For lunch it was a tossup between Greek and Indian food, and we decided to go the Indian route, selecting a place near the Dayton Mall called Kohinoor Palace. It is a small place, but well located.
We decided to try out the lunch buffet for about $9 each. The place was very neat and tidy, but for some reason our shoes were sticking to the floor tiles over near the buffet line. I wasn't sure if this was due to some spilled sauce, or if the floor had been cleaned recently, and that was just some sort of wax or residue.
Service was very good, with the wait staff coming by to keep our water filled up often, though this was not so often as to be intrusive. Water was pretty close to room temperature, so I would have enjoyed it a bit colder. I give them bonus points for having some Indian music playing lightly in the background.
I'll say up front that whenever I eat Indian food, I'm a bit worried that the spices are going to be far too hot for me. I've had a few bad experiences in the past, even when I asked for places to only add half as much spice as normal, and almost couldn't eat the meal. This turned out not to be one of those times, but I probably would have partaken of more if the dips had not been as spicy as they were. What can I say - I can take horseradish hot, but can't seem to stand pepper or a lot of curry heat.
I tried the vegetable pakora, which was a bit dry, spicy and rather like a fried zucchini ball. I did not go back for seconds on that.
My favorite turned out to be the butter chicken sauce, which I thought had almost no spice at first, but then it slowly sneaks up on you. That was very good on the naan. (oven baked flatbread)
The saag paneer (cheesy spinach) was VERY spicy, but yummy. I could tell right up front that this one was hot. Although this was my absolute favorite at another Indian restaurant, this place had probably 3x as much spice in theirs, and I was unable to do more than sample it.
The tandoori chicken (yogurt marinated and spiced chicken roasted at a very high heat) was good, a bit dry, and again - spicy enough that I don't think I could have eaten more than the single piece that I tried.
The chana masala (a sort of garbanzo bean 'gravy', with spices) was tasty on top of the rice, with a very, very slow, building heat. I love just about anything that uses chick peas or garbanzos, but had to set this one aside after the second helping.
Final Thoughts: Kohinoor Palace offers vegetarian and Halal meals. If you like a more authentic, spicy Indian food, this would probably be a good place for you. If you need the spices toned down a bit, you should probably avoid the buffet, and order from the menu with a request to go easy on the spices.
Location: 39 S. Springboro Pike (International Village, SW corner of 741 & 725 intersection
near the Dayton Mall)
Telephone: (937) 723-9014
hours: Lunch M-F 11:30 to 2:30, Sat. & Sun. Noon to 3
Supper Sun.-Thur. 5pm to 10pm, Fri. & Sat. 5-10:30