Sensing a need for an all-encompassing Indian restaurant, Babu opened Our Place Indian Cuisine in Valley Ranch in 2006.
The restaurant’s menu incorporates dishes from three primary cuisines: northern Indian, southern Indian and Indo-Chinese.
“We brought all three concepts together,” Babu said. “We decided to do the lunch as buffet, and dinner is a la carte.”
By varying the types of cuisines offered, Babu said Our Place can serve as a middle ground for those with different tastes.
“One of them might be looking for the northern Indian; [an]other one might be looking for the southern Indian,” Babu said. “When a family walks into the restaurant, we want to make sure we have all kinds of concepts.”
Babu said the lunch buffet is particularly popular among workers who may not have time to be waited on. Additionally, the buffet allows patrons to sample dishes they may have otherwise never ordered.
“By trying different items, it’s basically ... an advertisement,” he said.
Our Place uses specialized ovens to cook dishes such as naan. The ovens, called tandoor, use heated clay walls to cook.
“When you put the charcoal in it, the charcoal heats up the clay,” Babu said. “[The] cook has to know what temperature [it is] ... by using their hand.”
Babu said a trained cook will be able to sense the best temperature of the charcoal-fired oven by hovering his or her hand over the surface.
Though Indian cuisines vary by region, Babu said northern Indian food will generally include more meat, while southern Indian dishes will mostly be vegetarian and use more rice. The Indo-Chinese infuses flavors from India and China.
“Before [the] ‘70s, there was no Chinese restaurants in India, so they created a Chinese menu by using Chinese spices and Indian spices,” he said. “Of course, these days everywhere Chinese restaurants are there. Still in India, Indo-Chinese recipes are very popular.”
Our Place Indian Cuisine
8150 N. MacArthur Blvd., Ste. 150, Irving
Lunch buffet hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Dinner hours: Sun.-Thu. 5:30-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5:30-10:30 p.m.