A Meal Fit for a King: Royal India Grill

Hadley Rahrig

Finally, the moment has arrived! After years of students longing for the missing element of exotic cuisine, Indian food has finally graced Hamilton. Royal India Grill has officially opened to the excitement of the Colgate student population, and word of its business has readily circulated campus. After visiting this establishment, Royal India Grill can officially be deemed surprisingly authentic for a small restaurant in the hills of central New York.

Upon entering Royal India Grill, the size of the room, the art­work and the quiet ambiance is immediately striking. Although it is not an intentionally elegant restaurant, the hushed conversation and small tables are more appropriate for dates than large groups of friends. Furthermore, with only a dozen tables and a dimly lit setting, the ambiance can certainly be described as cozy. Set against warm brown walls, the painted artwork depicting village scenes is likely the defining feature of the room and greater supplements its sense of sophistication.

Flipping through the menu, the extent and sheer number of In­dian food names is initially overwhelming. However, possessing a friend that is thoroughly educated in the Indian cuisine department can help when selecting typical dishes. I highly recommend sampling an appetizer along with an entrée. Additionally, “Indian soft drinks” are available upon request. Diners are allowed plenty of time to browse the menu, so students should realize that Royal Indian Grill is a genuine sit-down experience. Although service proved to be a little slow, the wait staff was exceptionally friendly, as they eagerly advised us not to choose the spiciest version of our curry. I can assure you, however, that the spiciest curry is indeed manageable and unlikely to reduce you to tears. Moreover, the staff is more than happy to make recommendations and casually talk to diners.

As mentioned earlier, those considering Indian cuisine should not be deterred by spice if they are generally hesitant to consume spicy substances. If one wishes to take the safest route, the generously por­tioned samosa appetizer offers a satisfying fried starter that’s shorter on seasoning. With regard to entrees, an array of options ranging from vegetable-based, to chicken-based, to seafood-based curries are offered. To obtain the full Indian dining experience, it is wise to ladle the curry over the side of rice. Also, I advise ordering optional thin fluffy bread, seasoned with garlic if preferred, that can be dipped in curry. With combinations of sauces including cream, cheese or toma­to, many dishes of various degrees of flavor are available. Ultimately, it’s difficult to put one’s fork down and end the meal. The food is anything but boring.

So whether you’re curious to try Indian food or simply need a warm, spice-infused meal when winter approaches, Royal India Grill offers au­thentic dishes that are sure to appeal to the student population. This is one restaurant that will certainly allow you to be adventurous.

Contact Hadley Rahrig at [email protected]