Miami >Food & Dining > Imlee & Indian Bistro
I wish I knew the service would be THIS bad!. Well, I must admit that my girlfriend and I were VERY disappointed with this place. The quality of both the food and service has really gone down since this restaurant won the "Best in Miami award. I guess they believe that they no longer have to put effort in the restaurant now that they have that award. Imlee had the most incompetent staff we have EVER seen. A family came in, which required the manager to move us to another table. Easy enough, right? Well this staff was so incompetent that the waitresses had absolutely no idea who was supposed to serve our new table (mind you, there are only two waitresses in this small establishment). We were actually the absolute LAST ones to leave the restaurant after 2 hours of these waitresses bumbling around like stooges. High school waitresses working at iHop could have done a much better job than these idiots. Couple that with the fact that the food was "meh," and we had a VERY sub-par dining experience. For a GREAT Indian dining experience, try India House Restaurant in Plantation, FL. I've been there twice and their service, food quality/variety, and ambiance was MUCH better than this place. We tipped just as a formality, but we will NEVER return to this place and furthermore, I've actually felt the need to discourage friends from wasting their money here.
REALLY, HONESTLY HORRIBLE.
It was my friend's birthday, and he really wanted Indian food. We used to go to a place that had closed down, so I went on Citysearch to find a replacement. I had actually heard of Imlee on a local TV show--some people liked it, some didn't. But it seemed big and lively, and the Citysearch reviews consistently said the food was good but the service was bad (except for a few who seemed to hate the place). I figured if we went in knowing the service was bad, we would relax, drink some wine and wait for the good food.
Well, all I can say is thank goodness we ordered wine.
The waiters literally DO NOT come to the table. You have to flag them down for everything--I mean, to get menus, to get the order taken, to see why it's taking so long, to see why it's been an hour already, to see why it's been an hour and a half...
It's not even like there were alot of people there. It is a tiny tiny tiny dining room, with no area for a host to greet and seat you--so you already enter feeling a bit awkward, standing in the middle of the dining room, and having to call one of the servers to seat you.
But then, add to that that the waiters didn't know what ANYTHING on the menu was...
Well, believe it or not, we were drinking our wine and laughing, and making jokes because we knew that the service was supposed to be bad..We were actually tired, and wanted to leave and go to sleep, but we kept holding out for the good food..
We were REALLY DISAPPOINTED. The food wasn't even warm. My friend was trying to be nice, and started eating because I was taking him out for dinner for his birthday..but I broke the ice and said I thought it was cold and bad, too.
We ordered chicken tikka masala-- It LOOKED like Indian, but it tasted like a jar of sauce on four chicken nugget sized pieces of chicken--for 18.95.
We ordered garlic naan, and one that had raisins and almonds, because one of the reviewers said it was good--and it was good! Also the samosas were OK.
But the sag paneer was really bland and had like five tiny cubes of 'cheese' in a sea of bland spinach puree.
The veggie korma was REALLY BAD. It was literally a frozen bag of corn, green beans, lima beans, and peas with some sauce. It's supposed to have some fresh veggies, maybe a coliflower and potato, and nuts and raisins--it's supposed to be hearty and sweet and aromatic. It wasn't. It was runny, and limp.
Everything tasted like it had been sitting around forever, and came out of a frozen bag or a can--and we asked for medium spice--because the waiter said that would be spicy but not hot, but what we got lacked any kind of spice at all.(I think the waiter obviously forgot, or the cook got the order wrong..but we were there for SOOO long, we just wanted it to end!)
But I thought I would at least write this review to warn other people--
It's not just the service that's bad--the food is WORSE.
I felt like there were some reviewers that said it was horrible, and I thought they were being vindictive or something. But they weren't. They were angry that their food order was wrong, not mention cold, and really not good, and took about 2 hours..
and that the waiters didn't even TRY to look like they cared..
and to add insult to injury--$100 for two people is not cheap, so the price of this restaurant is deceiving before you even enter the door.
If after reading this, you STILL want to go..good luck to you. I've done my civic duty to warn you :)
I first discovered Imlee with my wife not long after they opened in '03. The food was unlike anything we'd experienced before. Soon after, we were dragging everyone we knew over there. There were always problems with the service. The servers weren't friendly, and offered nothing in the way of help with the menu. Still, we continued to go at least 1-2 times a month. My favorite dish was the lamb biryani, a rice dish that came in a piping hot casserole.
Then something happened. The quality of the food declined, and they changed the way they served dishes like the biryani. We figured it was under new ownership, so we stopped going.
Fast forward to earlier this month. In the span of a few days, a friend told me about a great meal he'd had at their lunch buffet, and the Herald published an article on the wonders of Imlee. We decided to give the lunch buffet a try for old time's sake.
Big mistake. The waitress never asked if we were familiar with the buffet or offered any choices. She just brought out various plates. Whenever I tried talking to her she'd mumble something I couldn't understand. Dessert, which is included in the buffet, was never offered. I had to ask her for it when she brought the check, and even then wouldn't tell me what the choices were. I ended up having to point at something on the next table that ended up being a lot better than what we got.
As far as the food goes, the nan bread, the corn chowder and the samosas were spectacular, but the rest wasn't memorable. With all the options for Indian food in Miami, I think it'll be a long while before I come here again.
Great food. Best Indian food in Miami. Exotic dishes prepared to perfection, the restaurant is clean, the staff is professional and friendly.
GREAT Indian food, without the "Coral Gables" or "South Beach" price range!. LOVE this place! We recently "found" this restaurant (about a year ago) -- after the Indian restaurant close to our home in Kendall (Punjab Palace) closed. There are only about 12 tables, so if you go for dinner at 6 p.m. or later on ANY night of the week, MAKE A RESERVATION. The gosht sagwala, vindaloo, tikka masala and jafrezi are all incredible. If you're trying Indian food for the 1st time or don't eat spicy food, you never have to worry; if you order something "mild", it will be mild. If you like moderately spicy food ( as we do), order your food "medium". If you want to drink lots of water and really get those endorphins going, order your food "hot". :-) Imlee's peshawari naan bread (with slivered almonds and raisins) or their garlic naan are a must-order. They have 2-3 kinds of Indian beer, and my favorite -- a delicious masala tea, served in the traditional Indian style, with milk. The true test of a good Indian restaurant: sharing the dining room with India-Floridians. :-) The food comes out quickly and the servers are very nice, but service at the **end** of the meal can be a little slow. There are usually no more than 2-3 servers, plus 1 person assisting with food running & filling water glasses, for the small but busy dining room. My husband & I have found it's best to ask for the check at this restaurant, 10 min. or so before we're ready to leave.
I recently visited this restaurant and found that the food was simply exquisite. Every dish was perfectly cooked, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The lamb (or mouton) was soft and not gamy, cooked in a tasty sauce. The chicken was soft as well, and you could taste all the spices that went into its preparation.
The vegetables were nicely done, to the point were you could actually tell what you were eating, instead of just grabbing a spoonful of mush. The rices were great as well as the samosas. Everything was simply well accomplished. The service was prompt and friendly and complemented an overall nice dinning experience. Very refined.
Tasty food. There are few indian restaurants in Miami and Imlee doesn't have the most friendly service, however, the food is exquisite. Would highly recommend to anyone visiting the city.
wouldn't recommend at all. Bad food...... but........ bad bad bad bad bad service. malai koftas were ok but naan tasted like rubber off of 1981 gm oldmobile spare wheel.
worst indian restaurant anywhere. very rude to customers.... food is ok. service is not good. very small place. wont recommend to anybody..
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like Imlee for fine Indian fare..
Imlee is a pretty little place, in a nondescript, plain Jane sort of way. It's neat and tidy and seems to be a favorite with locals. From the first bite of warm, chewy naan or crisp, positively addictive pakoras it's apparent that the kitchen here pays serious attention to detail. Frying is expertly done in fresh, clean oil; sauces are riotously seasoned without sacrificing subtlety and balance.
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