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Mela, South End

The tagline is “Modern Indian Cuisine,” but I went for the lunch buffet and which was no different from all the other buffets around town. Their dinner menu has a “Modern Indian” section that has all of 4 entrée offerings. That said, the space is light and airy with a whole wall covered in copper and light fixtures straight out of the IKEA catalog - no dusty elephant tapestries in sight.

Our buffet offerings including doughy pakoras, salad, jasmine rice, palak paneer, dal (lentils), goat curry, chicken tikka masala and the ubiquitous tandoori chicken. Our naan (choice of plain or garlic) was excellent; it came hot and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. I’m a spice wuss, but even I thought the curries could have used a little more kick. The tandoori chicken thighs were dry, but the drumsticks were good. The sleeper hit was the goat curry; the goat was tender and not too gamy. Jess enjoyed the chicken tikka masala and the palak paneer had large chunks of the fresh cheese. Kheer, rice pudding, was the only dessert. It was good, but hardly noteworthy.

The service was attentive, which very important in any Indian restaurant – I frequently need water refills. The buffet was $10, which is on the higher end, but let’s not forgot we are in the South End. Lastly, you won’t forget that you are in the South End when you are searching for parking, which is near impossible to find. The weekend buffet is $13, but has many more selections.

Mela's lunch buffet

http://www.melaboston.com/

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