• Restaurants
  • Asian
  • Indian




Lane 169 Jianguo Zhong Lu

The space that new Indian eatery Rangoli occupies in the Taikang Terrace complex has not been kind to its previous tenants. While Kaiba next door seemingly continues to thrive, this neighbouring spot has repeatedly chewed up and spat out restaurant concepts. Predecessors Hillbilly Tea and Ka’in came and went in quick succession, but Rangoli’s extensive range of authentic Indian classics might just be enough to draw a more regular crowd to this corner of the Tianzifang labyrinth. That, and their bargainous buffet.

The normal menu is extensive (over 75 dishes in total) and ranges from salads and samosas (from 25RMB) and chicken and fish tikka (60RMB), to curries such as mutton vindaloo (75RMB) and river fish masala (65RMB). Taken individually, the prices can mount up, but you’re not here for the normal menu, you’re here for the buffet.

Rangoli offers a set lunch for 55RMB (11am-3pm) and a dinner buffet for 80RMB (5-10.30pm). The dinner buffet includes free flow beer and soft drinks. More importantly, it includes a good range of curries (both veggie and meat), salads and tandoori meats that are regularly refreshed and flavourful. While ‘buffet dining’ can sometimes be another way of saying ‘dull, lazily prepared dishes that were better two hours ago’, at Rangoli you get options that are varied and tasty.

On one visit the chicken tikka had that blissful combination of marinated, tandoor-charred outer skin and tender meat within; a yellow dal was given extra kick from slivers of green chili, in the Punjab style; and the butter naan (20RMB) was perfect for wiping our plate clean.

Whether the price of the buffet is just an opening period gambit, or whether the owners are confident that few people can stomach enough repeat servings of their filling curries to push them into debt remains to be seen. But we’re sincerely hoping that the price remains unchanged for some time to come. We’ll certainly be visiting Rangoli regularly as the winter closes in.

By Jake Newby

Venue name: Rangoli
Opening hours: 11am-11pm daily
English address: Rm 203, Bldg 1, Taikang Terrace, Lane 169 Jianguo Zhong Lu, near Ruijin Er Lu, Huangpu district
Chinese address: 黄浦区建国中路169号1号楼203室, 近瑞金二路