As of Thursday, January 26, 2012
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
6131 Peachtree Parkway N.W., Norcross
Open Since: 1998
Location: On Peachtree Parkway, in a shopping complex on the left before Woodhill Drive.
Hours: Lunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and noon to 3p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Dinner is 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5:30 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Owners: Family owned and operated by husband and wife Arun and Manju Kothary, who moved to Georgia from Rajasthan, India, in the mid-80s.
Atmosphere: The owners want the restaurant to feel just like the name. They chose furniture, mostly imported from their home state Rajasthan and nearby Gujarat, that looks like it belongs in a palace. North Indian instrumental music plays in the well-lit, decorated main room. Surrounding the dozen and a half tables with clear glass goblets are ornate chairs with plush crimson cushions. They look like small thrones. Even the imported ceiling tiles sparkle with decorative glass markings. On the left wall are five paintings with portraits of Rajasthani-Mogol figures, Indian women wearing saris and men with powerfully curved moustaches. On the right wall are floral gateway carvings and windows whose metal was forged in the Rajastahni city Udapal. By the bar are wooden carvings of a woman and calf imported from an East Indian state.
Despite the high-end decor, the restaurant fashions itself as casual and family-oriented. Dinner customers are often middle-aged couples with children. Customers are an even mix of Indian and non-Indian. The lunch buffet and early dinner attract mostly non-Indians, while Indian-Americans often come after 7:30 p.m. because of a cultural inclination for late dinners.
Behind the main room is a banquet hall that can hold 300 people, often used for parties and receptions during the weekend. When it's not used, the floor is bare, but chandeliers dangle overhead and a large leather elephant stands by the doorway.
- Menu: The restaurant offers authentic North Indian cuisine with Matron Manju Kothary in charge of the food using skills taught by her mother and mother-in-law. Lunch is a buffet with three meat dishes and five vegetable dishes selected by Manju who varies it daily. One Sunday a month, they offer buffet food from an Indian state whose food they don't normally serve. Dinner is sit-down a la carte, offering an even mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian (but no beef) options. They serve a wide selection of popular Indian dishes like biryanis (rice), curries and paneer (cheese). For kids, there are mild dishes.
One unique section on the menu is Indo-Chinese, food with Chinese sauces prepared with a spicy Indian touch. The signature dish is the Koftadumanari, cheese stuffed potatoes in a mild tomato sauce. Other popular dishes include the palace combo featuring different tandoori (grill) items and chicken tikka masala, a very popular Indian dish among non-Indians.
- Things you might not know: The Palace also caters around the Southeast, especially for Indian weddings. They used to have belly dancers on Fridays but stopped after customers started getting bored with seeing them.