Copper Kettle Grill had moved from its old location at Guadalupe and Dobson to Alma School and Warner a little over a year ago. I had reviewed the restaurant in its previous location in http://www.examiner.com/review/copper-kettle-indo-pak-balti-restaurant-mesa . I recently had a chance to eat at the Chandler location. The new restaurant is bigger than the old place and in the same strip mall that previously housed another Pakistani restaurant called Indus Village.
The décor is nothing to write about. A couple of wood carvings and paintings line the walls. They have retained a decorative wooden cart from the previous establishment and use it to display some appetizers. The window treatments are unique as instead of blinds or curtains, they have reed mats lining the windows. That is about the only thing that is decorative about the place. I preferred the old décor that that had artifacts from the Balti region of Southeast Asia.
The restaurant has buffets during both lunch and dinner. They also serve a la carte items featuring appetizers, soups, tandoori grilled items and entrees. You can peruse the a la carte menu at http://www.copperkettleaz.com/menu.php We went for the weekday dinner buffet. There were both vegetarian and meat dishes. The vegetarian items included mixed vegetable, baingan bharta, karhi, matar paneer etc. The items were ok, nothing spectacular. The meat items were a couple of grilled meats like beef kabab, tandoori chicken and chili chicken. The tandoori chicken was good and the chef sent us a separate tandoori platter since the item got depleted in the buffet menu. The kabab that day was a little too dry; I have tasted better kababs in their old location. The chilli chicken was a complete disaster. It was just a spicier version of the tandoori chicken, it was not the Indo-Chinese chilli chicken we are familiar with.
The meat entrees were some well known meat dishes like lamb haleem, chicken korma, chicken tikka masala and spinach goat. Of these, the chicken korma stood out because of its delicate flavors and just the right amount of spice. There were two types of rice, white and chicken biriyani. The biriyani had the right flavors, but the meat was all gone by the time we got to the buffet. The bread accompanying the buffet had naan and huge pooris (fried bread). The naan was soft and fantastic.
Overall, the food has a few hits and misses and the chef has to pull up the flavors a couple of notches to make it to “A” grade. I was disappointed that they did not have any Balti dishes in the buffet that the restaurant was originally famous for. It would probably be a better idea to order a la carte instead of going for the buffet. The buffet prices are pretty reasonable, $7.99 for weekday lunch buffet and $ 11.50 for dinner buffet. The a la carte items are priced from $7-$12.50. The server that day was quite well versed in the menu and polite. They are also planning on opening a second location near the ASU Tempe campus.
Copper Kettle Grill
1464 N Alma School Rd.
Chandler, Az 85224
Phone: (480) 456-4365
Fax: (480) 456-4484