Zayaka Indian Cuisine brings something unique to Raleigh. The name Zayaka translates as flavor making it spot-on as the name for such rich Northern Indian cuisine. Just as the United States has various cuisines from region to region, the same is true in India. The various influences of Punjabi, Awadhi and Mughlai are all represented at Zayaka Indian Cuisine.
A particular influence is the Punjab manner of using locally grown foods because of being an agricultural area, and this is embraced by Zayaka Indian Cuisine as well. Another strong influence is the use of a tandoor for the many tandoori vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu items. For something truly unique, try the goat curry or goat masala.
Murky daal, murky customer experience. Ordered simple daal and roti for take-out. Picked up order without issue only to later find that the container was only 1/2 full. Further, the daal was watery and tasteless. When called regarding the issue, I was offered a "complimentary daal" to be picked up. I requested they deliver. 1 hour later, the Manager, Dolly (who I later find is actually not the Manager but helps with delivery) brings the daal to my home. She presented herself professionally, took responsibility and stated "we missed the mark." But, then she returns to my home (past 10:30 pm now!) to pick up the old daal to show to the Chef. When asked how is she going to correct this situation/experience, she offers a refund and a call back the next day by noon w/ feedback from the Chef. No call back, no refund. I call 1 week later to check in regarding the feedback, I am then routed to call the Owner. Owner Kashev acknowledges that the daal was not made to their quality standards and the container (which he has still kept in the refrigerator - eek!) was in fact not filled appropriately either. When asked why did he not call me the next day with an explanation or apology, he responds he was too busy. When asked about the refund that was offered by his "manager", he asks me if I "genuinely" felt it was needed now. Further, he says his system cannot do refunds, you may return to pick up your check. I decline the check as I perceived that he "genuinely" felt it was not warranted since they were able to remake it (he says he made it himself the second time). All I wanted was an apology, for them to follow through on their statements, and know that in the future quality will be assured. Zayka and their management missed the mark several times - I gave them ample opportunity to correct the simple mistake and each time they blundered.
Great if , like me, you enjoy spicy food.
Excellent authentic food
The food is the blandest Indian food I ever had anywhere in the Triangle. Service was spotty at best. Even though I took great care to point out we had an Open Table reservation and needed to be checked in properly, it didn't happen and I had to contact Open Table for a correction.
Food was fantastic and service was awesome!
This place has been here for 5 years and I am just now finding it. How sad. They offer a number of familiar dishes but the recipies are different giving them a new flavor. They also offer dishes I was not familar with. I visited on Mother's Day and we purchased the buffet which is normally only available during the week for lunch. I think we got lucky. The staff was friendly. The foods were tasty and some had a little kick to them. None were overly hot - spicy - but all was kept very hot on the buffet. I am planning a return visit so I can sample the dishes I had no room for this last time out. Everyone is strongly encouraged to come along!
For those not familar with Indian foods they are mostly vegetarian, but not all. They don't serve beef but they do serve lamb and goat. Of course chicken and fish are available but most, like spinache paneer have no meat. Still VERY flavorful, filling and a bargain as the cost of 2 buffet was only $30.
There are about 20 or so Indian restaurants in the Triangle area. I have been to most of them, including the ones that I regret. When an Indian Restaurant opens anywhere in North America, it has been my experience that the dining must be done within the first three months or so after opening, after which, the food consistently becomes average and quite frequently horrible. Zayka is an exception and the only one in the Triangle which does not belong to that category. I would rate the food good to excellent (A+) and the lowest rating I would give to any of the vegetarian dishes is above average (B+). Some foods are rich, most of them are tasty and mild, and my friends tell me that his chicken dishes are excellent. I am a vegetarian now and I have started gravitating towards Zayka everytime when I want to have a good lunch or dinner. The vegetarian restaurants in the Triangle are really sub-par and some are shameful. Also, Zayka does not make some of the south Indian dishes (such as Idly or dosa); so, if you long for it, do not expect it to be available in Zayka. The Chef owner takes pride of his establishment and is always willing to listen to constructive input, which is very much a non-Indian trait. (Some of you may have tasted the food prepared by him for HSNC functions).
You will be pleasantly surprised about the quality of food and the preparation if you are objective about your dining experience.
Food is North Indian. It is excellent . Service is polite and attentive. Our first experience, we were in the larger group area and had noisy neighbors. The second time we were by ourselves. But when we left the booths were all full and the noise level was moderate. The restaurant seems to have a good mixture of clients with various backgrounds.
Going to Zayka, we knew from reading previous reviews that we would be waiting, so we went there for our Valentine dinner. Our Samosas were served 45 minutes after being seated, and our meal 1h and 20 minutes later. The food was delicious and we will definitely return at a less busy time.
We were seated next to front door-- bad draft. Service was very slow. Food was average.