Scott Joseph | Royal Indian Cuisine
As with most area Indian restaurants, Royal Indian Cuisine, rather than focusing on the specialty of one region, features dishes throughout the vast country. So there are tandoor dishes, biriyanis, meat entrees as well as vegetarian, and seafood specialties from the coastal region.
I started with an appetizer of palak bhaji, flattened fritters of spinach coated in chickpea batter and deep fried. Actually, I started with a basket of complimentary papadum served with the usual triumvirate of chutneys — onion, mint and tamarind — that I ate too much of. The bhaji had a slightly spicy note in the batter, and just the right amount of saltiness to complement the spinach.
For my entree I selected the Royal lamb curry. Although it bears the name of the restaurant, it was a simple basic lamb curry, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It was, as it should be, served with medium spiciness — not too hot, not too mild — but with myriad layers of spicing that all played well together. The lamb was sufficiently tender, and the curry was delicious spooned over the fluffy basmati rice.
Royal occupies a former Pizza Hut hut that has been home to other restaurants. The decor is simple — requisite India scapes on the wall and traditional country music (India being the country) plays in the background.
And the staff couldn’t have been friendlier. Then again, I was the only guest the evening I visited, save for a person who came in for a takeout order. But Royal is new, and it will find its audience among Casselberrians looking for good Indian cuisine and gracious hosts.