Flatiron Lunch: Chennai Garden Lunch Buffet To Go

Now that Downtown has its very own section of the site, what are we going to post on Fridays at 10am? Answer… how about a new column devoted to those lunches just south of the ML boundaries. Every week we’ll post about a lunch in Murray Hill south, Gramercy, Flatiron, and everything in between… or as we’ll call it from now on: Flatiron Lunch.

Wappa Wappa! I’m back, filling in this week for UltraClay. Here I’m covering Curry Hill’s Chennai Garden and their vegetarian Indian lunch buffet. What happened to me? Did I turn vegetarian? No, but I’m down for the $6.95 all you can eat or $6.95 all you can fill lunch box to go. Take the jump to see how I did…

I have to say that at this price, a buffet to stay or to go sure is attractive. They give you an aluminum platter container, a small plastic container, a styrofoam plate and some tin foil. It’s up to you how you use it. Every time I try, I feel like I could do better at maximizing my take out box. I just realized this go around that the small plastic container is probably for soup or dessert, but it works better for getting more of the main course. Then maybe next time I’ll use the foil for salad and pile on the roti and uttapam bread on the plate, where the sky’s the limit. But at some point you gotta say enough is enough and stop being an asshole.

Chennai Garden does a nice job at the vegetarian Indian buffet. I think I prefer it to Tiffin Wallah a block over. I love the saag (spinach) dish, whether they mix it with chickpeas or not. The cabbage is good. There’s always some pickled vegetables around that are really strong. It’s a nasty bite that creates a sharp contrast to the rest of the food …and that I like. Usually the uttapam pancakes are delicious and compliment the food, except they were burned on this latest visit.

This is how it usually looks…

One thing I don’t like about Chennai Garden is that I never feel welcome. Maybe they know I’m going to be an ass and hold up the line for the customers eating in. Or maybe they know that I’m getting better at maximizing my take out lunch box.

So how good can a vegetarian buffet be for a heavy meat eater like myself? Well I don’t miss the meat much here because it’s just good food. Anyway, we have plenty to catch up with this weekend at the Big Apple BBQ in Madison Square Park. I just hope the rain scares the heat and the large crowd away.

THE + (What people who like this place would say)

  • I love Indian vegetarian buffets
  • Great price for a take out buffet box
  • I love to solve puzzles (how to maximize food to containers)

THE – (What people who don’t like this place would say)

  • I know I’m going to want meat
  • The staff gives the evil eye
  • I gotta weak stomach for Indian food. (I know I felt the pain)

Chennai Garden, 129 East 27th St (between Park & Lexington Ave) New York, NY 10016


  • welcome back Jason.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I love Chennai Garden – it’s one of my favorite Indian places although the service is overall a bit strange. I never find them directly rude though.

  • this place is my jam! its true their saag is dope and i crave those tiny pea and onion pancakes!!! They’ve never given me the evil eye and I am *always* milking the buffet to allow for maximum multiple meals. I’m not giving away the secret of my technique though! I have been filling my plastic container with legit dessert lately though, but I can’t resist that almond-paste dish they usually have. I’m sure its probably really fattening but i LOVE it!

  • do they have scallops at Chennai garden?

  • I know this is like telling MLers that a particular restaurant serves great vegetarian food, but Chennai Garden is Kosher.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.