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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Indian food guide to SLC

By Danny Letz

When it comes to Indian restaurants, the Wasatch Valley is blessed with quantity and quality such that one would be quick to overestimate Salt Lake City’s demographic diversity. One thing is certain: The culturally homogenized have their diverse brethren’s cuisine to thank, because Utah’s Indian restaurants are among the best restaurants in the state. With so many options to select from, there’s almost no going wrong when it comes to Indian cuisine in Salt Lake City. But alas, this is America and there’s a need for the superlative, which is why we’ve selected the best restaurants from around the valley in a number of different categories.

So, without any further ado, here’s a quick run-down of the best these Indian restaurants have to offer.


Bombay House2731 E. Parley’s Way(801)-581-0222U Discount: NoRomantic: YesKid Friendly: No$15 to $20 per person

Royal India (Sandy)10263 S. 1300 East, Sandy(801)-572-6123U Discount: NoRomantic: YesKid Friendly: No$15 to $20 per person

From the field of prospective subcontinental treasures, Sandy’s Royal India and Salt Lake City’s Bombay House stand as joint kings of the realm. There’s a reason these restaurants are on a near first name basis with Salt Lake City’s culinarily educated: combining the best in food, great atmosphere and variety, it’s hard to deny these are hands down the best in the state.

The Bombay House (located conveniently off Foothill Drive, on Parley’s Way) is close enough to justify a jaunt into cuisines unknown. With a variety of options, ranging from the traditional (the rogan josh — a lamb dish prepared with coconut milk, cashews and curry — and chicken curry are perfectly crafted) to the new (the Bollywood chicken-named after India’s burgeoning film industry — is a delicious blend of pineapple and chicken accompanied by a thick coconut milk based sauce).

Although the drive and the cost of gas are the biggest cons against Sandy’s Royal India, the cuisine is well worth the trip. The differences in quality between Royal India and the Bombay House are few, but the lamb curry and lamb vindaloo (prepared in a sauce that includes garlic, ginger and tomatoes) are particularly choice at the Royal India.

Either way, neither of these restaurants are to be balked at: They’re the best for a reason.


Star of India55 E. 400 South(801)-363-7555U Discount: NoRomantic: NoKid Friendly: No$15 to $20 Per Person

Tandoor Indian Grill729 E. 3300 South(801)-486-4542U Discount: NoRomantic: NoKid Friendly: No$10 to $15 Per Person

Brush off the sweat pants — last year’s Chuck-a-Rama-gravy-binge is nothing compared to what you’ll experience at these buffets. As is the custom for most Indian restaurants in Salt Lake City, both the Star of India and the Tandoor Indian Grill double as buffets for lunch and sit down, traditional restaurants for dinner, which means that the set-up and atmosphere for the buffet leaves something to be desired — thankfully for lunch, this doesn’t matter much.

The Star of India has the best selection and variety day-to-day for its buffet and, with its close location near the Salt Lake City and County Building and the Salt Lake City Public Library, it makes for the perfect pit stop after classes.

If you’ve got time to spare, the trip to the Tandoor Indian Grill is worth the drive. Tandoor bests the Star of India with its briyani (a spiced rice and vegetable dish) and its naan-prepared fresh as you sit. The naan alone is worth the price of the buffet at Tandoor — it’s just that good.


Curry in a Hurry2020 S. State St.(801)-467-4137U Discount: NoRomantic: NoKid Friendly: Yes$5 to $7 per person

In this instance, the name says everything. Located near 2100 South on State Street, Curry in a Hurry specializes in exactly what its name signifies — deliciously prepared curry dishes made quickly enough to rival any of its burger-and-fries, fast food competition. Granted, the food occasionally leaves something to be desired (the naan is substituted for pita bread, the samosas are fairly pedestrian), but considering the price (roughly $7 for a full curry dish with a side and drink) it makes for a great alternative to other fast food choices within the valley; and since the drive is perhaps the biggest con at present, here’s hoping for a new extension closer to campus (I propose the vacant hole that used to be Luey’s Chinese near the University Pharmacy).


Bombay House(801)-581-0222Menu available at$15 to $20 per person

If culinary trends follow those of the political world, it will be some time before Indian cuisine rivals the growth and integration into U.S. society of its bigger continental brother China. In the meantime, Indian take-out remains one of the greatest overlooked take-out options available in the valley. Most Indian restaurants offer take-out options, but the best of these is undoubtedly the Bombay House. The service is prompt, the portions are hearty (most dishes seem larger than their sit-down equivalents, although this isn’t an empirical fact) and their menu is available online for easy access and use. All in all, there’s no reason to avoid a boon in Indian take-out purchases — if political trends are mimicked, that is.


Bombay House(801)-581-0222$15 to $20 per person

For vegetarians and vegans alike, Indian cuisine is one of the better suited culinary selections available, especially when eating out, for a variety of reasons: Indian restaurants offer a large selection of vegetarian and vegan options, dishes are fairly affordable, and the flavor varieties are immense. The restaurant with the best vegetarian and vegan options is none other than your friendly neighborhood Bombay House.

For something hearty, try the aloo gobi (a potato-cauliflower dish prepared with garlic, ginger and tomatoes), the vegetable coconut kurma (prepared with a variety of vegetables in the traditional coconut kurma sauce) or the channa raja (a garbanzo bean based dish accompanied by a mild sauce).

For appetizers, don’t skip the vegetable pakoras (a variety of vegetables mixed with chickpea flour and deep fried) or samosas (peas, potatoes and spices wrapped dumpling-style in pastry dough and deep fried).


Royal India (Bountiful)55 N. Main St., Bountiful(801)-292-1835U Discount: NoRomantic: YesKid Friendly: No$15 to $20 per person

Sadly, since the Bombay House closed its doors on Foothill and relocated to the gutted interior of the old Outback Steak House on Parley’s Way, it’s been difficult to find an Indian restaurant with the proper blend of elements to create the perfect mis en scene in Salt Lake City. The Star of India comes closest to utilizing its space properly, but still pales in comparison to Bountiful’s Royal India.

Located on Bountiful’s quaint Main Street, the Royal India (itself an iteration of its Sandy-based equivalent) is worth the 15-minute or so drive from campus. The service is excellent, with a knowledgeable staff that doesn’t mind answering any number of language-barrier-based questions.

The openness of the dining floor prevents the atmosphere from being classified as strictly “romantic” per se, but the many available booths offer a decent amount of intimacy — enough that the dining room is an excellent date option.

All things considered, the Royal India is the best restaurant around when it comes to service and setting.


Tandoor Indian Grill

This dish deserves to be set aside on its own. Chicken coconut kurma — a chicken dish prepared with a sauce that includes curry, coconut milk and ginger — is offered by all of the major restaurants throughout Salt Lake City, but none does the dish the justice that the Tandoor Indian Grill does — which is saying a lot. Tandoor’s iteration offers subtle hints of anise (a spice that resembles the flavor of black licorice) with the perfect consistency. Hands down, there’s no getting better than this.

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