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Gopuram

4401 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 286-2865

Gopuram in far north OKC

Gopuram on N.W. 23rd Street may be the oldest Indian restaurant in Oklahoma City (at least that I have observed), and I know it goes back to the 1990's or earlier. In 2015 Gopuram opened a second location on Memorial Road in far north Oklahoma City. Customers have primarily come by word of mouth, since the lack of visibility of the restaurant from the street is a reason the former restaurant in this space (Saturn Grill) cited for closing in 2014.

Over the years I have made a list of my favorite dishes at Gopuram, having eaten there more times than I have been able to count. The lesson I learned is that the buffet is great for variety, but the best food was always when I ordered something from the kitchen. So far my experience at the new Gorpuram has been a little different. Prices of the menu items are so high and the effort it takes to order them is such that I think the buffet is the only reasonable option. Thus my rating for this restaurant is based on the buffet (which at any Indian restaurant would be slightly lower than if I ordered food from the menu).

The disadvantage with the buffet, both here and at the other Gopuram, is that the food is less spicy than I think Indian food should be. There are always one or two dishes that are spiced properly, but the question is whether they will be meat or vegetarian dishes (I prefer the latter).

So far I have gone to the new Gopuram on Tuesday and Friday. The two times I had the "Tuesday" buffet it really had some good choices. The Friday buffet, though, was far less satisfying than on Tuesday. Since I have not tried the food on the other days of the week, I am giving a little more weight in my rating to my best experiences (on Tuesdays).

The buffet at Gopuram
The buffet at Gopuram (many trays are empty or nearly empty because they cook them in small batches and refresh them frequently)

The buffet line has a fairly good number of choices, but almost all of them lack the spice I normally expect in Indian food. Most of the fried dishes are not on my list of favorites, but the majority of choices are curries or other items that I think give me a good meal. Of course with the buffet you get a choice of one or more desserts, and I think this is a plus. The soups are good, but honestly this is not something I miss when I order dinners from the menu.

If I further restrict myself to vegetarian items (which I like to do in an "all you can eat" situation such as a buffet), this is where I think the buffet at Gopuram falls short compared to other restaurants. I have mentioned that the Tuesday buffet has good choices, but when I went on Friday and they told me none of the vegetarian items were spicy, I decided to skip the buffet. I expect that I am more picky about my food than many people, but for me the buffet here is not always a good deal.

Some of the chutneys and pickles available from the buffet are good but there was one occasion when I did not care for any of them (unfortunately this would also apply when you order from the menu).

On my first visit I tried several of the meat items in order to get a sense of how they were. I am not ready to say any of them are the best items at the restaurant, but I will say that the Chicken 65, and Indo-Chinese dish, was my favorite of the ones I tried. The Chicken Tikka Masala had good meat but the curry was not very flavorful. The Tandoori Chicken was something that I just thought was not as good as it should be (after trying the same dish at several other restaurants). The chicken 65 was a Tuesday special, though, and is not available all the time.

Daal makhani
On large plate: daal makhani on (left), mixed vegetable makhani (bottom right), palak paneer (top right)

To the rear: aloo gobhi (right), mushroom soup (middle), naan (left)

The plates pictured above show several of my favorite vegetarian dishes (these were all from the Tuesday buffet). Daal Makhani was flavorful and spicy, and is probably my favorite dish at the restaurant (but it is only available on Tuesday). I saw on one food show that daal makhani is one of the few Indian dishes that is not really very healthy, so it figures that this would be my favorite! In any case, the one at Gopuram is about as good as any others I have found in the city (so this is a good thing).

Aloo Gobhi (potatoes and cauliflower) was the other dish of note that I thought was very good. It was spicy, had a good flavor, and was vegetarian. Again, this was a Tuesday buffet dish (so I would say that if anyone else is like me, and likes spicy vegetarian dishes, Tuesday is the time to come).

The Mixed Vegetable Makhani had a sweet tasting tomato sauce, and was not spicy. It was a good complement to the spicy dishes, though, and is another example of the good dishes I have had on the Tuesday buffet.

Palak Paneer was not spicy, and I thought was significantly less flavorful than ones I have tried at other restaurants (but still I will not pass it up if it is on the buffet).

Chana masala
Chana masala

When I went on a day that the buffet did not have any spicy vegetarian dishes, I ordered Channa Masala from the menu in order to try it (so far this is a dish I have not seen on the buffet). This is usually one of my favorite dishes, and I liked the one here, but I thought it was not as flavorful as the one at Ajanta. It was flavorful enough, though, and really my only complaint about the channa masala is that it seems you have to order it from the menu to get it.

I should mention a little bit about my experience of ordering from the menu. It really costs about the same as getting the buffet, and ordering from the menu is "all you can eat" because they will bring you refills of rice and naan if you want. They also let me get chutneys from the buffet (the lemon pickle was very good with this dish), and they even gave me a dessert. I was happy that I got a spicy vegetarian dish, but of course I missed the variety of the buffet.

The really negative part about ordering from the menu, though, was that I waited for my food the whole time that other people had come in, eaten from the buffet, and left. They told me that they had a lot of take-out orders they had to prepare, but I think this is not a good enough reason for me to have to wait as long as I did.

For now I would advise people to get the buffet. If it is not spicy enough you can add a chutney to it (although one out of the the three times I went I could not find a satisfactory chutney or pickle). Still, the buffet will always have at least one dish which is spicy, although it might be a meat dish (I am the opposite of most people in that I would prefer that the buffet be mostly vegetarian).

The desserts were good but not particularly memorable (and I do not think I could point to one as my favorite).

They have chai tea although I have not ordered it because the prices of the buffet and menu items are already quite high.

If all the buffets were the similar to the Tuesday buffet I would probably give Gopuram a higher rating, but it really does matter which day you go. For meat lovers, though, I think the buffet items do not change very much and any day you go will be good.

RESTAURANT DETAILS

RATING: 20

Cuisine: Indian
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Sun. evening
Accessible: Yes (but the ramp in front really is bad unless you park just the right way and unless somebody else is parked in a way that blocks it--you can park several doors down at Panera though)
Tea: Chai
MSG: No
Smoking: No Smoking
Buffet: Yes

Most Recent Visit
Oct. 9, 2015

Number of Visits: 3

Best Items
Dal Makhani, Aloo Gobhi, Chana Masala

Special Ratings
Dal Makhani: special dish
Aloo Gobhi:
Chana Masala:
Chicken 65: special dish
Vegetable Korma:
Palak Paneer:
Mixed Vegetable Makhani:
Shahi Paneer:
Chicken Tikka Masala:
Tandoori Chicken:
Mushroom Soup:

Restaurant Menu
Gopuram menu

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