NJ Dining: BHOJ (UPDATED)


BHOJ Restaurant
430 Market Street, Elmwood Park
(201) 797-6800
http://www.bhoj.us

Even with the economy in decline, there are probably no less than fifty Indian restaurants in Northern New Jersey (not counting Iselin and Edison) and I am probably underestimating that. With so much competition in that cuisine, it becomes hard for individual Indian restaurants to distinguish themselves from others and to attract a dedicated set of diners, particularly if a restaurant isn’t in the best of locations.

One particularly exceptional Indian restaurant is BHOJ, a small intimate Northern-style Indian restaurant in a secluded strip mall in Elmwood Park. From the outside, it looks like more of an Adult Video store than it does a restaurant, with bright red neon lights against white curtains — and I could see how many people could just pass this place by. Frankly, Rachel and I discovered this place by accident about six or seven years ago, when we happened to be in Elmwood Park shopping for appliances for our kitchen renovation. I was hungry, and I saw the restaurant from the side of the road. We went in, and I am glad we did.

Bhoj is not a unique Indian restaurant in that they are doing dishes that are significantly different than anyone else does — they’re serving probably the same two dozen Punjab-style Northern Indian dishes you’re used to, with a few added things like Dhosas and Kaathi Rolls (which, by the way, are excellent).

The way Bhoj distinguishes itself is it does all these things exceptionally well — the spicing is excellent, they are using fresh ingredients, and they are executing the dishes consistently and with skill. It should also be noted that their portion sizes are very generous, which for this day in age is a big plus because you’ll probably end up taking food home. Plus, I think their Tandoor breads and kebabs are awesome and cooked perfectly (nothing comes dried out) which scores big points when it comes to an Indian place for me.

Bhoj also does a really nice daily and weekend lunch buffet where you can try a whole bunch of their dishes for a set price — its how we first became familiar with the restaurant and probably a good way for you to do as well.

Storefront, which resembles more of a adult business than a restaurant. Still, don’t be afraid to go inside. (2007)

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

The inside of the restaurant is small and intimate, and owner Sonny presides over everything to make sure each customer is happy. (2007)

BHOJ Restaurant, Elmwood Park NJ by you.

The restaurant underwent additional renovation/decoration in 2007/2008 to make it a warmer and more attractive space.

BHOJ Restaurant, Elmwood Park NJ by you.

Main Dining Room (2009)

BHOJ Restaurant, Elmwood Park NJ by you.

Buffet Area (2009)

BHOJ Restaurant, Elmwood Park NJ by you.

A plate from the buffet.

A masala dhosa, a South Indian crepe made from lentil flour and filled with spiced potatoes, accompanied by sambhar dipping soup and tomato and coconut chutneys. (2007)

BHOJ Restaurant, Elmwood Park NJ by you.

Whole Wheat Indian Tandoor bread (2009)

BHOJ Restaurant, Elmwood Park NJ by you.

Chili Pakora, deep fried battered and spiced chili peppers. HOT!

A trio of Punjab-style dishes: Chicken Korma (Tomato/Yogurt sauce), Shrimp Saag (Creamy, Spicy Spinach sauce) and Bhaigan Bharta (Spicy roasted eggplant cooked in tomato sauce) (2007)

BHOJ restaurant, Elmwood Park NJ by you.

Bhindi (Okra) Masala curry. One of the best renditions I’ve ever had.

BHOJ Restaurant, Elmwood Park NJ by you.

Lamb Vindaloo and Channa (chickpea) Masala curries (2009)

Desserts: Gulab Jamun (warm flour/milk pastries), Ras Malai (sweet cottage cheese patties in cardamom milk, left) and Rice Pudding (right) (2007)

13 Responses to NJ Dining: BHOJ (UPDATED)

  1. Where’s the nan? I think the best way to judge Indian restaurants is by the quality of their bread…

  2. Nan… it disappeared too fast.

  3. Korey says:

    The BHOJ is absolutely fantanstic. A group from my company frequently has lunch at BHOJ. Unfortunatley, we need to limit our visits to because we eat too much and can;t get any work done afterwards! PS – offthebroiler is right — the Nan is always gone seconds after arriving at the table!

  4. Eric says:

    I visited BHOJ for first time on April 3, 2007. Decided to try the Chicken Korma and Shrimp Saag as pictured on this website. I was pleasantly surprised at how well spiced and deftly executed the dishes were. The garlic naan was very good as well. Went back the following for more, it was so good. Looking forward to trying a new dish next time and will report back ……

  5. Tracy Ganz says:

    I have been a frequent guest of the Bhoj Restaurant, and have enjoyed every dining experience. The staff is friendly and attentative, while giving efficient service. The food is excellent, and always fresh, and cooked to order. The restaurant has changed its ambiance, to more decorative fixtures, and modern tableware and utensils. I highly receommend this restaurant to even the toughest critics!!!!!

  6. mike says:

    I used to love Bhoj. I mean, I’d go like once a week or so, but recently, I’ve been sad with their prices for the amount you get. I know the economy, blah blah, but you charge for rice? Come the hell on, that is such a turn off, that I just need to find something new to rely on.

  7. nicola says:

    I love this place, I have never had a bad meal here. My current addictions are the Bhindi Masala and the Tandoori Paneer.

  8. Rachel Perlow says:

    The charge for rice is nominal, like $1.50, so I don’t mind that so much. But it would be nice if they asked or reminded you to order it. As we were served our curries I asked to be served some rice, and was asked in return if I had ordered it. Huh? It was promptly brought out and was a very nice generous portion of good basmati rice. Perhaps the charge is a way to offset waste? With all the Atkins dieters out there, maybe bowls of it were going uneaten?

  9. rexa says:

    had 2 bad experiences there myself…greasy, under-seasoned food that failed to do anything for us. Sad to say (and long of drive) Iselin is the only way to go for us.

  10. Rexa we thought the dinner stuff was much better spiced then the lunch/buffet items, but I think it’s still a very good value.

  11. Isaac says:

    Have you tried Karavalli in Nanuet?

    http://www.karavallilatham.com/

    Bhoj used to be my fave Indian in the area until I went to Karavalli.

    Now I don’t foresee ever returning to Bhoj.

    I have been to Karavalli for buffet and a la carte dinner and both were incredible!

  12. Akku says:

    its a really nice restaurant.. i have gone there several times… now i am very away from the city :(

  13. Davis says:

    Good Information. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about Tandoori Chef which is An authentic North Indian, fine dining restaurant, Tandoori Chef offers Hackensack and the surrounding area a wonderful taste of Indian cuisine.

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