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Do you see those? Right there, those little Taj Mahal-like packages of potato goodness? Well, that is all the pictures you are going to get for this post, because, yet again, I forgot the camera when we went out….I stole this pretty picture from the Chakraa website.

On Saturday Daniel and I celebrated a bitter-sweet end to the teaching of one of my students. He was such a good student and a great friend and it was really a shame to lose him. I guess his company wanted him to take some certification classes so he no longer had time for English class. Although it was very sad, it was also a good thing. He lived in Anyang-si and it was a quite a trip for me to do twice a week. He wanted to meet Daniel and he wanted me to meet his fiance as well. He offered to take us all out for dinner on Saturday and told me it was our choice. Well, I love Korean food, but Daniel and I have been hankering for something different. I suggested Indian or Mexican and he agreed. But, after I had suggested it I immediately regretted it. The reason? I LOVE Indian and Mexican food and I don’t want anyone to hate it just because of a bad restaurant or something. I was soooo nervous. I did a lot of research on the internet, reading reviews, and blogs, and comparing the pros and cons of each place I found. I finally settled on Chakraa Indian restaurant. It got a few fair reviews and it had a buffet (which Daniel and I love since we found that awesome Indian buffet in DC). What better way to sample different curries than in a Indian buffet? Well, we went there and to be honest I was a bit disappointed.

Now, first I must mention that it wasn’t horrible. There were actually quite a few things that I liked.

Chakraa restaurant actually has a few branches throughout Seoul. But, only the Itaewon and Hannam-dong branch does the weekend buffet. We went to the Itaewon branch. It was a very clean, bright, and attractive restaurant. The servers and host were very kind (and yes, they were Indian). They took our plates and refilled our waters promptly and were kind with our different requests. The restaurant can seat about 40 so it is a nice cozy place. It is one of the few restaurants I have been to that has been quite quiet inside. Korean restaurants are quite loud and busy, with people shouting for more side dishes or more water or for the server to cut up their dish for them or whatever. So, it was a nice change of pace. With the buffet we were served naan bread and a full tandoori chicken at the table. Both of these were quite good, especially the naan. The tandoori was tasty, unfortunately, by the time I got any (Maya had to go to the bathroom when it came out) it was cold. The buffet was interesting. I think there were about 3 appetizers. My favorite being the samosas that I included a picture of at the top of the post. They are stuffed with potatoes and peas and were served with 2 types of chutneys. Very delicious. The other appetizers were so-so. There was a soup that really didn’t look too appetizing so I skipped that. They only had 4 main dishes. 3 curries and one lentil dish. Now, this is where I was sorely disappointed. I really felt that the curries were watered down. They just weren’t as strong as I remembered eating them in the States. I really enjoy the different spices in Indian dishes and I enjoy them when they are strong. So, these curries were a let-down for me. The other reason I was disappointed was because there was no yummy Indian rice to be seen anywhere. I know that you can eat curry with either rice or bread or both but I was so used to getting rice with my curry that I was sad when I didn’t see any at the buffet. I guess I could have ordered it though. They also had quite a few salads. I tried one of their chick pea salads (which was fair). I wish they would have had less salads and more curry. They also had some desserts that I really did not enjoy at all. As for Daniel he liked one of the curries, thought the desserts were pretty good and also enjoyed the samosas immensely. If I were to rate this restaurant on a scale from 1 to 10. 1 being “never again” and 10 being “I want to live there” I would give Chakraa a 4 on the buffet. I am still curious on how the other dishes are, so we might go back. The price of the buffet was 14,000 won an adult. Children 7 and under are free. You can check out the prices for the dishes on their website (which I provided a link for at the top of my post).

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