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Moghul Edison Review

Moghul Edison
1655 - 195 Oak Tree Road
Edison, NJ 08820

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Moghul Edison: Declining Quality of Food; Poor Service & Cheap Tipping Practices

Indian Restaurants are like Bollywood beauty queens. They seldom age gracefully.

A small few like Bollywood diva Rekha might look better with age. But most turn into old hags, wrinkles and all, and eventually fade away into the night, unnoticed and unmourned.

Unfortunately for Indian food lovers, Moghul Indian restaurant on Oak Tree Road in Edison (New Jersey) has slipped into the class of restaurants that have lost their charm.

Fortunately for aficionados of Indian cuisine, Moghul's decline is no cause for alarm.

Other Indian restaurants in Edison like Malgudi and Swagath have stepped up to the plate and taken Moghul's place in the pantheon of fine Indian restaurants in the Oak Tree Road area. Serving delicious food that's supported by good service and reasonable prices, some of Moghul's neighbors prove that Oak Tree Road in New Jersey is still a dining Mecca for Indian food lovers.

Once the gold standard of fine Indian cuisine and a dining landmark in the Edison/Iselin area of New Jersey, Moghul is today just another fading outpost of mediocrity displaying the typical signs of a restaurant sliding downhill - declining quality of food and sloppy service.

Being passionate lovers of Indian food, we've on occasion driven several hundred miles to enjoy Moghul's food. What endeared Moghul to us in the past was that it did not dumb down the spices to cater to American palates. A wise decision because we've noticed mostly Indians in the spacious Moghul dining room. But all that fine food and service from Moghul was in the past.

Today, you are not likely to experience any epiphanies at Moghul.

Overall Bad Indian Food

During our recent visit to Moghul in Edison, we covered considerable ground - Appetizers, Entrees and Desserts - but rarely encountered good food. For the most part, we ran in to one culinary mishap after another.

The vegetable Pakoras ($4.25) were forgettable.

Spiceless Balti Murgh

Balti Murgh was a greasy mess brought by a sulking waiter wearing an overdose of cheap cologne. Despite asking for the Balti Murgh to be spicy, what landed on our table was anything but spicy. Made from tender boneless chicken with capsicum, onion and potatoes and cooked in a spicy gravy, Balti Murgh is a rich treat when cooked right.

Bad Bagare Baigan

Bagare Baigan (eggplant simmered in a tamarind, peanut and coconut gravy) was a travesty. We've had Bagare Baigan so many times but seldom as badly cooked. Any of the greasy spoons in New York City or New Jersey serve better Bagare Baigan than the Moghul version.

Lukewarm Garlic Naan

Garlic Naan failed to rise above the ordinary. We also weren't pleased that the Garlic Naan reached our table just lukewarm. Surely you can get better Naans at an Indian takeout joint. Why pay $4.25 for this impostor?

Flavorless Birbal Ki Pasand Vegetable Biryani

Birbal Ki Pasand (a fancy term for Vegetable Biryani) takes the name of Emperor Akbar's court jester in vain. If Birbal had been served such unflavorful Vegetable Biryani, the outraged fellow would have ridiculed it with his customary wit.

To be sure, Moghul still attracts a sizeable crowd. Well, public hangings used to draw sizable crowds in Dickensian England. If we have learnt anything from years of dining out, it's that crowds are no sure indicator of a restaurant's quality.

Awful Service

Given the high prices diners are charged at Moghul, you are entitled to expect dining Nirvana. Forget Nirvana. Moghul fails to deliver even passable food or friendly service.

Our morose waiter Ved seemed to be in a sullen mood. Because we had to repeat ourselves, again and again and again, we wondered if he suffered from a hearing impairment or had only a limited acquaintance with the English language.

That our meal was not a total catastrophe we owe thanks to the cool glass of Jaljeera ($2.95) and the flawless Kulfi Falooda ($4.95) dessert. we've had Kulfi Falooda countless times in India and in the U.S. and can safely swear that the Moghul version ranks amongst the finest.

We confess to a sweet tooth but even we were hardpressed to eat that Rasmalai ($4.95) after the first bite. Creamed cheese patties prepared in sweetened milk and flavored with cardamom and pistachio, Rasmalai is a delicious Indian dessert. But you wouldn't know it if you tasted the sugar-less disaster that made its way to us at Moghul.

Moghul Edison - Tipping Extortion Practices

Then there's Moghul's obnoxious tipping extortion.

We have no quarrels with leaving tips because restaurant workers in New Jersey and elsewhere are generally paid distressingly low wages. But please allow us to decide the right amount.

However, Moghul has a cheap and distressing practice of adding tips to the bill. A tip or gratuity is given at the diner's discretion based on the quality of food and service in the amount of her choosing. But Moghul's presumptous management adds 15% without so much as a by-your-leave.

Moghul also engages in tricking diners when it comes to tips. Moghul's web site talks about 15% gratuity on groups of four or more, but we were still charged 15% although we were a party of just two persons. Hey, what's happening?

Making matters worse, Moghul's cheap management would like its unfortunate diners to pay an additional tip to the waiters, over and beyond the 15% already added. This is evident in the credit card receipt where there's one more column for gratuity.

In effect, Moghul is suggesting diners tip its grumpy waiters twice for the same lousy food and sloppy service.

Moghul's tawdry tipping practice is beyond disgusting.

Moghul's poor food, below par service and nasty tipping practices reflect a disdainful contempt for diners in the cocky belief that customers will keep coming no matter what.

Weary of such wretched food and woeful service, we blamed our dining misadventure on our Karma and left Moghul pondering why the restaurant had fallen so low. - © OakTreeRoad.us

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