Gopuram Taste of India: thoughts from an Indian food novice

by | July 31, 2008 | 21 Comments

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Gopuram Taste of India is located at 4559 NW 23rd in Oklahoma City (map). They are open every day from 11am to 10pm. Find out more on their website.

So, just because I run a website about Oklahoma City restaurants, it doesn’t mean I’m thoroughly versed in every type of cuisine. In my short 33 year life, I’ve tried a lot of restaurants and a lot of different types of food, but there’s still much to be tasted. Indian food is one such frontier for me. Sure, I’ve had some Indian food in my life, but not enough to really explore it as it deserves to be explored. So, I recently began my journey in earnest into Oklahoma City’s Indian food landscape and I started at Gopuram Taste of India.

I’ve had a lot of people tell me that Gopuram is at the top of Oklahoma City’s Indian restaurant choices. Some of you even commented such on Andrew’s review of Kha-Zhana. Others of you emailed in directly to recommend it. Plus, I work with quite a few Indian food lovers at my office, and they indicated that Gopuram was a great place to begin. After visiting, I have to agree. Granted, I haven’t tried the other places in the city, but I thoroughly enjoyed Gopuram and I would highly recommend it, especially for the lunch buffet.

Indian cuisine is quickly climbing up toward the top of my favorites. The richness, complexity and spiciness is all so very appealing to me. Also, while I typically don’t enjoy all-you-can-eat buffet’s (since they usually lead to over-eating), I do feel that experiencing Indian food through a buffet is a great option for the variety of things you get to try. This is particularly true when you are new to the experience.

Gopuram offers an excellent buffet. I went at lunch and the cost was $7.95 (it’s $10.95 on Saturday / Sunday and at dinner, and children 3-9 are half price). They offered soups, fruit, and a wide array of appetizers and main dishes, plus some desserts. I appreciated that all of the offerings were always kept well-stocked. They never seemed to run out of anything on the line.

As appetizers, I had a very rich and creamy tomato soup that was very, very good. The naan bread was also plentiful and very nice, plus I tried the vegetarian samosas which I really loved. I appreciated the fact that these samosas had a fairly natural and earthy flavor, not overly seasoned, though definitely savory enough for me.

From the main dishes, I tried just about everything I could. One of the highlights was the Chicken Tikka Masala. This is boneless chicken cooked in amazing creamy tomato-based sauce. I thought the chicken was perfectly tender and the sauce was incredibly smooth and flavorful. Another chicken option is the Tandoori chicken which consists of stand alone pieces of chicken that have been marinated well and baked in a Tandoor oven.

There were a lot of other dishes on the line as well, and they were all quite good. One great thing about Indian cuisine is that there are lots of vegetarian options. I sampled several vegetable dishes on the buffet and Gopuram’s menu also features many vegetarian features.

One thing that I always heard about Gopuram is that the atmosphere is really well done. I was very anxious to see what everyone was talking about. I agree that it is nicely appointed, though the style wasn’t exactly my taste. I’ve not been to India, so I don’t know how authentic it is, but it seemed a little over-the-top to me.

However, you can tell that they have put a lot of effort into the atmosphere in their restaurant and I can appreciate that, no matter what the style. There is a large open seating area with a circular fireplace in the middle (it wasn’t burning when we went in the 90 degree weather, but I assume it would be great for the winter). Plus, they have built in some more private dining areas — a selection of individual rooms where you can get a more isolated environment. These could be very nice for a quiet dinner. You can see pictures and descriptions of these rooms as well as the main dining room and their banquet room on their website gallery.

The whole environment just feels really solid. It’s not temporary or cheap. It seems like it has been there a long time and that they are planning to stay. They also use nice, heavy dinnerware and large, solid silverware pieces. This, in combination with the extremely polite and well-dressed wait staff creates a higher-end dining experience, even when you’re there for the lunch buffet. It’s nice to be able to get such an experience for under $8.

It seems that on Friday and Saturday nights, they even offer dinner shows that they call “Arabian Nights” at 7:30pm and 8:30pm with music and dancing.

Gopuram Taste of India was an excellent starting place on my journey of Oklahoma City’s Indian cuisine. If you’re an Indian food novice like me, I highly recommend it as a place to begin. Not that it’s just for novices because obviously there a lot of Indian food experts out there who recommend it as well. I will say that those in the know have told me that Gopuram represents North Indian cuisine which tends to be a little less spicy and more palatable for the American taste. Taj apparently represents South Indian cuisine which can be more bold. I look forward to trying Taj soon to taste the difference for myself.

Please leave your comments on Gopuram and Indian food in general. I look forward to learning more from you guys as I continue on my journey.

Gopuram Taste of India on Urbanspoon

This article was posted by Tim Wall on Thursday, July 31st, 2008. It is filed under:

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  • M&M says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 8:00 am   

    You’ve got to try Ajanta at 122nd and Penn. Not as big of a selection as Gopuram, but just as tasty, if not more.

  • Beverly says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 1:05 pm   

    Just a comment about Indian decor. I lived 4 years in Nairobi, and there are a lot of people there from India and surrounding countries, including many who have been in Kenya several generations. [As a side note, they're referred to there as Asians, and that category also includes people i would call Orientals, from China, Japan, Vietnam, etc.]

    In the beginning I detested all the ornate decor. It’s still too much for my taste overall, but it does kind of grow on you. There’s an item I saw a lot, called a Zanzibar chest, which in size can be all the way from a table top item to a huge equivalent of a cedar chest (similar in dimensions to a “hope chest”). They were dark wood, intricately carved, and covered in brass brads or tacks. By the time I left Kenya, I owned one. But it IS small, about 6 inches widel. Even though they’re called a Zanzibar chest, I think they mainly stem from Asian tastes.

    I loved the Indian/Asian food in Nairobi. For a while I couldn’t eat it–the very smell bothered me. But once my gall bladder was removed, I was fine and the food was great. I love spicy foods.

  • Katie says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 10:51 am   

    We love Indian food and have tried both Kha-Zhana and Taj (N MacArthur & NW Expwy). My 2 favorite side items – the fried spinach leaves and the mango pudding.Can’t wait to try Gopuram!

  • Sheri says:
    August 2nd, 2008 at 10:08 am   

    Please, please, please try the gulab jamun the next time you go to Gopuram. They are my favorite dessert in the city, which is a huge statement for this chocoholic (and they are not chocolate at all).

    If you can, try the buffet on New Year’s Eve. I don’t know if it is just that holiday or possibly more, but they really have quite the spread laid out.

  • Brian says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 11:21 am   

    The owner is mean! I have watched him mistreat customers. I think the food at Taj is much much better….. Just my two cents.

  • Another Cynthia says:
    September 3rd, 2008 at 6:09 pm   

    As a relative newbie to Indian cuisine, I was very pleased with the food, interior and service. The mint chutney was out of this world. Don’t let the bright color discourage you from trying it. Surprisingly, the mint flavor is hardly detectable. I don’t eat red meat, but all the chicken and veggie dishes were very good. I dined during lunch on Saturday and the waitstaff was very attentive and nice. The spiciness of the foods could be bumped up, but I would definitely dine there again.

  • Carron says:
    September 9th, 2008 at 9:03 pm   

    I have been eating Indian Food since childhood, My Dad is Indian origin. During my child hood days I was neve been fan of Indian Food but few years back got a chance to visit India more oftenly after I started working for multinational. During my out stays from Oklahoma got a chance to dine out several Indian Restaurants in USA and abroad, but,never came across restaurant like Gopuram. Thru proffessionalism to keep there standards intacts. Khazana and Taj does not have any proffessionalism and any standards. Thanks

  • Casey says:
    September 30th, 2008 at 9:31 am   

    Gopuram is our favorite Indian restaurant…as well as the favorite of all of our Indian friends (I think that says something). If I could eat at only one restaurant for the rest of my life, Gopuram would be it. Their food is always fresh, flavorful and the service is ALWAYS good (which is hard to say for most restaurants these days). A great dining experience. Now, I just want to try out one of their cute rooms in the front of the dining room. As a side note, the belly dancing was cool, but the music was REALLY loud.

  • Kevin says:
    November 1st, 2008 at 12:59 pm   

    The Taj Mahal room was an excellent choice for an anniversary dinner.

  • Eric Granata says:
    December 3rd, 2008 at 9:58 am   

    I’ve always loved Gopuram. The food is fantastic, the atmosphere is the best in the city for Indian restaurants and the staff is very nice (the owner has always been very kind to my family). However, I must admit that recently I’ve decided that I prefer Kha-Zhana’s food over Gopuram’s. Still, I make it to Gopuram from time to time.

  • Kevin says:
    March 27th, 2009 at 4:12 pm   

    There is a great Indian restaurant in Norman called Himalayas. It is more South Indian cuisine but their food seems to have more of a spicier kick than Gopuram or Taj. I attempted to try Khazana and it didnt look appetizing so my friend and I left. Himalayas changes their buffet often so they have several different choices and they do have standards such as the Chicken Tikka Masala that is there all the time. Taj has some good things and one with a homemade cheese that is good. Himalayas food just seems to have more of that kick that some of the OKC Indian places.

  • michelle says:
    April 10th, 2009 at 11:39 am   

    Misal of India in Norman (Ed Noble Parkway, near Toys-r-Us)is really great. It is not typical Indian fare, but it is always predictably good and the buffet is a great value.

  • Josie says:
    June 7th, 2009 at 3:19 pm   

    The food here will blow your mind.
    I didn’t even know that Indian food could be this delicious until I went to Gopuram yesterday; after eating at the buffet in Norman, I was hesitant to go back.

    Everything at Gopuram is hot, fresh, and seasoned wonderfully. Their selection is huge, service staff is attentive, and the food is AMAZING. Even if I haven’t tried more than 2 Indian restaurants, this has GOT to be the best in OKC.

  • Kelly says:
    July 7th, 2009 at 9:46 am   

    My husband and I went to Gopuram this weekend. He had never had Indian food before, and neither of us had been there. When I explained to the waiter that we had never been there, he took the time to explain the menu, and then showed us the buffet and told us about all the dishes. I was very impressed.

    We do not really like buffets, but that’s what we ordered since we wanted to try everything. We found the food to be excellent! My favorite part was, if they have run out of something on the buffet, they have a waiter bring a bowl to your table and offer to serve you. The food could be spicier (in my opinion), but it was very flavorful, and had just the right heat for my husband.

  • Cult of Nobody says:
    August 19th, 2009 at 6:21 pm   

    I have eaten at Gopuram, Khazana, Ajanta, Misal, and have enjoyed all of them for different reasons.

    The vindaloo at Ajanta nearly made me cry.

    The mushroom soup at Gopuram makes my tummy do flips.

    I ate something at Khazana that I remember really liking. Don’t know what it was but I don’t really ever know what I am eating when I go for Indian.

    It was several years ago when I ate at Misal but the appetizer I had was really good.

  • Rick Cain says:
    October 7th, 2009 at 11:54 am   

    The food is pretty good and the atmosphere is nice, but I had some of the dessert and had indigestion for a day aftewards. I don’t know if the milk was rotten or what. I eat indian food regularly and don’t have issues normally with the rice pudding.

  • SSSSSNAKES! says:
    February 4th, 2010 at 10:32 pm   

    Took my girlfriend to a special dinner in one of the private rooms here, sunken floor with pillows and exotic decorations all around…it was unforgettable.

  • Dave says:
    April 13th, 2010 at 4:10 pm   

    I have been to India twice for fairly lengthy stays (6-10 weeks).
    This is a very nice review, but it misses a very important point– this isn’t just Indian food, it’s SOUTH Indian food, which is a special cuisine all unto itself. Most Indian restaurants offer Northern and Pakistani dishes. South Indian is based on sambar, a lentil- and vegetable – based sauce that is more like a soup and always served heated. Everything comes with it, it is almost as much a staple as rice. There are a host of appetizers unique to the South: iddly, a steamed cake made of something like cream of rice; vada, unsweetened, deep fried donuts made of garam, a type of lentil flour; utthapam, a garam pancake with added veggies; and dosai, giant rolled up, giant, paper thin crepes, sometime stuffed with a potato and peas mixture, again made of garam flour. Along with the sambar, these also come with the traditional coconut chutney. I travel through OKC a few times a year and was lucky enough to find this excellent restaurant. It is a rare and precious establishment, and I hope OKC residents appreciate it.

  • Jimmy says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 11:34 am   

    Never Ever will go this restaurant again. My sister In law caught fly in the fry fish. Instead of they say sorry , they was turn into arguing with us. Food is tasteless and old.
    Talk to there chef “Rehman”. He will tell you all the story.
    Not recommended at all.

  • Jeremy says:
    March 28th, 2013 at 9:18 pm   

    I’ve been a regular at Gopuram for nearly a decade. I moved away to Portland, Oregon for a couple years and tried Indian restaurants there, and while there are some good ones, none of them compared to Gopuram. Aside from family, Gopuram was what I missed most about OKC.

    Try the rasam; I couldn’t find a good bowl of rasam in all of Portland, but Gopuram’s is excellent. They have very authentic spiced chai, too.

    I did go to Taj a couple times when they were on NW Expressway. They were pretty decent. I’ve tried Khazana as well; decent, but not quite up there in quality, and I wasn’t too fond of the atmosphere. Meanwhile, the atmosphere at Gopuram is rather comfortable, and the waitstaff has always been quite friendly (and familiar with me, always prepared to bring me my chai when I come in).

    I intend to sample some of the other Indian restaurants in the area when time and money permits, but I think I’ll always consider Gopuram to be my ‘home base’, if you will.

  • 300lbs of Fury says:
    July 17th, 2014 at 1:26 pm   

    The last time I was in Gopuram much of the food was cold and the servers acted like they didn’t want to be there. It use to be really good. I think it has gone down hill.

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