Where I live in Oklahoma you'd be hard pressed to find a place that serves Indian food that I would call "great". In point of fact, my Mister and I drive 20 miles away to Norman, OK every time we are itching for some great Indian food with all the trimmings.
In Montgomery it’s not so far. 7 miles from Maxwell is as far as you have to go. On McGhee situated in its own little pocket location is India Palace. They are preceded only by their reputation. It’s been described to me as "fixture" and "The best Indian food for miles." That's a direct challenge to my palate. Indian is my FAVORITE "genre" of food EVER.
View from our table
Papad w/ mint & plum dipping sauces
I scanned through the menu and quickly noticed this was a far more extensive menu than most Indian places have. When the owner made his way to our table I let him know I really enjoy spicy and I generally keep it real with lamb in whatever dish I order. He directed me to the Rogan Josh. We ordered it all up right...regular naan, onion kulcha and we tried their paneer pakora.
While we were enjoying our papad we noticed small amounts of Indian men and women were slowly trickling in and heading for the tables next to us marked "reserved". That's a GREAT sign people! When someone from India wants to eat at the Indian place you're at, you KNOW you are in good hands. Bet on it! They are a very traditional, proper people with their customs. Food is NO exception. If it’s not right, they go elsewhere. I was on the edge of my seat now. *rubs hands together* The anticipation was THICK.
The appetizer made its way to the table...
In the middle of gorging ourselves on the appetizer they brought out the entrees and breads.
My first mouthful EXPLODED with flavor! I could taste it all...cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, cumin; aniseed with the saffron, fennel and red chillies hitting the back of my tongue. PERFECT! They hit the traditional Kashmiri flavors exactly as they were meant to be. The rice was tender and cooked wonderfully. The lamb....CROSS YOUR EYES moist and juicy. The naan and the onion kulcha were wonderful. There was SO much food...much more than we could possibly have finished even if we sat there for hours. How many ways can I convey that I was in my own private Heaven???
Moments like this come along only so many times in life. It's like the end of an amazing chess game. You sit back and know you've been bested (which is hard to do...) but you're glad that it was THAT person that got you. You admire them; you're impressed. A tantalizing fight just took place but you didn't win; and you don’t care. You’d let them beat you again just to dance the dance one more time.
I'll go ahead and agree with ALL the word of mouth advertising, ALL the travel websites and ALL the other online reviews of India Palace. It is a fabulous walk through all the regions of India for your taste buds. I'd recommend it for anyone that has a discerning palate for Indian flavors and textures.