CLOSED MARCH 2011 – reopened as Paradise Chutnys with new Management
195 East Campus View Blvd (270 and 23 North, Crosswoods, next to Starbucks)
Open Tuesday to Thursday: 11 am – 2:30 pm (lunch buffet $7.95); 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Friday to Sunday: 11:30 am – 3:00 pm (lunch buffet $9.95); 5:30 pm -10:00 pm
The Crosswoods complex at SR 23 (North High Street) and I-270 is not far off the beaten path. In fact, many paths beat their way to this suburban, strip mall laced part of the northside. The Crosswoods area is densely packed with apartments, office buildings, condominiums and not so long ago, six steakhouses in a quarter mile area. Somehow this retail center has become beaten down with numerous failed restaurants, unpatched potholes and thousands of cars driving by in search of an Applebee’s. Buried in the rubble of what was once a booming retail strip is a ruby of an Indian restaurant.
Chutny’s has survived where many well known competitors have failed to thrive. This nondescript location, sporting a nylon banner for a sign may have the best value Indian buffet in town (based on variety, number of offerings and price). The restaurant does not seem to get much traffic from the nearby office workers but it does run a brisk lunch time business with what appears to be every Indian IT worker on the north side (based on observation and overheard shop talk). The menu offers a wide range of northern and southern Indian cuisine as well an assortment of tasty milkshakes (Elaichi Kesar and Roohafzaa) and Lassi.
The buffet is impressive in the depth of dishes and the quality of the food. There are fifteen entrees to choose from which include two to three soups, two to three varieties of Biriyani rice and frequently filled arrays of other dishes. A few entrees are perennial including Palak Paneer (stewed spinach and paneer cheese in a curry sauce), Chicken Makani (a creamy, flavorful chicken dish which seems to be a house favorite) and a daily special daal (lentil based stew).
A second buffet station features a mixed variety of desserts (usually mango custard, frequenty (sweet) curd rice, and almost always (milk and flour balls in sweet syrup) Gulab Jamun). On occasion beetroot halwa makes an appearance but disappears quickly. There are vegetables for salad, three chutneys which usually includes a ginger chutney (which can only be described a nirvana in liquid form) as well a variety of sauces and condiments.
There is a self serve beverage station for those that want coca-cola products. The service is exceptional with staff getting more than a bit nervous if they see your water glass is below the 85% mark. Fresh, hot, crispy, sliced naan (bread) is brought to your table within 5 minutes of arrival.
The dining area is mostly booths with some large tables for groups. There is seating for sixty and a noticeable high volume carry out trade at lunchtime. Light Indian music plays in the background as the servers strive to anticipate your next move so they can meet your needs without interfering with your dining experience.
For those eaters that have never experienced Indian food, this is a very accessible option at an unbeatable price. For those acquainted with the finer details of northern and southern Indian dishes, there is an excellent depth to the main menu that would take months to explore. The entrees vary in price from $5.99 to $13.95.
While Columbus has quickly grown a large number of Indian restaurants in just under a decade, this one is worth putting at the top of your list. It has received high rankings on a local Indian culture website and may be a destination the local Indian community is trying to hide in very plain sight.