Diwan’s Manager Opens His Own Indian Buffet


If there is one thing that Midtown is not lacking in, it’s the all you can eat Indian buffet- and while we don’t really have any buffets that are under $10 anymore, there are still enough $11 buffets to make the $15+ buffets not worth it (as far as I’m concerned).  So, I never paid much attention to Diwan, the upscale Indian restaurant owned by the same people who own Jackson Diner in Queens- which apparently closed last September (Diwan, not the Jackson Diner- obviously).  I am interested, however, in this bit of news:  Diwan’s manager of 15 years, has gone on to open his own Indian Restaurant on 52nd btw. Lex+3rd called Bombay Bistro… and their lunchtime buffet is $10.95.  So, with the buffet team in tow, I headed over to this newly opened buffet to take it for a test drive.


The one thing that is apparent right away is that new restaurant = nice restaurant.  The buffet may cost $11, but the restaurant is as nice as a Midtown Lunch place is going to get… in fact, much nicer.  At night it probably looks like a modern upscale bistro from the outside (it used to be the Avon Bistro, so maybe they made no changes?)  Most importantly the food is the same quality as the decor.


As you know from my guide to beating the all you can eat buffet… the first plate is always a feeler plate.  I took a little bit of everything- and there was a decent amount to sample.  Goat curry (always like to see the meat!), saag paneer, some sort of chick pea thing, tandoori chicken, a chicken tikka masala kind of thing, these vegetarian kofta, and fried fritter things (that I’m guessing were made from chickpeas).  Everything was very tasty, and some of the major benchmarks were hit- for example, the saag paneer was not watery. They also had a shrimp dish (fancy!).


Another big benchmark: fresh hot naan brought to your table (still glistening from what I can only assume is ghee brushed over it.)  The tandoori chicken was a little dry, but it’s hard to fix that on a buffet- and by the time I ate, the goat was slightly picked over, so most of the pieces I got were more bones than meat- something that adds extra flavor, and normally I love- but a little tough to eat when you are trying super hard not to drop food on your two month old kid’s head.  I also really liked the vegetarian kofta, which were really tasty as well.

Despite being able to navigate the buffet with my kid strapped to my chest, I wasn’t able to take photos of all the signs on the buffet- or write anything down.  So you’ll have to make due with my vague recollections.  Just know this… if you’re into all you can eat Indian buffets, and you work on the East side- this one is top notch.  It’s wildly out of the ordinary for Midtown Indian food (aside from the shrimp, I guess), but the quality and variety is there (for now) and it is well worth the $11.

Bombay Bistro, 155 E 52nd St (btw. Lex+3rd),  212-593-5425


  • Zach – recommendation – put a napkin on his head. Seriously.
    (Oh, by the way, I disagree with the poster yesterday who said that once he’s 2 you won’t be able to eat in restaurants anymore. If you start them young (which you have) and bring them to restaurants as a regular part of life, they will know how to behave and enjoy going. I’ve had people cringe when they’ve sat down next to my table when they’ve seen my kid, only to end up offering him food from their own plates.)

  • Those fritters look awesome. I also second Susan’s suggestion for the napkin on the babe’s head. I did that for months with my wee one until she could sit in a high chair. And, by the way, she is (at 15 months) very well behaved in restaurants, as long as she gets to try what everyone else is eating. I think she might be a competitive eater someday…

  • OK, I’m clueless. Why put a napkin on a baby’s head? ?????

  • so he doesnt drip on it…

  • @zach – I think there is a typo in the last sentence. It should probably read “Its *not* wildly…”, right?

    @stevenp – The napkin is to keep from food from dripping on Harry’s head

  • Oh, how you must yearn for the day when little Harry can simply eat that which falls on his head. At that point, his true training will surely begin.

  • God, am I dense!!!!

  • Good stuff. My colleagues and I checked it out. One of the better buffets I have had in the city. Nice ambience and great food. Let’s hope it keeps up its quality.

  • My pedia once told me to expose my kids (i have twins, now 11), to as as many foods and flavors as possible, before age 2 (before they get picky?) Then they will have a wide palate. It’s true, it worked. They eat practically anything now, even more than me (i don’t do raw fish and they devour it). And yes, that napkin trick works really well. As for your wife, I’ve had a baby in the Bjorn while getting manicures, and eyebrow waxed, so live on, baby just gets to join in.

  • This restaurant completely lives upto the expectations of any guest. Excellent service, warm atmosphere, the proces are affordable and above all the food is excellent. The best butter chicken in town..also dont forget to try the delicious kebabs. All the kebabs are excellent particularly reshmi kebab. The food is excellent!! I will keep going back again and again..

  • This place was amazing!! = ) I went today with co-worker and we are definitely going back soon. Great food, friendly staff and good prices.

  • Probably the best deal for an Indian buffet in midtown east. The food is really good, with a perfect blend of spice..lil hot too!
    The naan’s were decent at best. they just needed to be well done.

  • Yes I took my friend here to eat his first indian food, and it was a great success. I have eaten at many indian buffets upstate of NY with price ranges from 15$-9$, but this place beats all of them black and blue. the food was fantastic, and the space really is as nice as it looks in the pictures. Highly recommend this, they do lunch until 3:30 by the way.

  • menu pages is reporting this is closed? anyone know?

  • I walked by last week and it was most definitely still open, but their phone number has been disconnected. Very strange…

  • I think this has been renamed Diwan now. Never realized that it was the same folks from Jackson Diner.

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