Amul India is a convenient, if slightly inconsistent, Indian restaurant on Sawmill Road in Columbus. I stop there frequently when I'm shopping at the Anderson's Market or Whole Foods. The buffet, while well priced, is not the best in the Columbus area. Some items can be of an excellent quality; however, on this visit, Amul failed as often as it succeeded.
There are many items on the buffet for vegetarians. There was a potato curry, a mushroom mater, saag paneer, dal makhani, vegetarian lentil soup and vegetable pakoras. The free naan is a nice addition to the buffet. While I appreciate free bread, however, it is difficult to keep naan hot enough to truly enjoy under the glare of a heat lamp.
Truthfully, I enjoy eating at Amul more when I order off the menu rather than being limited to the buffet. The staff is typically helpful if not a touch distant. The crew when I was visiting was unable to answer my question how many vegetarian items are part of your buffet. This question is usually easily answered at most restaurants from the Indian subcontinent. On most of my previous visits, the staff and its service have been very efficient and friendly, so I'll mark this trip down as a hiccup in an otherwise well oiled machine.
My beverage did come to the table flat. I normally have a very good meal at Amul, but this was another symptom of a visit that definitely missed the mark. My advice would be to skip the buffet and order form the menu. The rice pudding is at least very good whether you get it from the buffet or the main menu.
One of the points noted in the Columbus Dispatch review of Amul India is that the cuisine they offer is more Northern Indian in character (very true), and therefore, less vegetarian friendly. It is an Indian restaurant, however, so there are definitely a number of choices for those who don't eat members of the animal kingdom.
If you are really in the mood for Indian food, give Bayleaf and Cuisine of India a try. These are my two favorites, and I definitely rank them above Amul in terms of atmosphere, food and beverage options. I will be back to Amul in the future, as all of my previous visits have been positive experiences. Even Babe Ruth struck out every now and again, and unfortunately my last visit was more like Jim Rice's last run at the Hall of Fame...close, but no cigar. Check out the pictures below.