Evening restaurant review
Indian food is close to my heart, very close. I’m originally a native of England, transplanted to Salt Lake City via marriage. Now you may think Fish & Chips would be the quintessential English dish. Not so anymore, over the past decade or two, Indian food has conquered the UK culinary landscape. Chicken Tikka Masala recently supplanted Fish & Chips as officially the most popular dish in the country. These days, it’s pretty much impossible to walk through any town or city in England, and not see a host of Indian restaurants.
That level of curry obsession has yet to hit Salt Lake City. It does seem, however, that Indian restaurants are increasingly popping up in the valley. When I recently noticed the special offer (City Weekly: Buy 1, get one 1/2 priced entree) for Ganesh Indian Cuisine I was excited to make the trip south to Midvale.
Wendi and I invited a friend along. Our friend had never tried Indian food before so we thought it would give us a fresh perspective. Upon arriving at the strip-mall based restaurant, we entered and were seated at once.
The restaurant space itself could be best described as functional. Indeed the dining space struck me as a lost opportunity, an afterthought really; what could be a relatively contemporary space feels cold and uninviting (exposed brick and ceiling metalwork). A large banner advertising the lunch buffet obscures a view that would otherwise reveal the kitchen to the dining room. Efforts really could have been made to make the restaurant space the first upscale Indian restaurant in Utah.
The cold sensation was physically re-inforced by the restaurant temperature. Every time a diner arrived or left, cold flooded in. Door heaters or some form of screen would be worthwhile additions.
Both myself and our guest each ordered a Taj Mahal ($6.25):
One of my favorite Indian beers, Taj Mahal has a fruity, crisp, clean taste. It’s a great way to wash down the inevitable heat and spice to follow. Although it was a little slow to arrive, this gave us ample time to assess the menu.
Once we placed our orders, a complimentary basket of Poppadoms arrived (crispy thin deep friend lentil wafers):
Served with the standard mint-cilantro-relish and sweeter mango-relish. A welcome touch I thought. More often than not restaurants charge additionally for poppadoms, which always seems like a stretch.
As our guest was not familiar with Indian cuisine we decided to order a variety of appetizers and entrees to share. First up was the Vegetable Samosa ($3.25):
Gently spiced mashed potato and peas stuffed into a pastry shell and deep fried. One of Wendi’s particular favorites and executed more than competently. In particular, the pastry was pleasantly light.
Chicken 65 was our second choice ($5.99):
A dish I do not see very often. Described on the menu as “boneless chicken sauteed with yogurt and spices”, it was also topped with a caution inducing pile of sliced Jalapenos. All three of us concurred this dish was excellent. Tender chicken in a creamy hot marinade. Perfectly-spiced, the dish had a definite kick, but the heat never got out of hand.
The final appetizer was one of my favorites, Chicken Pakora ($4.99):
A generous portion for the price. Tender chicken pieces, coated in a cilantro-rich crispy batter. Like the vegetable samosas, this was another fine example of an Indian staple. That said, I would have preferred slightly larger pieces of chicken. The pieces here were on the smaller side, making the batter slightly too prominent.
With the three of us happily satiated from our appetizers, our entrees arrived. Each was served with Basmati rice as standard. Like the poppadoms, the rice was provided free. During the meal, as we cleared up the hearty portions, we were also offered additional rice, should that be required.
Whilst we had a newbie with us, we also opted for the Garlic Naan ($2.50):
Unleavened bread, baked in a Tandoor (clay) oven. The bread was also liberally smothered in crunchy sesame seeds and socially-problematic levels of garlic; all three of us being garlic nuts, so this was just fine! Ganesh naans also come in other varieties stuffed with lamb, nuts, cheese, potato or plain.
The Tandoori Mixed Grill ($13.95) was my safety choice in case our guest failed to like the curries:
The mixed grill consisted of 2 pieces chicken breast, 2 lamb pieces (boti kebab), 2 ground lamb (seekh kebab) pieces, 2 prawns, a chicken wing and a chicken leg. This variety was marinated in a delicious mix of spices and roasted in the tandoor until tender. As is the norm, the mixed grill came to the table sizzling on a hot metal platter. The tandoori meat was spot-on.
The first of our two curries was the earlier mentioned Chicken Tikka Masala ($9.95):
Pieces of chicken breast simmered in a silky sauce. A very creamy and rich curry. I would have preferred a slightly bigger portion all told. With that in mind, it was still a great curry.
Our final choice was the Bindi Masala ($8.95):
Fried Okra added to a masala sauce. Another scrumptious curry, one of many vegetarian options on the Ganesh menu.
The meal was great value, roughly $65 for 2 big beers, three appetizers, three entrees, rice, naan, poppadoms and relishes. All three of us were stuffed to the gills. We could certainly have restrained ourselves and ordered less, but where is the fun in that.
Our guest was especially impressed vowing to try Indian food again as soon as possible. For myself and Wendi, the drive to the Fort Union area was a little on the far side. We would both certainly recommend the restaurant to anyone living in the area, and indeed anyone looking to try somewhere new.
Ganesh Indian Cuisine is located at 777 E Fort Union Blvd, Midvale, 84047, Utah.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV shows.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for the better part of fifteen years. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate”, “I thought he was older”, “I don’t share his feelings”. Want to know more? This is why I am the way I am.
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13 thoughts on “Ganesh Indian Cuisine restaurant review”
Fort Union is a little far? Where do you live, Logan?
I suppose it’s my British-ness coming through. I live in Salt Lake, but its almost 15 miles to Ganesh (according to google maps) from my house. 15 miles seems like aeons to me, Wendi who is American assures me 15 miles is nothing to an American. I digress.
The main point I perhaps should have elaborated on was that in less than 5 miles I have Star of India, Himalayan Kitchen and Tandoor Indian Grill. No need to head out to Midvale really.
do they serve wine? do you recall any eggplant or cauliflower dishes?
No wine as I recall.
They do have an eggplant dish (Baingan Bhartha), plus a potato and cauliflower (Aloo Gobi) as well.
In my review I also forgot that everything on the menu is also available as part of a Thali. Can’t believe I overlooked that!
Essentially you select your curry and that comes with rice, vegetable curry, soup, raita, naan, poppadom and dessert. Thali’s seem to run a couple of bucks more than just picking an entree ala carte.
Stu i do recall seeing wine being served but a wine list was never offered nor included in the menu.
That’s me corrected then 🙂
finally made it to ganesh today. we were there for lunch, and i think that might have been part of the problem. it took two requests to get a menu, they just seemed in a daze that someone would come for lunch and not eat the buffet (which I checked out, didnt look very inspired). Anyway, we ordered a cauliflower appetizer, when it came it was out of the kitchen but mysteriously soggy and not hot or crispy. I tried to explain to our waitress why it was so disappointing, but she didnt understand our complaint. They had also brought some complimentary onion fried bits from the buffet line, which was a nice gesture but they, too, were not very good.
On to the entrees. First, we had a very good garlic naan. My friend had chicken in a sort of sweet/coconut sauce (sorry, i don’t have a menu and can’t remember the name). it was fine, i’m not a great fan of chicken unless its roasted/grilled and crispy, but the dish was nice enough. I had shrimp masala, and it was first rate. Not hot enough temperature/wise, but very good flavor, and i’ve enjoyed the leftovers.
so, my overall impression was, don’t go for lunch, their heart isnt in it, but i definitely plan to check it out again at dinner, and see what they can really do.
Definitely try them for dinner, and let us know how you get on.
I have no experience of their lunch buffet, as I am not really a buffet fan.
Oh man they need to serve those chicken pakora at movie theatres, they look like the perfect snack. Next time you go you must try one of their dosas! I had their Masala Dosa, which I think was filled with a mixture of potatoes and maybe lentils or peas, and curry powder. It was so good. It’s like an Indian version of a burrito. A great appetizer to share for a group or as a lunch on it’s own.
Yes, wine is served, but there isn’t a wine list as such, just wine by the glass I think. The sign says North and South, but the emphasis is definitely more Southern than Northern India cuisine.
We had the Mysore Masala Dosa, a slightly more spicy version of a regular Masala Dosa, and it was very good. We weren’t very adventurous with our choices of main courses and while everyone enjoyed the food (a lot), we also thought the portions were slightly on the small side. Having said that, the prices were definitely reasonable.
Royal India has been my favorite Indian restaurant, and Ganesh definitely gives it a run for it’s money. Probably a better value, very fast service and a more convenient location, but.. truly awful decor (not that Royal India is that attractively decorated), and smaller portions keep it a close race.
One important point: they are open on Sunday, at least until 5pm..
Take my advice… Don’t go to Ganesh… it’s horrible…
1) The food was terrible… we ordered Gobi Manchurian, and we go a lump of brown goo on a small saucer like plate.
2) The pakodas were like small crumbs of uncooked leftovers…
3) The hostess – there were two – the younger woman was nice… the older lady was a witch… she had the most unpleasant disposition and she behaved very poorly. We were so disappointed with the crudeness of her behavior that the motivation to enjoy the food was lost.
4) the rice was overcooked and gummy
5) And to top it all, it was awefully expensive… 95 bucks for 3 people… are u kidding me? for the kind of S*&$ we got…
I would never ever reccomend this place to any one. I sincerely hope they go outta business.
I’ve had a couple more meals at Ganesh in the last month, every one was good to very good imho. I’m sorry to see you had such a bad meal Bugs, gummy rice is never fun.
I will agree that their prices do seem to be a touch higher than average though.
Iam great fan of chicken biryani but after my dinner in Ganesh restaurent made me MAD ON CHICKEN BIRYANI ITSELF.
My sincere Request to public is please dont choose Ganesh restaurent If you wanna have Spicy food, because it looks like they are concentrating on AMERICAN’S rather than INDIAN’S, because couple of days back we ordered Chicken biryani and many more but the food was too sweet and no spice at all, they adjusted curry with full of onions, If we order Goat biryani, they mix lamb in goat biryani to ajust, and the lady in restaurent doesn’t know how to great customers, nor to welcome them with a smile on her face.
I think she may feel that she is serving customers at free of cost, I dont have atleast 1 positive point to praise such a horrible restaurent.