Review of India Garden in Lacey, Washington

This isn’t “content marketing.” I receive no compensation from India Garden or any of the other places I write about. These are just my honest thoughts. 

India Garden is a new restaurant in Lacey, Washington. I’m not exactly sure how long it’s been open because I live in Tacoma, but the “Grand Opening” sign was still up, so I assume it’s not been more than a month.

Being a big fan of Indian cuisine, I decided I had to try it out. I’m glad I did.

I went right for their lamb jalfrezi. It’s my favorite Indian dish, and I’ve eaten it hundreds of times over the course of my life. Every time I try a new Indian place, I try their lamb jalfrezi first.

Well, I can say, unequivocally and without hyperbole, that India Garden made the best lamb jalfrezi I’ve ever had.

The dish was tangier than any other jalfrezi I’ve ever had, and a little heavier on the cilantro. The lamb was succulent and not hardened and overcooked as lamb often gets at other places.

I also tried the India Garden Noodles, which you can see described on their online menu. I’ve never had anything quite like these noodles. They are one of the restaurant’s “savory snacks,” which are “tasty and delicate typical Indian road-side snacks from stalls or courts in India.”

Despite being a “snack,” the portion was large enough that I still had some left over to eat when my main course came out. The taste of the noodles contrasted interestingly with my jalfrezi.

As if all those things weren’t enough, the restaurant also gives complimentary chai tea and coffee with your meals.

Interior of India Garden with several people eating.
This image is borrowed from the India Garden website.

The restaurant is bright and open, with colorful decor and plenty of windows letting in natural light, which was nice for the summer day I visited.

I didn’t get a chance to hang out at the India Garden lounge, but I did peak inside. It, too, is a clean, well-lighted place (high-five to anyone who gets the literary allusion there).

India Garden is my new favorite Indian restaurant in the Tacoma/Olympia area. I look forward to trying more of their dishes and those interesting savory snacks.

If you’re a fan of Indian and looking for a new spot to try, check them out. I think you’ll be glad you did. I’m not the only one raving about this place.

If India Garden had been in Lacey a couple years ago when I made my list of favorite Indian restaurants in the Tacoma/Olympia area, it would have been at the very top. The location is pinned to the interactive Google Map below.

The Best Indian Restaurants in Tacoma and Olympia

East India Grill is the Best Buffet in Tacoma/Federal Way Area

Indian food is my favorite cuisine of all the world’s offerings. I’ve tried every restaurant within 50 miles of Tacoma, and many beyond. In terms of overall food quality, Olympia’s Curry Corner and the Little India Express in Freighthouse Square are worthy competitors for the top spots, but when it comes to the buffet, the best I’ve ever found is the East India Grill.

I’ve eaten the East India buffet more times than I can count, and every time have found it to be top quality. The food is never stale or cold, and is always delicious. The servers are also very attentive and quick to refill beverages.

Curry Corner of Olympia

Determining my favorite overall Indian food in the area isn’t easy, but if someone were to force me to make the decision, Curry Corner would probably be my choice.

The restaurant interior is somewhat nondescript and even a little cramped, at times, but don’t let this fool you. These folks put together the most flavorful Indian food I’ve ever found.

It’s been almost a year since I ate there. When I used to live farther down south, however, I ate at this place every week or two, and I find it hard to believe that anything short of a full blown tragedy would make this place any less than great. I never had a bad dish from Curry Corner, and everyone working there has always been very professional.

(Be warned, foodies: If you ask for it “spicy” from Curry Corner, you’re getting a three-alarm fire in your mouth.)

Little India Express in Tacoma’s Freighthouse Square has an Interesting Location to go With Its High Quality Food

Freighthouse Square near the Tacoma Dome is a neat little place that feels every bit of its 105 years. Walking through its halls and visiting its shops feels like stepping back in time. Sometimes I’ll sit down there and just imagine what it looked like a century ago, full of workers and tourists shuffling along with the mad bustle of Old Tacoma in all its industrial glory hammering, pounding, and steam-whistling away outside.

The Square also has a few secret gems of cuisine, and one of those is the Little India Express. It’s a little kiosk restaurant in the food court area, but it serves a heavyweight menu. You can sit and watch the cook work if you’d like, as the whole kitchen is open to view. I have done this on a few occasions and find no mystery as to why their food tastes so good. That guy is an artist. I actually plan on asking if he’d be willing to a do a brief interview with me, because he’s an interesting guy who talks with an artist’s passion about his food.

Little India sometimes can take a little longer than one might hope, but that’s because they make every dish from scratch and because they do everything right.

The lead cook once told me how all his traditional Indian dishes have little twists of his own that he throws in. “Nobody cooks Indian like me,” he said with unabashed pride. In my experience, that statement has always held true.

Little Indian Express is a great reason to check out the Freighthouse Square. They’ve never steered me wrong.