I heard about Spice of India on recommendation from an Indian friend of mine.
She was always raving about the place and frequented the Campus Connector to go downtown to eat there as often as possible. I decided to head down there and see what all the fuss was about with high expectations.
Spice of India is located at 106 N 7th Street in downtown Richmond.
When I tried to walk through the door at 11 and found it locked, one of the owners of the restaurant let me come in and sit in the warm restaurant until they officially opened at 11:30.
As she cleaned tables and wrote out the daily specials on sandwich boards she chatted with me about my studies, the weather and her home country of India.
When I told her I’d never eaten Indian food before she gave me some recommendations and some information about the various dishes available. She was so warm and inviting I quickly forgot about the inconvenience of the odd operating hours.
Aside from the early closing time of 7 pm, I was also put off by the sparse interior. Everything was clean, but it wasn’t decorated in the way I expected. If it wasn’t for the smell in the restaurant, I would not know they were supposed to serve Indian food.
When the restaurant finally opened, I decided to get the all you can eat buffet. The plates were Styrofoam with plastic forks, so I was a bit skeptical of the legitimacy of this restaurant.
But then, I uncovered the metal dishes with the food.
Underneath each cover was a more richly colored and delicious smelling dish than the last. Rice that was perfectly steamed, chicken covered in sauce of deep reds and orange, fluffy naan bread, freshly made hummus.
Everything tasted just as good as it looked, with just enough spice to bring out traditional Indian flair.
I ended up eating two plates of butter chicken over rice, naan bread, hummus, vegetable pakora, and salad.
I heard about the spiciness of Indian food, so I was a bit concerned that I wouldn’t be able to eat anything without my eyes watering and my nose running, but everything was pleasantly seasoned.
The best thing about Spice of India is the price. For 10 dollars, I was able to get a bottled water as well as the all you can eat buffet, not to mention the wonderful and welcoming service.