I don’t know much about Indian food, except that I love it. I rarely cook Indian food at home because I know so little about it and grinding all those spices seems so intimidating. In the not too distant future, I’d like to experiment with Indian cooking and become somewhat proficient at it, but until then I go to Cafe Nirvana to get my Indian food fix.
Cafe Nirvana is located on Lancaster Highway and is easy to get to from Fort Mill. Just turn onto Barberville Rd from Tom Hall ST, drive a few miles and you’re there.
The interior of Cafe Nirvana is very clean, with a sleek modern design. There is a small bar area to the right of the entrance as well as an outdoor eating area. The mood of Cafe Nirvana is such that it would be fitting for a casual family meal early in the evening or a romantic dinner for two later in the evening.
Cafe Nirvana serves a lunch buffet every day with a good variety of Indian dishes. I have only eaten the buffet once, but my son has enjoyed it multiple times and says they always have different foods on the buffet. The desserts on the buffet, usually the low point of any buffet, are fantastic. The time I went they had an apple bread pudding and some type of orange mascapone (I think) dish that had the most amazing creamy texture.
While the buffet is a great way to try things you might not feel comfortable ordering off the menu, I most enjoy going to Cafe Nirvana for dinner. They serve complimentary chips with chutney that I absolutely can not get enough of. The chips are light and crisp and the chutney is full of deliciously spiced peppers.
Don’t go to Cafe Nirvana expecting to drink much in the way of alcohol. This is Ok because you are best off sticking to water with spicy food. They don’t have much of a wine menu and when I tried to order a cocktail, I was told they had liquors but not really any mixers. If you feel like doing a shot, go for it.
The menu is broken down into sections including South Indian Specialties, Indo-Chinese Specialties, Lamb Delicacies, and Signature Fusion Dishes featuring Nirvana Quail ($17), spiced and marinated game bird grilled in the tandoor oven. My favorite menu item is the Chicken Shahi Khorma ($14), boneless chicken cooked in a mild cream of saffron and cashew nut sauce. It is sweet and flavor and I find myself licking the bowl clean every time.
The menu also contains many varieties of naan as well as homemade desserts. The dinner service can be a little slow so plan a trip to Cafe Nirvana for a night you have time for a nice, leisurely dinner.
15025 Lancaster Highway