A new Indian restaurant in Buffalo Grove gives diners a chance to sample a variety of authentic food and beverages.
The family-owned opened in May at the southwest corner of Weiland Road and Deerfield Parkway.
Meals are prepared by family patriarch Mangubhai Patel and the business is run by his son, restaurant manager Jitendra Patel, along with Jitendra’s brother, Pankaj, and cousin, Mitesh.
While the family members individually have previous restaurant experience, Swad of India is the family’s first venture together.
“We just decided we’ll try it, we’ll give it a shot. Until you try, you don’t know,” said Jitendra Patel. The 29-year-old worked in a restaurant a decade ago, but most recently served customers through Des Plaines-based Sai Heating and Cooling, which he continues to run.
Patel said the family originally considered opening a restaurant in the city, “but there’s no parking there. Parking is important.” Buffalo Grove offered plenty of space for patrons to leave their vehicles, and was a logical suburban location for the Patels, who live in Des Plaines.
Swad of India — “swad” means “taste” — offers a lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a full dinner menu beginning at 5 p.m. each day. Those who dine in can catch Indian music videos or Bollywood films on the restaurant’s flat-screen TVs (although Patel said he’s not opposed to turning on a ball game upon request) and can try Indian beer, wine and tequila. More mainstream beverages, such as Corona beer, are also available.
Three weeks after opening, Patel said the restaurant already has seen a steady stream of customers, including people who work at nearby businesses.
Popular dishes so far include chicken samosa, tandoori chicken, the Swad Special, which consists of various tandoori meats, and the “very hot” Chicken 65, deep-fried chicken with bell peppers, onions and spices.
Patel noted that while Indian restaurants may have similar items on the menu, the dishes can taste different at each place.
“We have more of an Indian taste, it’s more authentic,” the manager said. Patel would know; he moved with his family from northern India to the U.S. at age 17.
Originally, Swad of India offered northern Indian and southern Indian dishes on its menu. When the family realized that most customers were ordering northern Indian cuisine, they tweaked the menu to reflect that demand.
“In the future, if more people ask, we’ll have southern Indian food,” Patel said. We’ll bring it back, it’s not a problem.”
That customer-oriented philosophy is the backbone of this new restaurant, he said.
“My goal is to have the best food and the best service,” he said.