I love experimenting with exotic and new cuisine. However, when my friend wanted to take me to this cheap Indian food buffet in Berkeley Heights, NJ on a rainy day, I was less than excited. It sounded like it would be cheap and questionable food, but I was completely blown away. The food was some of the best authentic and delicious Indian cuisine I've ever had.


wine, beer
Allison Curley

Neelam, the Indian restaurant, is situated in a rather random location that definitely doesn't look too exciting from the outside. However, the inside takes you to an exotic Indian atmosphere. With well dressed tables and red decorations, the inside feels warm, welcoming and peaceful with a soft murmur of cultural music playing in the background.

The service is really great too, especially for a buffet setting. I can just walk in, pick my own table and make my plate while the waiter refills my water and bread basket as many times as needed. They are very attentive, which always makes a restaurant experience even better.

The Special

Allison Curley

The week day lunch buffet special is all you can eat for only $9.57. You can walk in and grab six plates of food and it will always be under $10, which is great for someone who wants to try Indian food for the first time. This way, you can sample tons of different foods and begin to learn what you like. 

It seems like this restaurant has a pretty big following around this lunch time buffet special because the place was pretty full. A lot of the people who eat there are on business lunches, but there is also a younger following as well. 

The Cuisine

rice, chicken, curry, mango, coconut, shrimp, pineapple
Allison Curley

The lunch buffet has tons of options every single day. There's always a spread of naan Indian bread and spicy rice along with various salads. The protein and cooked vegetable options depend on the day of the week, but for example, in the picture above I have chicken sautéed with red peppers, onions, and spices. I also have lentils, okra, and spinach with potatoes and spices. 

While the cuisine is always rather spicy, I love that you can just plop everything on one plate and everything always seems to go really well together.

There is so much flavor and variety in Indian cuisine. Most of the time I eat vegetables there, I don't even know which ones they are because they taste so good. Luckily, Neelam labels all of the options with place cards so you can always know what you're eating. 

If you live in the New Jersey area and want to experiment with Indian food, you have to try this cheap and delicious week day lunch buffet. It's worth it for the ability to sample everything and to eat as much as you want. Neelam will allow you to be adventurous without worrying about your budget or what you decide to order.