UPDATE August, 2008 : Malgudi , surprisingly, closed down a month or so ago. It seemed to be doing very well , (the dining room was always packed)and then suddenly it was gone, I’m not sure exactly when. Bawarchi is supposed to open in the same location but hadn’t opened it’s doors the last time we checked. Please confirm that it is open for business before you decide to check it out.
A few months ago I had written about the lunch buffets at three Edison restaurants. Aachi’s was lauded for it’s ” Great food, Great Prices”, Moksha was described as ” Good Food,Good Ambience but pricey” and Malgudi I described as one of my favorites. I have since been to all three of these restaurants, more than once, and I have to update my assessments because they have changed in the interim.
Moksha : After my initial visit, I had said that Moksha was a bit pricey ( $13 weekdays, $15 weekends ) but that the ambience was superior and that the food was authentic if limited . We went again on a Saturday and liked the food even more than we had earlier. The great thing about Moksha is that it seems to have a wide repertoire of dishes so that each time it’s like a new experience. Unlike our previous visit, there were appetizers, two of them, including some excellent vegetable cutlets. The vegetarian dishes were scrumptious particularly the beans , the curried potatoes and the parpu. No complaints about the non-veg dishes either. I liked Moksha’s practice of serving hot freshly prepared parathas and dosas to diners; ready made parathas just aren’t the same. For dessert there were watermelon chunks, melon and canteloupe balls and a delectable payasam. The buffet is attractively laid out and is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. Service is efficient and attentive; empty plates are whisked away promptly and water glasses filled regularly. A good experience and worth the extra money.
Malgudi: is a place I’ve been to more often than any other and the food has been consistently good. It has a large array of dishes, mostly south Indian but with some North Indian staples such as tandoori chicken. The weekend buffet has several appetizers usually including pani puri, bhajias, potato tikkis and chicken kebabs. The veg and non-veg dishes are all well prepared and there is a fair amount of variety though not as much as at Moksha.There are two desserts , one hot , one cold as well as a fruit bowl. Service is brisk and friendly. I don’t remember the price but think it is around $9.95 during the week and $ 11.95 on weekends.If you haven’t been to Malgudi before you might have a little difficulty finding it since it is not visible from OakTree Road being located behind Shezan restaurant.
Aachi’s which we liked so much on our first two visits has been a sore disappointment recently. We have since been there three times , once on a weekend, twice during the week. While individual dishes are still very good, there is little variety, the number of dishes has been drastically cut down and the buffet is hardly inviting the way it is laid out. We were there this afternoon and it was a very forgettable experience. There were only two vegetarian curries ( a very plain dry mung bean preparation and a tasty eggplant gravy) , the same two chicken dishes that we’ve seen on every visit ( Chettinad Chicken and Chicken Karaikudi ; both good but by now boring), a tasty sambar , rasam , pickle, pappadams, three kinds of rice , a stack of ready made parathas. Diners are also served a freshly prepared dosa each.The appetizer was oily onion bhajias which had fallen apart. Dessert was an excellent moong dal payasam. At $ 7.95 weekdays, Aachi’s buffet is bargain priced but I would rather spend a little more and treat myself to the buffet at Moksha or Malgudi. The people at Aachi’s are very nice and I would love to see them succeed; I do hope they are able to right things and bring Aachi’s back to it’s previous standards.
Moksha. 1655 OakTree Road , Edison NJ 08820 . (732) 947-3010. Closed Mondays.
Malgudi. 1671 OakTree Road, Edison, N.J 08820. (732) 635-2020. Closed Mondays
Aachi’s Authentic Chettinad/ South Indian Restaurant 128 Talmadge Road, Edison Commerce Center, Edison, NJ 08817. (732) 287-0570/ (7320 287-0597. Closed Mondays. BYOB.