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My husband and I stopped in Dawat to try the lunch buffet today. It’s a bit of a pain to get to, since if you come from the south on Davis Drive you have to make a U-turn. It’s right next to the Triangle Wine Company, in that new little shopping center that just opened last year.

We were seated immediately, and the interior is much nicer than Tower and about the same level as Saffron. We both took the buffet without having looked at it first, and both ordered a mango lassi with our food.

The buffet is in 3 sections, a cold part, a vegetarian part, and a meat part. The cold part is mostly lettuce salad and some cold desserts, so all I got from that area was the raita and a pickled carrot thing. Since the vegetarian section was next, I loaded up on one of each of everything except the spinach.

I started out on the pickled carrots, and it was surprisingly good. It had a very strong, distinct flavor to it, and a good amount of sour and spice. It ended up being the one dish here with the most kick in it. The raita was a bit heavy on carrot; I would have preferred more cucumber. But raita wasn’t really needed for the meal anyway, since nothing else was very spicy at all.

The vegetarian entrees were all pretty bland, and a lot of them seemed like they were getting cold. We were eating right around noon, so it wasn’t like 2pm and right before closing or anything. I would have expected the food there to be fresher and hotter. Out of the vegetarian selections, I liked the paneer best. The paneer had a good texture, and the sauce was good with the naan, though it wasn’t spicy at all.

Next I tried the meat entrees. They had 3 different varieties of chicken: a tikka masala, curry, and tandoor. The tikka masala had a decent enough sauce for dipping the naan, and the chicken was very moist and tender. The curry wasn’t really spicy at all, and didn’t have a sauce that was distinguishable from the masala at all. The tandoor chicken was all dried out and seemed like it had been sitting for a while.

The galub jamun was good. I don’t think it’s possible to mess that up though. After we finished eating we waited around for a good 20-30 minutes or so before our waiter came back with our bill. Good thing we didn’t need any drink refills or anything.

Overall I thought the atmosphere was nice, and I was able to fill up on enough food to make the lunch worthwhile. The service was not having a good day though, and the food was quite a bit more bland than I would have liked. It’s hard not to compare it to Tower, where each dish has a very strong, distinct flavor. I’m willing to give it another shot in the future, maybe get a dinner entree with a solid medium spice level. But I think for Indian lunch buffets I would probably go to Saffron across the street, or Tower that’s not too far away either.

Dawat Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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