Royal Taj Columbia Review
Royal Taj8874 McGaw Road
Columbia, MD 21045
No Standout Dishes
Royal Taj Columbia Review: Good Enough for Commoners
The other day we found ourselves in Columbia, MD visiting a relative from India.
It was lunch time and we had an hour to kill.
So, what do we do?
Passionate gluttons that we are for Indian food, we whip out our iPhone and scout for a nearby desi restaurant.
Voila, that’s how we stumbled upon Royal Taj in a strip mall on McGaw Road in Columbia.
And the gamble paid off. Not royally though but decent enough.
With a few exceptions, much of what we tasted at Royal Taj turned out to be decent fare.
Alu Tikki and Mixed Vegetable Pakoras were bland and lukewarm.
It's irritating when an Indian restaurant can't get simple stuff like Vegetable Pakoras right.
But the cut pieces of Masala Dosa were hot.
Masala Dosa was soft and thick but the flavorful potato filling amply compensated for its shortcomings.
The mildly spiced Spinach Curry with a slightly raw taste was not bad overall but we’d have relished it more had it been a tad spicier.
The medium spiced Zuchni Masala was a wee bit high on turmeric powder.
Vegetable Manchurian set in a medium thick sour gravy was delicious. Ditto with medium spiced Alu Curry.
Sambar was slightly high on tamarind and low on sambar spices. Mercifully, Royal Taj’s Sambar did not have the ugly red color chilli powder floating on top.
Notwithstanding their imperfections, the vegetarian curries were all still on the palatable side.
Good Non-Vegetarian FareNon-vegetarian dishes included Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Kabab and Fish Curry.
Tandoori Chicken was moist, well marinated and thoroughly relished.
Set in a pinkish red color smooth sauce Fish Curry was good with plain Basmati rice as well as naan bread.
Chicken Tikka Masala with it brownish red color gravy did not provide any cause for complaints.
Ditto with the tender Chicken Kabab.
Horrible Naan BreadNaan bread was too hard, crisp like a Pappadum and was unpalatable.
How an Indian restaurant can screw up the Naan Bread is beyond us.
Mercifully the fresh, piping hot Basmati Plain rice compensated for the bad Naan bread at Royal Taj.
Not so Good DessertsDesserts included Gulab Jamun and Fruit Custard.
Gulab Jamun had slight raw flour taste in the middle and was not cooked completely.
Fruit Custard was low on sugar but had plenty of cut fruit pieces.
Hot and Flavorful Masala ChaiAs we were polishing off our desserts, we spotted the flask marked Masala Chai. Being big fans of Indian style Masala Tea we quickly poured ourselves a full cup of Royal Taj’s Masala Chai.
Masala Chai was indeed royal, hot with a nice flavor of Indian spices and mucho appreciated.
Decent Service and Good Hygiene PracticesAs we walked in around 1PM, we were warmly greeted and quickly ushered to a table.
There were no issues with the service as the wait staff promptly removed the used plates and refilled the water glasses multiple times without our having to ask for it. There was ample quantity of food in all the lunch table dishes and we also noticed them constantly replenishing them.
What pleased us most at Royal Taj was some of its hygiene practices.
- First, the silverware is neatly kept on the table mat and not directly on the table. The table itself is covered by a sparkling white table cloth. In most Indian restaurants in NY/NJ region the silverware is kept directly on the table after cleaning it with a chemical solution.
- Second, the water glasses are placed upright on the table and not upside down as in most Indian restaurants.
- Third, there is a big bottle of hand sanitizer near the neatly piled dining plates as well as near the Somph/tooth picks stand next to the exit.
- Fourth, the dining plates, dessert cups, sambar bowl, tea cups were all clean and gave no room for complaint.
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