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Lunch, Anyone? India Quality

The search for cheap, authentic Indian food stops here


India Quality. Photos by Cydney Scott

India Quality offers a quaint and homey alternative to the many chain restaurants near it in Kenmore Square. Established in 1983, the restaurant offers traditional North Indian cuisine at prices that fit even a poor college student’s budget.

Located below an apartment complex on Comm Ave, a flight of stairs leads down to India Quality, making it easy to miss. But it’s worth seeking out.

Our lunch began with complimentary appam, a thin crispy bead served with a cucumber and tomato spread. The spread was sweeter than we expected, but complemented the saltier, seedy appam.

We ordered an array of dishes for lunch and were pleasantly surprised to discover that the seemingly small portions were more than filling, even allowing us to take home leftovers.

After poring over the menu, we selected aloo gobhi ($8.40), a potato and cauliflower curry, butter chicken ($8.75), and garlic nan ($3.50). The dishes arrived as ordered, on the mild side. However, this did not mean that they were flavorless and dull. The aloo gobhi, even when prepared mild, retained a kick.

The butter chicken was a particular favorite. The chicken was tender and juicy, the curry sauce creamy, but not too rich. The basmati rice that accompanied the dish and the garlic nan were both excellent pairings with the chicken. The dish comes with a pickled cabbage garnish we found a bit too bitter for our liking.

The hot nan was studded with garlic and spices and gave an extra dose of flavor to our chicken and vegetables. Although the bread is meant to be eaten with the curry, it’s delicious by itself, soft in the center, with just a bit of toughness around the edges—the perfect consistency.

Our Indian feast was capped off with hot coffee and tea, which we were pleased to find included with our lunch special.

The service was impeccable. Food came quickly and waiters were quick to refill our water glasses the moment they hit the three-quarters mark.

The decoration inside the small restaurant is cute, but not kitschy. Tables are adorned with an embroidered placemat that serves as centerpiece and proclaims, “Welcome to India Quality.”

India Quality is at 484 Commonwealth Ave., one block from the Kenmore Square T station. The restaurant  is open for lunch Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and for dinner Monday through Friday, 5 to 11 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 3 to 11 p.m. Phone: 617-267-4499. All major credit cards are accepted. A menu can be found here.

This is part of a weekly series featuring Boston lunch spots of interest to the BU community. If you have any suggestions for places we should feature, leave them in the comments section below. Check out our list of lunchtime tips on Foursquare.

Allison Thomasseau can be reached at althoma@bu.edu.


16 Comments on Lunch, Anyone? India Quality

  • Aleeza on 02.24.2011 at 9:01 am

    Happy this review was written

    I’ve been going to India Quality since my Freshman year at BU. I absolutely love it. You just can’t beat the price, quality of food and service. It’s true about the water glasses too – which would get annoying at any other restaurant, but it is greatly appreciated when my mouth is burning and nose is dribbling from the spices (which is normal and good).

    As for the reviewer’s comment that the food came out mild, don’t hesitate to ask them to make it spicy. My fiancé loves spicy food and other Indian places don’t feel comfortable making it as spicy as he’d like. Not at India Quality! He asked them to make him cry and he was a waterworks for the rest of the dinner.

    More people need to try India Quality — Indian is my favorite cuisine because of this place!

    I also recommend that you go visit Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant up in Somerville! — if you do, can you bring me?

  • Anonymous on 02.24.2011 at 9:10 am


    “Nan” isn’t the Indian spelling; they spell it “naan.” Maybe it’s just a transliteration mistake, but it makes me think they’re not that authentic.

  • Anonymous on 02.24.2011 at 9:40 am

    Have you tried other indian restaurants in Boston?

    I am a BU student originally from india. Don’t mean to burst your bubble, but india quality is far from authentic. It is the WORST indian food I have ever had.

  • Anonymous on 02.24.2011 at 9:53 am

    love this place but students better watch the time and not come a little too late for lunch cuz their dinner prices hike up for a lesser quantity of food.

  • Anonymous on 02.24.2011 at 11:00 am

    Great feature…will be sure to check it out!

  • Anonymous on 02.24.2011 at 1:00 pm

    IT’S NAAN!

  • Naan/Nan on 02.24.2011 at 1:45 pm


    This is how naan is spelled in Hindi: नान

  • Anonymous on 02.24.2011 at 3:17 pm

    The food is good, not great like Mantra downtown. Also, the restaurant could be cleaner inside. I’ve had dust and bugs on my glasses and straws on the two times I’ve dined in.

  • Anonymous on 02.24.2011 at 5:45 pm

    I agree with a previous comment on the authenticity of food at India Quality. The food is anything but Indian.

    Everyone who likes the food at India Quality needs to go to other Indian restaurants in Boston. There are a couple near West Campus.

  • Anonymous on 02.25.2011 at 9:44 am

    I seriously love the food here. I only always get Malai Kofta, but it’s so good.

  • Anonymous on 02.27.2011 at 8:30 pm

    From India

    With all respect, for every Indian restaurant in Boston, there are Indians who proclaim it’s the worst Indian food they’ve ever had and far from authentic. It may not be perfect North Indian food, but it’s a great place nevertheless. Of all the Boston Indian restaurants I’ve been to (Bombay, Tantric, Bhindi, all of the Cafe of Indias, and many others), IQ (and its sister restaurant Punjab Palace in Allston) are among the best.

  • Anonymous on 02.28.2011 at 3:30 am

    Um...not good Indian food

    There’s a problem when India Quality’s Butter Chicken tastes like their Chicken Korma. The food is bland, even when spicy. It ends up just tasting like “hot”. It tastes like Trader Joe’s Indian food…it’s pathetic.
    Go to Kashmir on Newbury if you want good Northern Indian food.

  • Anonymous on 03.01.2011 at 10:09 am

    I personally love IQ’s food. There’s a reason why its been around since before most of us were born. The food is great! If anyone is curious what gets put into the food, why not just ask the staff or the cooks? Maybe they’ll let you observe how its made and you can assess the authenticity. Assuming..of course…you even know how to cook authentic Indian food. I always am curious as to what individuals mean by “authentic”. If they are comparing the food to their mother’s cooking, i’m sorry to say but only their mom’s cooking is going to live up to their standards.
    Also–for anyone who ever has an issue with any restaurant’s cooking or cleanliness its a good idea for you to go to the management and let them know.

  • Kiri on 05.19.2011 at 10:29 pm

    Bad reviewers

    I’ve eaten at every Indian restaurant in the city (and many in the metro area) and IQ is among the best I’ve had. Those comparing it to “authentic” food, saying they’re from India and claiming it’s horrible are probably from a different area of India with a much different spice standard. India has so many different cuisines and so many personal family recipes.

    And I am from India. It’s very, very good.

  • This place is not cheap! on 06.29.2011 at 7:50 am

    the food here is not authetic and not cheap at all. There are many other cheaper and more authetic Indian food options in the city. In fact, India Quality is one of the more expensive places.

  • Anonymous on 06.29.2011 at 7:52 am

    India Quality is not authentic and not cheap at all! There are many other cheaper and more authentic Indian options around the city. In fact, India quality is one of the more expensive places.

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