(Her) I feel slightly guilty for waiting this long to pay homage to one of our favorite restaurants ever. We have after all, traveled through snow storms from Oshkosh to get there, and one of the happiest moments about buying our house in Kimberly was it’s proximity to Sai Ram. I would venture to say that we have been frequenting this restaurant almost as long as we’ve been together (ten years). And let me clarify that when I say “frequent” I mean multiple times in one week. We have been to Sai Ram so much that they know my husband doesn’t like onions, they know what we prefer to drink, they comment when we make changes to our bodies, our hairstyles, and my husband has bought me spices from them as a Christmas present.
Everyone who reads this knows that my hubby is a picky eater so it did take some convincing to get him to try Indian food. I think what happened was that after picking so many restaurants himself he made a concession to eat wherever I wanted.
So with that said, I was a bit appalled to see that there are so many bad reviews out there. I have a hunch that since these reviews specifically mention their competition, they are written by said competitor. Whenever I see such obvious slander, I generally ignore it and I hope you will too. I think that people these days have such a sense of entitlement and don’t understand that if you are respectful, you will get respect. And as ironic as this may be coming from me….watching the Food Network and visiting a restaurant once does not qualify you to judge.
Sai Ram’s biggest draw for us was their buffet that they had everyday for lunch. I must say I am disappointed that they have recently eliminated it. Originally, it served as a way to try new things without committing to an entire meal, eventually, I knew what I liked and ended up sticking to just a few items anyway. Still, it was nice to have all the options that the buffet afforded.
With the removal of the buffet, getting what we want has become a little more expensive and now the place has become less of a regular thing to do and more of a special occasion kind of place so I’m a bit ashamed to say we just don’t go as often as we used to. For me, it’s because it’s always been hard to decide what I wanted and commit to one dish.
If you are new to Indian food, let me first say it’s not always spicy hot–when people say it’s spicy they are more likely referring to the number of spices in the dishes. You’ll recognize the spices like ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, turmeric, but you may have just never had them so complexly combined. It’s really not fair to compare one Indian restaurant to another because there really is no such thing as an Indian recipe. Most recipes are a personal mixture of spices that is unique and prized by each cook therefore each restaurant would be unique.
Indian food by nature, is very vegetarian friendly. Sai Ram probably has just as many vegetarian and vegan dishes as they do meat dishes and even my husband sometimes prefers the vegetarian versions of a dish than the ones that were simply sauce and meat. There are many different types of bread and appetizers too which are vegetarian.
If you’re new to the place, try the Chicken Makhani. It’s tandoori baked chicken in a spice laden tomato cream sauce and no matter what I’ve tried, I always come back to it. Talk to your servers or hosts and they will be more than helpful in suggesting dishes and various sauces or condiments that will compliment them. The menu does a wonderful job of describing how each dish is cooked and what it contains so there really shouldn’t be any surprises.
Ambiance…..9.002 Value….7.054 (this would be higher if there were still a buffet…sorry Sai Ram!) Service….9.342
(Him)First time there I says “no me likey the onions”. What you got without onions. It was buffet and they sits me away and says they be right back. 10 minutes pass and they cook me up my own plate Onion Free, Onion Free! It was then I knew I was in love. Since that day this place has teetered as my favorite joint for food. It’s always top 5 and as consistent as can be. Me thinks I brought the Sai Ram matriarch to rage one day as I wasted a whole bowl of makhani at the buffet but she has simmered since then because I keep bringing the benjamins to her register. Now to speak somewhat normal. The whole family is super cool and super polite at the RAM. The Chicken makhani, vegetable koorma, the nan bread, the samosas are all top notch. It’s really all I eat there so perhaps other items on the menu are great too. They used to make idli which I adored however it has made it’s way off the menu. 5 out of 7 of my friends loved this place so that’s a damn good recommendation. I’m not in a creative mood so I’ll just say that if you live in the Fox Cities area and do not eat here regularly, you are a fool,a dang fool!