The Grand Indian has been a mainstay in Nuwara Eliya’s dining scene over the years, and for good reason. They serve top notch North Indian cuisine at reasonable prices with impressive consistency.
Nuwara Eliya’s restaurant scene hasn’t seen many new introductions over the past few years but The Grand Indian has been going strong for over a decade now. Their prices may seem expensive at first glance but their menu prices are inclusive of taxes and service charge, so it’s actually pretty tame all things considered.
The menu leaned more towards North Indian cuisine with a decent selection of South Indian vegetarian dishes.
While waiting for our mains to arrive, we tried out their Mutton Samosa (Rs. 250) which actually looked more like little patties. These weren’t golden brown but still had plenty of crunch without being too thick. The mutton filling was minced and full of flavour from the spice mix which had a subtle heat and a good amount of seasoning.
Grand Indian’s Lamb Biriyani (Rs. 950) is something I’ve tried three times this year and it’s been on point every single time. This doesn’t come with a ton of bells and whistles but it stays true to the classic biriyani flavours and spices which really bind to the long grain basmati. The real highlight of this biriyani, however, was the lamb which was tender and lightly spicy with a few fatty pieces which were just so tasty.
On the bready end, we got the Cheese Kulcha (Rs. 250) as a change up to the usual naans. The portion here isn’t massive but it actually complemented our biriyani well.
The kulcha wasn’t as thick as we expected, but still had a good amount of cheese stuffed in it which added a welcome contrast against the crispy outer shell.
Our Chicken Tikka Masala (Rs. 750) was a beautiful red curry which was creamy, with a strong flavour of tomato coming through. The boneless chicken was also cooked just right with meat still tender, really taking in the essence of the curry. We’ve had their butter chicken in the past, and comparing the two, I’d say this one comes out on top.
Grand Indian also serves up some of the best kulfi we’ve had in the country, and although that may not seem like much of a compliment considering our generally paltry standards of kulfi, this one is legit. It’s milky and rich, adequately sweet with a noticeable undertone of cardamom and dried fruits.
The Grand Indian, located just outside The Grand Hotel’s driveway, shares the space with the Coffee Bar. It’s honestly not the best looking space but it gets the job done. As far as seating is concerned, they should be able to accommodate around fifty, but it’s a closed space so it can get a bit loud when it’s crowded.
The service at Grand Indian has generally been quite quick, with our food coming in around fifteen minutes on this visit. The waiters are a young and friendly bunch that know the menu well enough to make recommendations should you ask them.
If you’re in Nuwara Eliya, Grand Indian is pretty much your only real choice for quality Indian cuisine. They stick to traditional preparations and can go toe to toe with some of Colombo’s best.