Reviews written by Ku
Registered on Jul 17 06
It has been about 15 years since I regularly visited All India Sweets, but when I went back today it seemed that nothing had changed. They still offer a tasty all-you-can-eat vegetarian buffet with a good selection (at least 6 warm dishes, rice & naan, a salad bar, and about 4 sweet dishes) for a good price ($10). Best of all, the buffet is available all day, from 10 in the morning until 10 in the evening, so it's a good option for lunch or dinner.
There is also a wide selection of Indian sweets (from which the restaurant takes its name) for sale to take with you. I would not call it a grocery store, as is stated in the description. It is a sit-down restaurant, with decent decoration (it is not dingy or especially cheap-looking) which happens to have a small sweet sales section in front. They don't sell grocery items.
I organized a work meeting for about 20 people in Essen, and this was one of the places we went to. We had two children with us. Our group had both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. We made reservations and were given several smaller tables pushed together. The restaurant was noiser than any of the others we went to.
I ordered several small dishes of different types of sauces which were served with bread. It was listed as an appetizer but was suitable as a main meal as well. I got a selection of 20, and asked them to avoid giving me seafood. This worked out fairly well: I didn't get any fish, but I couldn't finish the dishes. Luckily one of my co-workers helped--he liked the food so much that he finished his own meal, half of two other meals, and more than a third of two more. Everyone seemed to appreciate the food, although perhaps not quite as much as he did!
My main complaint with this restaurant is the smoking. In addition to the normal amount of smoke you get in a German restaurant, which I don't much appreciate, there is the smoke from scented water pipes. We had to open the window for some relief.
I organized a work meeting for about 20 people in Essen, and this was one of the places we went to. We had two children with us. We made reservations and were given a set of tables in a row. In a nice touch, they left some space between tables so that we ended up in groups of 4 or 5, which gave us easier access to our seats and also better conversations, although we were still near enough to see the rest of the group.
There were no objections from any in the group (vegetarians and non-vegetarians) about the food. I am personally a bit spoiled when it comes to Indian food, and so I had to rate this as standard. I was invited to order for our personal table (5 people) and I tried to get a mix of mild and spicy dishes, for instance massala and korma. I found the sauces difficult to distinguish--everything was equally spicy (hotter than a typical korma, and milder than a typical massala).
I organized a work meeting for about 20 people in Essen, and this was one of the places we went to. We had two children with us. We made reservations at this restaurant, and were given our own room and the opportunity to select a set-price self-service 'bar' (unlimited drinks, we all opted for the wine/beer option, which was slightly more expensive).
The owner aims to have a restaurant offering reasonable prices and a cozy atmosphere. It certainly has a different atmosphere than most places. The food was all seasonal and of no specific cuisine type. I feel that it's a good option for people who are used to and appreciate organic and local food, but people who feel differently may not like the food. In our party, most of the non-vegetarians ordered the one meat dish on the menu, and found it a bit bland, and the children complained that the food was too spicy. By contrast, one of the vegetarians raved about her dish and wanted to come back every night, and I liked my mangold lasagne, although I found the portion too small.
Note that they do not accept credit cards. As with most German restaurants, expect some smoking.
This is the best vegetarian restaurant I have been to in the Netherlands. I went on a Wednesday night with three friends and we got the last table, so next time I would consider making a reservation. Prices for a main dish run from about 10 to 20 euros. English is spoken and English menus are available.
The main dishes all seemed to consist of several different things on one plate. I had a dish which included: roasted aubergine with mozzarella and a tomato-based sauce, mushroom risotto, cauliflower and broccoli, and a chickpea patty. It sounded like a lot of food but it was small portions of each item. This all came with a salad as well. The cuisine seems to focus mostly on dishes which are naturally vegetarian rather than using meat substitutes, although a couple of dishes used seitan in this way. The food is labeled as organic.
The desserts were quite good, and far more interesting than what is generally offered in Dutch restaurants. You really should consider having one!
Note: There is a cat which wanders in and out of the restaurant. (Always a good thing to know in advance if you're allergic, but there's no category for 'resident pet.')
I was lured here several years ago by the fact that it is non-smoking (Update: since July 2008, all restaurants in the Netherlands are non-smoking, but the visit this review is based on took place in the late 1990s). Perhaps it has improved in the last few years, but at the time that I ate there I found the food rather bland.
In general I prefer vegetarian food which is vegetarian by design, rather than food designed around a meatless substitute, so I was quite disappointed that these dishes had less flavour than the same dish typically has at a resturant which doesn't specialize in vegetarian food.
I am not a vegetarian, but I do enjoy eating vegetarian food. Also, I have some friends who are vegetarians, and I've found that this is one of the best places in Gouda to bring them, because there are about 10 vegetarian items on the menu (and some which aren't on the menu, like vegetable korma, which can be requested), which is more than most restaurants offer. Options include dishes like vegetable biryani, paneer saag, and other familiar dishes.
I find that it is best to indicate that you would like the dishes seasoned for Indian people, rather than for Dutch people, or the resulting food will be bland. With this detail made clear, this is the best Indian food I've tasted in the Netherlands.
Update: Since July 2008, all restaurants in the Netherlands are non-smoking.
The restaurant is tucked inside the mall and is not visible from the parking lot. We found the location rather awkward given that we were visiting Portland. It's not very accessible if you specifically want to visit Native Foods, but it may be a good location for casual mall visitors.
I wasn't extremely hungry and so I did not sample some of the dishes which require greater mastery of vegan cooking (I had a salad), but the people who were with me seemed to enjoy their meals. The lavender lemonade was nice, and the three sweets that we split (cardamom-rose cupcake, strawberry parfait, and chocolate brownie) were all delicious although I would have liked to see them made with natural sweeteners.
I liked the food enough to seek out the cookbook, and would recommend visiting one of their locations.
I've come here almost every time that I've visited Portland and I'm often drawn to visit it multiple times per trip. I have not tried the buffet yet, having only been here at dinner time.
When I first entered the resturant I was not expecting very much, and the prices also gave the impression that the food would only be one step up from fast food. I could not have been more wrong; I would put this among my top 5 vegetarian meals. The food was excellent, and if I am ever in Portland again, I will certainly visit again.
This was the third vegan restaurant I tried in Portland in three days, after the Vegetarian House and Native Foods. The theme is similar to that of Native Foods - fast food - but it was not quite as good, although, again, the sweets were quite good. The location is much more accessible than Native Foods in Portland, however. It's a good location for lunch.
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