India Palace

One of the most relaxing places to sit downtown and enjoy a warm drink is not where you'd expect. With the aroma of curry and tandoori wafting in from the kitchen, and the sound of soothing Indian music playing softly under conversations, a warm mug of chai tea at India Palace downtown, preps your pallet for the coming meal. Many times at home, I've tried to duplicate the flavor of this frothy beverage without success. It has an indescribable flavor that borders on being called sweet and goes well with the spicy Asian food served here. My experience with Indian food is limited so I always order the $13.95 dinner that includes appetizers, Tandoori chicken, na'an, rice, entrees and ice cream. We ordered three of these and it was more than enough for a family with two small kids. India Palace serves large portions of richly flavored food and is great for experimenting with new menu items. Their lunch buffet is also a great deal if you're downtown and hungry. This is the only buffet in town, that I eat at regularly although it's been awhile since I've dined here. In the past year, the've made improvements to the decor, signage and service. Our server this night greeted our table smiling and all the food came to the table steaming hot. Salem Monthly just named them best Indian restaurant and I would agree that they bring a unique flavor to our downtown dining experience.











377 Court Street NE
503-371-4808










Reviewed 6/3/07 by Salem Man
The sign on Court Street should be a good indication of what to expect at this downtown restaurant. The staff and managers are friendly but the service leaves a lot to be desired. After we sat down we waited about five minutes before someone brought the menus. When we did finally order, they forgot our drinks. You have no idea who your server is, random people bring the food to your table. The place is a little dirty especially in the back and the furniture is uncomfortable and old. The food is good but next time I will only come for the lunch buffet. Get a coupon for dinner here.

16 comments:

momoffive said...

If you want good Indian food try the other India restaurant on S. Commercial...I can't remember what it's called but it is in the same strip mall as Baskin and Robbins. The food is far superiour to India Palace.

Anonymous said...

So sad about India Palace. I grew up in Salem and had my first Indian meal there, I remember it as a revelation of spice and flavor. The service was wonderful, the buffet was constantly re-stocked and cleaned, and the food was SO tasty (though as my young palette was rather underdeveloped, I can't speak for its nuance or authenticity). After I moved away, I always wanted to go there when I came back to visit my parents- but we all noticed (about five years ago) that things started to go downhill really quickly, and now I don't think any of us would go there again. Makes you wonder what happened.

Texas Ambassador said...

This is one of the few restaurants in Salem that I've actually walked out of before eating. I was here for the buffet. The stacked plates for the buffet were dirty. That's as far as i got.

Anonymous said...

It's sad to see a great restaurant go so downhill. This was the first Indian food I ever had and went there for years, but in between the constant health code violations and extreme decline in food quality, I'd be very unlikely to go back anytime soon. Get your act together India Palace, and I'd be there for your lunch buffet every week!

KandN said...

I'm glad to hear there have been improvements.
Just seeing your pics gives me a craving for Indian Food!

Anonymous said...

In the last 4 years, the Salem area has had 4 Indian restaurants. Two are still in business. The best of the bunch closed down on Commercial in S. Salem. That was a big bummer. The one in Keizer changed hands once, and it was appreciated that it was vegetarian only. Come to think of it, it may have been the only true vegetarian restaurant in this area (no meat offerings). It was the only place that sold dosas too. They were cheap and decent. They're gone, but they still have a food cart in Portland. Right now, the one on Lancaster is the place to go for Indian, but they recently jacked their prices up considerably. Their buffet is very clean and superior - especially compared to the restaurant in downtown. Overall, their dinners are also better.

The Mulligan Family said...

Having grown up with many Indian friends, I appreciate good Indian food. Unfortunately, Salem does NOT have any truly good Indian restaurants. The only one that I considered outstanding was the one on S. Commercial - which closed more than a year ago. Depressing.

Salem Man said...

I thought that one on S. Commercial was awful in comparison to India Palace. The buffet was just a little roll out cart. Never went back.

Sunshine said...

Sat down and got our water. Got up to get a plate and decided to leave without eating. The plates were piled up and wet with particles of food floating about. I sure would like a good Pakistani buffet!

Dsperin said...

Oh, how sad! I've never been dissapointed with the delicious food at India Palace. Just thinking about it is making me want to throw out the lunch I brought to work and go get some. I'm a little freaked out about the cockroach story now... :(

kpwc said...

I've had their lunch buffet twice now, and I love it. The place was clean, and the restaurant looked great! The food was delicious, very unique flavors. I'll be back for sure!

Anonymous said...

I've never had a bad experience here...it's always been delicious. I'm going to try dinner soon!

karen said...

I've always enjoyed my food there, having eaten not just at the lunch buffet at least 10x over 10 years, but also the dinner menu. I have not seen any health violations and I am very picky! One place I will not go to is the Olive Garden on Lancaster.....undercooked chicken (raw!), soup with undercooked hamburger that I almost served my toddler (they did comp me for that) and a roach in my soup! I have not gone back there ever. Now, India Palace could get new furniture and it could use a deep cleaning but there are many restaurants in town that need that - Kwan's, Busick's Court to name a few.

Chuck Bradley said...

Having had a pleasant experience at the Star of India, I thought I'd try India Palace. For comparison's sake I opted for their buffet. At the beginning of the line there was a desserty looking thing called Gajar Halwa which was ground carrots in milk, cream, cardamom and cinnamon. I took one. I also had Tandoon Chicken which were cleaver cut parts wonderfully seasoned and roasted on skewers or rotisseried. Then a green spinach dish called Palak Panner, Na'an (a flat bread), Carrot Pickles and Butter Chicken (in an orange, soupy curry sauce). The decor was pleasant enough, but I sure could have done without the burning incense which really distracted and detracted from the meal. Also, it's worthy of mention that they opened at noon. I arrived at 12:20PM. Some of the dishes were barely luke warm and already had a certain tiredness about them which makes me wonder if they were fresh today? The service was pretty much non-existent which is typical for a serve yourself scenario. I must say, given the choice between Star of India and this place, S of I wins walking away. Sorry IP but I calls 'em as I sees 'em.

Anonymous said...

The food was amazing but the service could have been better. Asked three times for tea but never received it.

Anonymous said...

Ate here for the first time in 2012, and it was excellent. The waitress was patient and worked with my food allergy (onions!) even checking with the chef what I could have made absolutely without them. She even pointed out which of the ... dipping type sauces? that I should avoid. Since then my fiance and I have ordered to-go with positive results as well; once when he accidentally purchased the wrong dinner and ordered the actual request, they gave him half-off the extra entree because of his mistake. Visit for dinner, and enjoy.