Who knew that Indian food and Indian restaurants would be a hip trend in South Jersey? Apparently so.
Emily Teel just wrote about the recently re-located and re-opened Palace of Asia for the Courier-Post. I think a lot of people confuse Asian food as simply Chinese, but India is on the Asian contintent so it applies. I often wonder if people go to the restautant based on the name and expect Chinese? In any case, based on the review, it sounds promising. I never visited the former location across from Cooper River, but I heard good things about it from friends. I’m looking forward to a visit at the new Maple Shade location at 480 Route 38 East (going towards Mount Laurel), which was formerly Penang Malaysian restaurant. I love that they have a buffet option, as well. They also have restaurants in Lawrenceville, NJ and Wilmington, DE. If you’ve been to any of the locations, I’d love to hear!
Closer to my house, Aroma Indian Bistro opened at 43 S. Centre Street in Merchantville, NJ, which was formerly the Cafe BellaVita Italian restaurant. I have stopped by once so far, for take-out, and I was pleased with the Chicken Tikka Masala and naan bread that I ordered. Certainly liked it enough to want to go back. It offers traditional Indian and Pakistani a la carte dishes in a small, modestly decorated dining room that seats 20. They are BYOB, which is nice. Lately, I’ve been seeing them advertising a free Mango Lassi with your order on their Facebook. Merchantville’s growing food (and drink!) scene absolutely warrants its own feature, which I hope to get around to in the near future.
Last, but not least, Monsoon Fine Indian Cuisine opened their 2nd location at the Barclay Farm Shopping Center on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, which was formerly the La Terrazza Italiano Ristorante. Monsoon’s first location is in Mount Laurel, and both locations boast a more upscale dining experience and rich atmosphere. I’m looking forward to checking it out in a couple of weeks to see what elevated Indian cuisine is all about and share more with you. UPDATE (April 2018): After less than a year, Monsoon in Cherry Hill has permanently closed.
Other Indian restaurants in the area include: Cross Culture (Haddonfield), Tiffin (Cherry Hill), Indiya (Collingswood), and Mirchi (Mount Laurel).
What is your favorite Indian restaurant in South Jersey or Philadelphia?