Sukh Sagar Bensalem Review
Sukh Sagar Bensalem - Good Food; Cheap Food
Despair not, folks. Despair not.
There are still some nice Indian restaurants tucked away in the nooks and corners of Philadelphia and its suburbs.
Recently, we struck gold at Sukh Sagar Indian restaurant in Bensalem.
Located in the Show Case Plaza on Street Rd in Bensalem, Sukh Sagar, which opened its doors in the second quarter of 2012, is a vegetarian Indian restaurant.
Before entering the restaurant, we checked out the day's lunch menu (pasted in the glass window) which sported intriguing names like Mohan Thal, Shaam Savera and Paradise Rice and tickled our palates.
When we walked into Sukh Sagar around 1:00 pm recently the restaurant was empty with the TV on full blast playing a Bollywood movie Deewane
featuring Ajay Devgn, Paresh Rawal and Urmila Matondkar.
We were quickly shown a table by a young, polite waiter. The same fellow brought the water jug and filled the water glasses and enquired whether we wanted to have buffet or order from the menu. Being cheapo desis, we decided to go the buffet way and, boy, was it a wise decision.
Being famished, we quickly plunged into Sukh Sagar's buffet.
Folks, at $7.95 you can not get a better deal than Sukh Sagar's vegetarian lunch buffet. Whoever said cheap and best never go together has not been to Sukh Sagar Indian restaurant in Bensalem.
From the Crisp Pappadam to the delicious Mohan Thal dessert, Shaam Savera, Dal, Channa, Tindora, Paradise Rice to Vegetarian Hakka Noodle we hit the jackpot every time.
Hooray, we were lucky even with our choice of deserts and beverages (not part of the buffet) - Mango Kulfi and Masala Chai.
Wow, not a single mishap.
Yummy Shaam Savera, Flavorful Channa, Tasty Dal and Tindora
Shaam Savera prepared with Spinach Cotton Cheese Kofta balls and set in a creamy, spicy medium-thick sauce was divine and we enjoyed it with Butter Naan, plain rice and even directly. The spinach kofta balls were fried to perfection, crisp and most importantly did not crumble like Kofta curry served at other Indian restaurants in New Jersey/Philadelphia area. For those of you unfamiliar with Shaam Savera, here is a brief one-line etymology of Shaam Savera. Shaam Savera depicts the dusk (dark) and dawn (white) of the day and is prepared with dark colored spinach mixed with white color cottage cheese.
Sukh Sagar's Shaam Savera was so flavorful that we set aside all calorie concerns and enjoyed a second helping.
Unlike most Indian restaurants in New Jersey/Philadelphia Sukh Sagar's Channa was prepared with black channa and not the regular white Chick Peas. Channa set in a brown color semi liquid gravy was flavorful and reminded us of our favorite South Indian dish Kadle Kalu Saaru.
Yet another refreshing thing at Sukh Sagar lunch offering was Dal. Vexed as we are with tasting bland, inedible brown color semi-solid dish masquerading as Dal Makhani at other Indian restaurants, we were a little concerned whether we'd meet the same fate here too. But Sukh Sagar's Dal was not thick like south Indian Tarka Dal or Pappu nor was it a tasteless mass of brown color lentils. It was semi-liquid with a nice flavour of chilli and cinnamon and a tinge of sweetness. Besides drinking the Dal like soup, we mixed it with plain rice and enjoyed it immensely.
Ditto with Tindora fry which was neither oily nor had the red color paprika or chilli powder floating around. It was reasonably crisp and rightly spiced and relished it with both Butter Naan and plain rice.
By the way the lunch offering at Sukh Sagar includes a choice of Butter Naan or Plain Naan. We opted for Butter Naan and it came hot to the table hot, evenly cooked and soft.
Good Indian-Chinese Fare
Besides Gujarati vegetarian delights, Sukh Sagar's lunch buffet during our visit included Vegetable Hakka Noodles and Paradise Rice. Veg Hakka Noodles was spicy, crisp with right amount of oil and red peppers, beans, onion and green peas and more importantly cooked by a Chef who knows his/her way around a kitchen. You see the spices had seeped well into the noodles giving the Veg. Hakka Noodles a nice flavor overall.
Paradise Rice prepared with Basmati rice, corn, onions, green beans, carrots and chilli garlic sauce was neither too spicy nor too mild and marked another plus for the restaurant.
Tasty Mohan Thal, Crisp Pappadams and Soft Fulwadi
Mohan Thal looked like the hard variety of the famed South Indian sweet Mysore Pak. One bite into it we could quickly guess that it was prepared with besan flour, ghee and milk cream. The texture was a little coarser compared to Mysore Pak but very tasty and more importantly fresh and had right amount of sugar and ghee. Mohan Thal, which is also called Besan Burfi, is supposedly a favorite sweet of the Hindu God Lord Sri Krishna. Mohan is one of Lord Sri Krishna's many names.
Besides the Mohanthal, Shaam Savera, Dal, Channa, Tindora, Paradise Rice, Veg. Hakka Noodle and Fulwadi Sukh Sagar's Lunch Buffet included a salad bar as well.
Fresh Mango Kulfi and Flavorful Masala Chai
We topped off our delicious meal at Sukh Sagar with Mango Kulfi and Masala Chai (both outside the buffet).
We love Kulfi but of late we refrain from asking for it at restaurants as it's often sourced from outside and not fresh. According to our waiter, Kulfi is prepared at Sukh Sagar restaurant every two to three days. Mango Kulfi was the only flavor available during our visit. Guys for $2 Sukh Sagar's Mango Kulfi is a steal. Four medium slices of Kulfi with Almonds/Pistachio toppings came on a plate. The Kulfi definitely had a fresh taste, strong Mango flavor and right texture.
Sukh Sagar's Masala Chai came hot to the table. We enjoyed the Masala Chai as it was prepared Indian-style by boiling milk, water, tea leaves, spices and sugar. The proportion of milk, water and tea leaves was right. Sdly, most Indian restaurants in the U.S. serve strong watery tea in the name of Masala Chai.
Good Table Practices and OK Service
Besides offereing tasty food, Sukh Sagar Indian restaurant also follows good table hygiene practices which are usually given a miss by other Indian restaurants in Philadelphia/New Jersey area.
The first good thing we noticed was that the silverware is neatly kept on top of a napkin and not directly on the table. Most Indian restaurants wipe the tables with a dirty rag after spraying a cleaning chemical and leaving the silverware directly on the table allows it to pick up the flavor of cleaning chemicals.
The second good practice we noticed at Sukh Sagar was that they'd put up a notice right next to the lunch plates requesting diners to use a new plate with each round of food helping. This is a good hygiene practice as we have noticed diners at several Indian restaurants refilling the used plate and even eating near the buffet table.
The third good practice we noticed at Sukh Sagar was the right temperature of the drinking water they served. The drinking water did not have floating ice cubes and it was cool but not ice-cold where you can not sip it. Indians do not like ice-cold water or cold water with floating ice cubes. The other restaurant that is conscious of water choice of Indian diners is Satinder Sharma's Brick Lane Curry House on East 6th St in New York City.
While Sukh Sagar's food was tasty and excellent value for money, the TV in the dining hall was a distraction to the staff who were more interested in watching Ajay Devgn dance with Urmila Matonkar in Deewane than in clearing the used plates from our table. Also we had to remind them twice to bring the Menu as we wanted to order some desserts.
Notwithtanding the minor irritation of uncleared used plates, Sukh Sagar Indian restaurant offers tasty Indian Lunch Buffet for $7.95. - - © PhillyIndia.us