No Naan Sense

Tikka moment to check out this tandoori

Tandoor dishes are a specialty of the northern regions, and Flavors of India sends out a variety of the flamed plates -- chicken, shrimp, lamb, fish, cheese and vegetables. White-meat bird is pretty lifeless, arriving in fat chunks on the bone, salty and nestled with al dente tomato and onion. Barah kebab packs more punch, with its tender lamb marinated in yogurt and spices.

Another cornerstone of Indian cuisine is rice, and chef Singh offers seven options. Basmati pulao is a fine choice, the white, aromatic rice studded with green peas and onion. It's a nice base when blended with a chef's special of bay shrimp cloaked in orange-colored vegetable gravy with al dente bell peppers and onion. But the lamb biryani is sleepy, with not enough spices and seasonings to support the meat tossed with saffron and nuts.

A full bar beckons with selections like clean, light-flavored Taj Mahal beer, but a mango shake is a must. Served in a parfait glass over ice, the creamy, fruity concoction is lovely, not too sweet, and bursting with character.

A first-class buffet greets lunchers at Flavors of India.
Erik Guzowski
A first-class buffet greets lunchers at Flavors of India.

Location Info


Flavors of India

4515 N. 16th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: East Phoenix


Aloo tikki: $2.50
Paneer pakora: $3.50
Garlic naan: $2.25

Chana masala: $6.95
Aloo gobi masala: $6.95
Sag lamb: $8.95
Chicken curry: $7.95

602-277-5546. Hours: Lunch, daily, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Dinner, daily, 5 to 10 p.m.

4515 North 16th Street

In a refreshing change, Flavors of India strikes a relaxing note with its decor. No Pier 1 explosion here, instead featuring classy red tablecloths, elegant fabric chairs and booths, and understated accents of glittering mirrors and carved urns. Dishes come to the table in clever metal pots. And a daily lunch buffet offers value, without the typical cafeteria-style feel. Hot selections are presented in pretty copper tureens; cold dishes are arranged on oversize platters with thoughtfully arranged vegetable garnishes.

A contender for the Valley's most exotic, authentic Indian food? Until the kitchen sparks up the spicing, Flavors of India isn't in that league. But for quiet, soul-satisfying sustenance, it's certainly a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

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My Voice Nation Help

The food here is pretty good, but it's probably best to go during the odd mid-day buffet hours to get a sampling. Since all of the dishes from the menu seemed to be served "ala carte" you could spend a pretty penny trying to get a reasonable sampling, and oddly the entrees do not come with rice or bread--that's extra. We've enjoyed the food here, but it's not very spicy.