We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Wonderful Indian Restaurant”
Review of Spice Junction

Spice Junction
Ranked #59 of 144 Restaurants in West Columbia
Cuisines: Indian
Restaurant details
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
328 reviews
185 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
“Wonderful Indian Restaurant”
Reviewed 23 March 2014

The food is not too spicy (for the American palette). We love the food and wonderful service. When I broke my leg a year ago, the owner gave me extra assistance. That was very kind. Their food is wonderful.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank mersmom2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

47 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    21
    14
    2
    3
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Walnut Creek, Ohio
Level Contributor
84 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Good Intro To Indian Cusine”
Reviewed 10 March 2014

Have been here several times when in the area and never disappointed. Nothing overly spicy so as to probably please all. Good selection and a great way to try a variety of dishes. We were very conscious about wasting food from the buffet since we didn’t want to endure the owner’s wrath. And the ‘wasting policy’ is very well displayed on signs in the restaurant. The service was very good and the naan is hot & fresh. Seconds on the naan? No problem as long as you finish it all. These issues, while annoying, won’t stop a return visit. Ambiance and décor is lacking but the place is clean. Can't beat the price for lunch or dinner.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank buckeye4331
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
Level Contributor
52 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Good Indian pity it's only a buffet”
Reviewed 11 August 2013

My favorite Indian so far in this area. Food is really good and good value. Pity it's a buffet only which makes it less than indeal for Saturday nights, great place for lunch. If you like Indian get it on your list to try

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank gilbert h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
183 reviews
118 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Ambience Improved, Food Still Great!”
Reviewed 2 August 2013

I have reviewed Spice Junction before and liked it very much the first time. They've decorated a bit so it doesn't feel quite as much like a college cafeteria as it did! The food selection has changed some too but it's still great! The people who run Spice Junction are friendly, attentive and will keep you supplied with fresh naan. The facility is spotless both in the restaurant area proper, the restrooms and a peek into the kitchen showed it to be the same. Some people shy away from buffet style restaurants but you'll be missing a wonderful meal if you do.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great food, great price”
Reviewed 24 April 2013

I've been here over a half dozen times, and I keep coming back because it's one of the best deals for good food in the area. The price is very reasonable for an all-you-can-eat buffet, and overall the food is quite good. It's VERY family friendly, offering discounts for children on the buffet and free buffets for small children. Service is always friendly, though at this buffet it mostly consists of just bringing fresh naan.

The "atmosphere" is non-existent: a standard strip-mall cafeteria buffet look, with plain tables, a couple televisions, and some India-style pop generally playing quietly. But the food more than makes up for it. Also, while the space may look spartan, it is always kept impeccably clean.

There's always a nice variety of dishes: two types of rice, a couple chicken curries, a goat dish (usually biryani), at least 3 or 4 other vegetarian curries or other entrees, chicken and vegetarian samosas, parantha, tandoori chicken and vegetables, a good selection of tasty sauces and chutneys, and fresh naan brought to order at your table. There are usually a few other Indian cuisine items on any given day, including at least one dessert, usually a sweet semolina dish.

The quality of the Indian dishes can vary a bit, but I usually find at least 3 or 4 excellent curries or entrees on any given day (along with good rice), which is more than enough to make a great buffet.

A previous review from about 18 months ago described the curries as too "greasy" and much of the other Indian food as not great or barely spiced. I didn't start going here until about 6 months ago, but I would say things have probably improved significantly since that review. The curries are not very greasy at all compared to a lot of Indian restaurants in the U.S. (with the exception of the "butter chicken" that is usually on the buffet, which seems to be deliberately made to be very rich). The rice and biryanis are actually quite heavily spiced and very flavorful, and on occasion when kheer (rice pudding) is on the buffet, it is heavily spiced with cardamom. (Some people might think it was too much cardamom, but I found it to be really quite good.) The samosas still aren't that great, probably from a freezer, and the parantha is fair, though the fresh naan is quite good. Tandoori chicken is often not terrific.

Even with these exceptions, the food is still leagues ahead of most Indian restaurants I've encountered outside of major U.S. cities with large Indian populations. There are always some really amazing things, and the rest is good enough to satisfy your Indian craving -- at a very reasonable price for this amount of variety.

In addition, there are generally some miscellaneous Asian oddities among the buffet choices: spring rolls are almost always there, and I've sometimes seen noodles that look like lo mein. I haven't really tried these because my goal in going there is to eat the Indian cuisine. There are also a few lackluster choices: fruit cocktail dessert obviously from a can, lemon juice packets (though fresh lime slices are generally available). I'm willing to ignore some of these minor issues because of the quality of the rest, though.

A final quirky aspect of this restaurant that has been mentioned in other reviews: note the "no waste" policy. I completely understand such a policy at a buffet, though it always feels a little awkward when the owner reminds people of it when they arrive. I appreciate this policy, though, because it keeps costs down for everyone (and obviously also doesn't waste food unnecessarily).

In my experience, the policy is not strict. It's not like you need to "lick your plate clean." The matter has never even come up for me. But if you go to pay and have 3/4 of your plate still heaping with food, you will be charged extra. Just be reasonable and try little bits of everything on your first pass at the buffet. Then find what you like and heap your plate high on the second pass. This is reasonable behavior for any buffet. If you fill half of your plate with something that you aren't sure about and then throw it away, it's just a waste for everyone. At first I thought this policy was weird and awkward, but now I wish it were common at more buffets.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Bob J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Spice Junction also viewed

 

Been to Spice Junction? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing