and Japanese rice lager style beer!
On the day of our visit, service was less than average as there was never an offer of water, our iced tea glasses were not refilled, and the stack of used dishes sat at the edge of our table throughout the entire meal. Regrettably, a look around the restaurant proved it wasn’t just the diners at our table being neglected. Our booth overlooked unsightly food stained walls. The menus were splattered and in need of attention as well. Some of the entrees were lukewarm despite the buffet being replenished throughout the lunch hour. Weak spots such as these can be easily addressed and fixed. For $7.99 the buffet is a chance to sample many items at such a reasonable cost and the food is filling.
Half price beer from 5 to 6 p.m. every day and half price bottles of wine on Sunday and Thursday evenings are listed under Taj Happy Hour on the take out menu.
The restaurant is closed on Monday. For additional details and menu visit their web site at: http://www.tajmahalofboise.com/index.html