Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mezbaan Indian Fusion Restaurant

Four consistent days of bad luck: Day Two.

Recently I have been looking for vouchers online and came across an amazing deal, $15.00 for two at an all you can eat dinner buffet which includes two soft drinks, chai tea or mango lassi. In addition, I read some posts on Mezbaan Indian Fusion Restaurant and the buffet did not look bad! What lured me in asides from the great deal is that the restaurant serves naan straight to the table, rather than sitting in the warming trays.

As stated on the voucher, reservations are required and when I called a few times, the restaurant was always booked. So, coming for dinner on Victoria Day, the restaurant was not busy but quickly filled up. Mezbaan Indian is fairly small with only ten tables and when we arrived, the waitress did not ask if we had reservations so we disregarded them. After waiting ten minutes, she came back and asked if we had a voucher, provided us with menus, and mentioned we can help ourselves at the buffet.




Starting with the first plate, both the pulao and pea pulao tastes slightly undercooked and a bit hard. In addition, there is not much taste and although in a way it is not that important since rice is used as a base for the curry, I would have preferred some sweetness from the peas. Continuing along, the butter chicken is surprisingly not bad. The nice medium chunks of white meat taste moist and the curry tastes buttery with a hint of spiciness. The butter chicken actually provides some reassurance that the a la carte version may be pretty good, since a more buttery than tomatoey sign is always great and a hint of spiciness means potential! Especially at a buffet. 

However, I overheard a Chinese lady complain that it was too spicy. WHAT? You can do that at a buffet?  The owner was friendly, responded he was shocked since it is only very mildly spicy, and mentioned he would tell the kitchen. Wow, I thought this was very nice of him because I assumed he was going to make a small batch for her. But nope, I was wrong. The kitchen made a whole new batch with not even the slightest hint of spiciness. Are you serious? How selfish can a diner be? BF cannot even handle spicy food and agreed there was not even the slightest hint of spiciness. I was pretty upset since the butter chicken originally tasted good. Further on, the tandoori chicken tastes spicy, pretty spicy! And although the meat tastes dry which is a given since it is sitting around, there is not much of a charred taste. Up last is the potato bhajia which tastes soft with a crisp exterior and has a light curry taste. Also, despite tasting a bit too salty, I liked the crispiness.

Well, here comes another complaint. From the posts I have read and a sign posted at the buffet bar "we serve fresh naan at the table", it was not the case. Shortly after we seated, the restaurant filled up and EVERYONE wanted naan. There were seriously people FIGHTING over naan. Honestly. What is wrong with people? People were lining up and snatching seven to eight pieces like they were king crab legs. Of course, me being hungry and annoyed, told BF to join in which he did not. So after the first rush for naan, we waited another ten minutes and at the second rush, there was none left. Finally after another ten minutes, we got two pieces of naan! Fortunately the naan tastes good and is one of the better ones I ever had. The flatbread tastes light as well as fluffy with a nice charred taste, and rips easily apart. I actually really liked it. Enough to wait another twenty minutes just to get a couple more. 

 The drink tastes overly sweet and resembles condensed mango juice. Furthermore if I was having mango lassi for the first time, I would think it is nothing special and believe this is what it really is. Perhaps if I purchased the actual "real" version of mango lassi, it would taste better? This is one thing some businesses do, the sample does not match the actual product. When there is a sample, it is supposed to be good so I want more. Although to be fair, another table (there is no way to avoid mentioning East Indian) had a creamier version which they may have paid extra for, or because the owner wanted them to have a proper version).

During a period of time while waiting for naan, I grabbed a bit of cheese and pepper curry. The curry tastes lukewarm and has lots of pepper, but only a tiny bit of cheese. As for the taste, the curry tastes very mild as well as basic, and the paneer tastes slightly soft.

For my second plate, there are egg noodles, potato masala, puloa and more potato bhajia. The egg noodles taste soft but not mushy, and slightly tart. Next, the potato masala is quite soupy with a hint of spiciness, and has some tasty herbs. Although because it was only lukewarm, the masala tasted meh. As for the potato bhajia, it is a great filler and I can only imagine how good these would taste fresh!

After the second plate, we were getting ready to leave because 1. I was hungry, 2. I cannot wait ten minutes for naan every time and stress if I will even get any, 3. The Chinese lady who said the butter chicken was spicy ruined the dish, and 4. There was really nothing to eat. However, before asking for the bill, I noticed some fresh salmon curry! Although unfortunately the salmon tastes dry as well as stiff. But, at least I was able to try it fresh.

Asides from the salmon curry, fresh tandoori chicken came out as well and I grabbed a piece. The meat tastes juicier than the one earlier and again, tastes spicy but lacks that nice charred flavour. In addition, I decided to grab what I assume to be mango kheer (does not taste like it at all) which tastes slightly sweet and has a syrupy consistency.

TOTA: $15.75 + TIP $4.25 = $20.00.

Overall the experience was not good. We stayed at the restaurant for a bit less than an hour and most of the time, we were waiting for food (especially naan!). In addition, most of the tables seemed to have a voucher and repeated there was nothing worth eating, there is no more butter chicken, all the chicken is scooped out of the butter chicken, and there is no naan. It is very unfortunate because despite "fusion" in the restaurant's name, they could probably serve one of the better Indian cuisine dishes. That is how much potential the first batch of butter chicken had! And despite having plates piled up as well as no service, this is a small family owned business that I would love to support. But, there was not much of a selection at all and the food is not that great (asides from the naan), even for a buffet.

Business wise, I do not understand how some restaurants do business. With social media being so popular, a restaurant can easily lose or gain a hundred customers. It is mind boggling why any business will spend money on advertising only to lose potential customers over not very good food. Furthermore, vouchers are provided to help businesses lure clientele and it is up to the business to keep their customers. Not to make customers feel like "you get what you pay for", or there is a reason why the business had to advertise in the beginning.

- Naan is one of the better ones I ever had
- First batch of butter chicken was not bad
- Owners and staff are friendly

- Awkward situation of people fighting over naan 
- Not much of a selection
- There is too much competition between Indian cuisine buffets

- LUNCH $9.99, DINNER BUFFET $11.99
- After reading some posts about the restaurant, I was really looking forward to coming here and even bragged about how I wanted to buy more vouchers LOL

Food: 2.5/5 (naan 3.5/5)
Service: 2/5

Mezbaan Fine Indian Fusion on Urbanspoon


  1. That is a small selection. There might've been a change in ownership because a few years ago the buffet looked better. Have you tried Saffron Indian? Groupon has a different voucher and its off the menu, did you se that one?

    1. Yes! Saw it after, wish I got that instead of the buffet voucher. But from every single bloggers' post, the buffet looked pretty good!



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