Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crown of India, Plainsboro NJ

Crown of India
660 Plainsboro Rd, Princeton Meadows Shopping Center, Plainsboro, NJ
Yes, that's right, Kris and I had our romantic Valentine's dinner in a stripmall located in the sleepy town of Plainsboro, NJ. And it was wonderful! Indian food is our annual Valentine's tradition, so we're no stranger to Crown of India. But they definitely raised the bar this year with some live music and a special dinner buffet. We're not huge fans of buffets, so instead, we decided to "treat ourselves like kings" and order the "Combination Dinner for Two". And royal treatment is what we got. The meal started with papadum served with tamarind, tomato, and mint chutneys, followed by mulligatawny soup and an assorted appetizer platter with vegetable samosa, pakora, tandoori chicken, chicken seekh kebab and murgh malai kebab. The murgh malai (cubes of chicken marinated in a creamy sauce) was moist and flavorful and the seekh kebab (minced chicken "sausage") was perfectly spiced. For our main entrees we chose palak paneer (cubes of fresh Indian cheese in a spinach sauce) and chicken makhni (tender pieces of chicken in a tomato cream sauce, a.k.a butter chicken). The palak paneer and chicken makhni are so delicious at Crown of India that we're never been able to order anything different. The mains were accompanied by pickles, mango chutney, naan, basmatic rice, and raita, a yogurt condiment made with cucumbers, onions and Indian spices. The raita is usually eaten alongside the main course to cool down your palate, but the dishes weren't too spicy, so we didn't use much of it. And then came our dessert, kheer, a creamy rice pudding delicately flavored with cardamom and pistachios. We also had our choice of coffee or tea with dessert so we both happily ordered the Indian Masala chai with milk. The leisurely pace of the meal coupled with huge portions made us ready for a nap. As they brought us the bill, I was presented with a long stemmed single red rose, a charming gesture. Our bill (including taxes) was a whopping $37.40! And despite my full belly I managed to boogie out of the restaurant to a rousing cover of Alicia Bridge's "I Love The Nightlife" carrying a huge doggy bag.
The Verdict: Can't wait to go back (after we both do the master cleanse diet).