Amber Indian took over the spot in Castleton that used to be Taj of India. Wade’s grandparents didn’t like their other location in Carmel, so we were quite wary.
5929 E 82nd St
Indianapolis, IN 46250
The website somehow still doesn’t reflect their Castleton location. Odd.
- They have a lunch buffet everyday from 11 AM – 2:30 PM Monday to Saturday and 12 PM – 3 PM on Sundays. It costs $8.99 per person but you can print a coupon from coupons4indy.com that will take a dollar off. Watch out though, the dollar off doesn’t mean one dollar off per person. It’s just one dollar off, period.
- They used the same buffet table that Taj of India had so their selection was rather small. Not counting the Vegetarian Biryani, they probably had around 6 dishes to offer.
- When Wade and I tried their lunch buffet, their selection was quite different than the usual offering. There were two chicken dishes that stood out to us the most, one of which was Chicken Karahi and the other one was… well, I forgot the name. The karahi had a hint of spiciness into it but it was very gentle. The other dish was rather creamy; it was almost like a tikka masala except it wasn’t.
- They had Onion Pakora as a side/appetizer. The batter was a little thick compared to the onion petals themselves.
- They were offering three desserts when we visited: Mango Custard, Rice Pudding, and some carrot dessert. Unfortunately, I forgot the name of the last item, again. It’s probably Gajar Halva (thanks, Google) but I can’t say for sure. If you’ve been to this restaurant and can confirm the name for me, please do so. I’ll really appreciate it. :)
- Wade liked the carrot dessert. The carrots seemed to have been grated and cooked with something sweet. I also liked it but it wasn’t my cup of tea. Instead, I opted for the Mango Custard. I didn’t like this one too much. It’s practically a can of fruit cocktail swimming in mango-flavored ‘custard’. Every spoonful is like a “name this fruit” event; you’ll be like “hey, that’s pineapple” and “hey, that was a pear”. I probably wouldn’t get that again next time.
- Overall, we liked their lunch buffet. After tips, taxes, and drinks (I don’t remember if we got charged for the garlic naan), we paid 25 bucks. Not too bad considering how we stayed full for the whole day with the amount of food we ate.
When we went here for dinner, we were still quite dazed from the disaster that was Longhorn. Needless to say, we were looking for redemption; something to wash the distaste.
Amber Indian starts you off with this thin, borderline salty chip with your choice of three dips: something brown and syrupy, something orange and oniony, and something green and salsa-y. Helpful names, I know, bear with me. This chip-like chip was a lot more tolerable than what we had from another place.
We are garlic naan fanatics, and as such it’s necessary for us to order one. While it had a very aromatic garlic scent, the taste wasn’t actually quite there. I tasted more cilantro than garlic. They were also huge and was served warm and fluffy.
We love vegetable pakora. We definitely got more pieces than we anticipated but smaller than what we were used to. Each piece had a definitive taste, but the vegetable was pretty much mashed together with the chickpea batter.
I ordered Lamb Vindaloo, spicy. It was very tomato sauce-y but not overwhelming. It still had the signature taste you get from Indian dishes. The sauce is good enough to stand alone with just rice, but it’s always better with meat. The lamb pieces were plentiful, tender, and tasty. It was a perfect balance between the taste of the sauce soaking through the meat and its signature gaminess. Potatoes were aplenty as well.
Wade ordered Lamb Tikka Masala. It was very creamy with subtle hints of sauce and spices. He loved lathering it on top of his rice, and personally I don’t blame him. I only tasted it a couple of times that night and already I wanted to order it for next time. The meat, of course, were very tender.
This seemingly strong dinner still had its weak point, but thankfully it wasn’t until dessert. Taj of India’s Gulab Jamun was light in color, laying on a pool of sweet rose water. It was very pleasant. Amber Indian’s, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as pleasing for us. As you can see, we got two dark colored balls on a pool of sweet, sticky syrup. The balls were rather doughy but not laborious to eat, and it was also a little too hot in the middle. We prefer them soft, airy, fluffy. Ah well.
We didn’t have any problems with their service on both occasions. They leave you alone unless your drink is halfway down or further, in which case they’ll either automatically refill it for you if it’s not intruding in your space (water) or they’ll politely ask you for your glass. They check up on you every once in a while to make sure everything is alright, and they wait until you’re nearly done to give you your bill.
Any other thoughts
We definitely see ourselves frequenting this place. Although there were some minor aspects where we wished they could have been done better, Amber Indian met our expectations where they mattered. They serve good food at an affordable price. Amber Indian is definitely a worthy replacement for what the spot used to be.
Let’s give them 3.75 Creepachoos.