Charkha Exotic Indian Cuisine // Obviously, the great thing about buffets are the options and the phrase “all-you-can-eat.” This is especially true at Indian buffets, where guests might not be as familiar with the food. At Charkha Exotic Indian Cuisine, which opened in May at the Warehouse District spot that formerly housed Waterstreet Grill, the $8.95 lunch buffet is a cost-conscious primer for those looking to expand their palate. Offerings include a rotating lineup of at least eight main courses. The day we visited, we tried a mild-mannered chicken makahni — an Indian butter dish marinated overnight with yogurt and spices — and the tempered lentils known as dal tadka. Appetizers made an appearance with gobhi pakora, light and crispy nuggets of deep-fried cauliflower. Don’t be alarmed when you can’t find naan on the buffet. The oven-baked flatbread is brought warm to every table — a touch that not only impressed us, but also had us asking for more. While we almost bypassed the standard-looking salad bar and desserts, we did a double take at the gulab jamun, a spongy, pancakelike milk ball soaked in rose-scented syrup. Despite our hesitations (even we haven’t tried everything), we gave the treat a go, as you should too.
Charkha Exotic Indian Cuisine, 1265 W. Ninth St., Cleveland, 216-574-9999, charkha.us