Mela is the place to go for a delicious and affordable lunch experience in downtown Asheville. The restaurant continues to win numerous awards including best Indian food and best business lunch in Asheville.
The popular lunch buffet allows you to try dishes from both South and North Indian at an affordable price point. Unlike many other Indian buffets, the dishes here are not overly spicy, so you can enjoy the true flavors.
The lunch buffet at Mela is a great value at just 10 bucks a person. You will get to sample all sorts of unique Northern and Southern Indian dishes. From tandoori cooked Naan, to fresh soups, to favorites like Saag Paneer, to seasonal vegetarian dishes like Vegetable Korma, you will get to try a bit of everything here.
If visiting around dinner time, start off with the Samosas. This traditional Indian appetizer consists of hand made pastries stuffed with potatoes and peas then fried to perfection. In terms of main dishes, you really cannot top the Saag Paneer, a delicious filling dish consisting of homemade cheese cubes simmered in perfectly seasoned spinach base. The Madras Vegetables dish is a wonderful mild spiced curry that almost anyone will love.
Mela uses organic ingredients when possible and always has at least one vegetarian option on the buffet line.
Service at Mela is decent. Plates could be cleared a little faster and drink refills are a bit slow.
The ambiance as Mela is modern and fresh. Everything appears clean and the buffet is restocked frequently. Even during the busy afternoon lunch buffet hours, the place is kept clean. The decor is nice and the large windows looking out upon the downtown are a big plus.
Mela is the place to go if you are craving a great Indian meal in asheville. It may not be the best Indian food around, however, it's probably the best you will find in this area. The affordable pricing compared to many overpriced Asheville foodie establishments really does not hurt either.