Mehak Washington DC
817 7th St NW
(bet I & H St NW)
Washington, D.C., 20001
More Washington DC area Indian Restaurants
Mehak Washington D.C. Review: Not a Bad Deal
When a friend from India attending a conference at the DC Convention Center wanted an Indian lunch, we took him to Mehak.
It was an easy choice since Mehak is the closest Indian restaurant to Washington DC Convention Center on Mt Vernon Sq NW.
Mehak AmbianceWhen we walked into Mehak around 12:30 PM, the restaurant was bustling with activity.
An African-American waiter with a stressed out look on his face requested us to wait for a few minutes as all tables were taken.
Like most Indian restaurants, Mehak has no ambiance to speak off except some paintings on the wall.
As you enter, there is an L shaped cramped dining hall with tables upfront, lunch buffet station on the right side by the rear wall, kitchen behind it and rest rooms on the second floor.
After a 10-minute wait, we landed a table.
Lunch BuffetSince no menu cards were handed out for a la carte meal and completely ignored by the wait-staff, we opted for the lunch buffet.
Lunch buffet priced at $13.95 during our visit included the standard Lettuce Cucumber Salaad, White Rice, Punjabi Kadi, Saag Paneer, Mushroom Mutter, Naan bread, Butter Chicken, Tandoori Chicken, Goat Curry, Channa Batura, Samosa, Gulab Jamun, Rice Pudding and sides like Green Chutney.
While none of the items we tasted at Mehak fell in the 'outstanding' category, they were mostly on the decent side.
Here's our take on Mehak's lunch buffet starting with the Chicken items:
ChickenButter Chicken was creamy as it should be. Chicken pieces were tender and overall we would put the dish in the category of good curries.
Butter Chicken (top) Tandoori Chicken (bottom)
Tandoori Chicken was well marinated and well roasted. So nicely done that we couldn't resist a second helping.
We did not get a chance to taste the Goat Curry as the cramped lunch buffet station area was too crowded and we didn't feel like returning there.
Vegetarian DishesPlain white rice was lukewarm and included some diced Carrots, Green Peas but had large clumps. (see below picture)
The moderately spiced Punjabi Kadi was medium thick and included Pakora (Fritters). We had no complaints.
Mushroom Mutter was a little watery and bland.
Mushroom Green Peas Curry
Like Punjabi Kadi, Saag Paneer was moderately spiced. But it did not suffer from the common problem of raw flavor of Spinach or Saag. Paneer cubes tasted fresh.
No issues here too folks. Cherry Tomatoes added a nice flavor to the Saag Paneer.
Channa Batura, Naan BreadChanna Batura counter at the buffet station included small-sized Pooris, Channa Masala Curry and Vegetable Samosa.
Naan (bottom left) Samosa, Channa Masala, Batura (bottom right)
Channa Masala was medium thick and once again moderately spiced but was hot temperature wise. So were the Pooris. Samsosa was well fried, crisp and the Potato filling was alright.
Naan bread was dumped in large chunks at the buffet station.
Naan bread is best when it is served at the table right from the hot tandoor.
Only lazy restaurants like Mehak dump it at the buffet table. It was chewy and unpalatable.
DessertsDesserts included usual Indian fixtures of Gulab Jamun and Rice Pudding.
Gulab Jamun in Syrup
We were disappointed with both. Gulab Jamun was cold, hard and syrup was high on sugar.
Rice Pudding was at room temperature and a bit low on sweetness.
ServiceWhile the food was overall decent except the desserts, service was poor and dining room hygiene pathetic.
Though there were several waiters moving around, nobody made an attempt to stop some Indian and Caucasian diners from carrying their plates (with some food on them) back to the buffet station for refilling.
This is a serious issue with buffet restaurants as refilling used plates can cause food contamination issues. we hope the DC Health Regulation and Licensing Administration department takes a note of this bad practice.
Dining plates were clean but way too small to hold a decent quantity of food.
And the waitress tried to grab our plate while we were still eating. We had to politely tell her to return later.
Also, there were no dessert spoons. And when we asked for dessert spoons, we were given a large food spoon.
Then there was the issue with our Mango Lassi. It took nearly 15 minutes for Mango Lassi to appear at the table and only after two reminders.
Mehak DC RatingIf you can stomach Mehak's indifference to hygiene and service, you might relish its food.
If you want to visit Mehak for lunch buffet, we recommend you go early as a precaution against exposure to possible food contamination from diners carrying used plates to the buffet station. - © DCIndia.us