A Real Taste of India - Monmouth

Real Taste of India is no longer open
Confession--I never ate Indian food until I was in my early 40's.  Whew!  There!  So relieved to get that out of the way right up front. Plus, I'm definitely not an expert on Indian food, but I do know what I like.

N used to share stories of his get togethers for lunch buffet at India Palace with his friend from Corvallis.  Sarcastic comments began to slip from my mouth as I struggled to suppress my jealousy over the fact that he'd never taken me there.  And so one summer, he had the irresistible idea that I should meet him downtown for lunch.  Not only was it my first taste of Indian food, but it was the first time I'd ever eaten lamb.  Oh my word!  I was in food love.
Somewhere over the next couple of years the Royal India restaurant opened in South Salem.  We began going as often as possible-- until their closure.  After a self imposed Indian food drought we recently heard there was a new Indian restaurant in Monmouth that was a "must try".   {sounds of KandN hopping into car and driving the backroads to Monmouth on date night}
After strolling by the inviting storefront, we walked into the bright and colorful interior.  We were greeted with a big friendly smile and taken over to a table.  The first thing I noticed was the box of tissues on the table.  It seemed odd at the time, but post-spice I was grateful.  N ordered some Garlic Nann to start, then we both chose the Thali Meal and decided to share a tall bottle of Indian beer.
We usually order a variety of dishes to share, which is why the two of us wanted to give the Thali meal a try.  It came with rice, three different curries, yoghurt and a sweet rice dessert.  Everything was fresh and so delicious!  Both of us were silent as we bent over to begin savoring our meals--careful to combine a little rice with each bite, while holding a piece of bread in the other hand.  Now that I'm writing about this I'm craving the flavors again.
N and I plan on returning to try other menu items after enjoying our dinner.  If you enjoy Indian food, drive to Monmouth and give this place a try.

Other notable links--Western Oregon Journal, Polk County Itemizer-Observer
183 Main St. Monmouth, Oregon
(503) 837-0954.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Indian place on Lancaster is not as good as it use to be...maybe different owners. There was a vegetarian one in Keizer - closed. They're still in Portland. The best of the bunch was on Commersial SE, and they're gone now. The venerable one in Downtown is okay. Need to try the one in Monmouth. I hope it can survive.

gwenelle said...

Thanks for the candid review ... this restaurant definitely sounds worth trying. Too bad it wasn't there when I was going to Western Oregon - we could have used a few more food options than the cafeteria or Yang's :)

KandN said...

It sounds like Monmouth residents and the local students are happily supporting this restaurant. Prior to our visit, I had heard this place was an offshoot of Star of India on Lancaster, but now I think someone made a leap due to the similar sign.

Stephanie Matlock Allen said...

We took your advice & made the beautiful drive out to Monmouth (via River Road S). The Indian food was fantastic! We're big fans of India Palace, but this surpassed it. We walked around downtown & the WOU campus, and had ice cream at a cute little shop. We'll be visiting Monmouth again soon. :)

KandN said...

Stephanie, It is a nice drive, isn't it? I'm glad you had a good experience. What did you two have?

Stephen said...

Living within a 10 minute walk of this place, I eat there almost once a week. I've had their buffet, I've dined in, I ordered all kinds of different take-out.

The service and food have always been first rate, and the prices very reasonable for what you get.

My favorite this is to walk down there, and order the chicken koorma (not sure if that's how it's spelled, but that's how it's pronounced) and an order of na'an to go. They always offer me a cup of their excellent chai tea while I wait, and my food is usually ready by the time I finish my tea.

Anonymous said...

Real taste of india is not connected to the place on lancaster at all
I'm so glad you guys all loved the food, my dad's the owner and he'll be happy to read this
hope to keep seeing you guys:)

Anonymous said...

Great place to eat. I just ate there today on my first day back to WOU and I plan on eating there on a regular basis. Love that mint sauce!

Chuck Bradley said...

About a week ago I popped over the bridge with the hope of trying the new Crooked House Bistro on Edgewater NW, but found it closed. I left a card in their door requesting an e-mail with open hours. Since I was partway there, I continued west to Monmouth to try Real Taste of India, which has been on my wish list for sometime. I'm glad I made the trip. As is always true of Indian restaurants, the wonderful aromas assail the nostrils. A charming gent seated me and poured ice water. (Oddly, I was never asked if I wanted another beverage, which is fine as I didn't.) The place was spotlessly clean. I had Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Curry and Channa Saag (which was garbanzo beans in a brown curry sauce), Na'an (that wonderful chewy flat bread) and a green salad. I also tried Green Mint sauce which was an interesting combination of cool mint and fiery spice. I found this place to be on a par with Star of India and several cuts above India Palace (Both in Salem). It's and easy B+.

Ginos Family in Oregon said...

This is my neighbors restaurant and it is amazing, I had never had Indian food until I moved 1 house over from them. It is so tasty and delicious, even my 5 year old loves their food! I wish they would open one in Salem too but its worth the travel into Monmouth! They are very friendly and one of the best neighbors we have had!

Chris said...

This place burned down tonight... Sad. I hope they had insurance and that they reopen soon.

KandN said...

Chris, Very sad! It must be heartbreaking to see all your hardwork go up in flames. I'm glad no one was hurt.

Chuck Bradley said...

I liked this place. I liked the food and I like the people. It was a family enterprise. I wish them well and my heart goes out to them.

tracylee said...

I believe, according to the paper (which I've since repurposed to clean the grill) that they did have insurance. It'll still be a huge hit to be closed for any length of time. I wish them the best.