Going to King Palace is a scary experience. Here’s what I said about it after a previous visit:
Not once have I ever left the place not feeling like an utter moron. From my inability to negotiate a naan-pop substitution, to the difficulty of choosing one of almost 100 combos, to the owner stonewalling me on the price of a non-combo dish, each visit is ego destroying.
With dozens of tasty dishes available, it seems almost sinful to walk away with just one. Today, I decided to make one more attempt at customizing my food order.
First things first: I flash the clerk a big smile when I enter. The last time I tried this technique — on a different clerk, I should add — I had to check behind me to see if I had accidentally killed the guy’s mother on the way in. This time, the corner of his mouth moved upwards — slightly. A glimmer of hope.
I stand around and examine the menu.
“Call me when you’re ready to order or if you have any questions.” Another good sign.
I call him over and drop my proposal: instead of going with the boring tikka masala combo, I want to split it with some chana masala.
“Is that possible?” I ask.
“I think so,” he replies.
“For $9.99?” I ask. At King Palace, everything is possible but it might end up being three times what you expected to pay.
He started shovelling mountains of food into a styrofoam box. Frankly, I didn’t quite believe what was happening until he rang up my order for the quoted amount.
So there you have it: 1.386 kg of tasty, customized Pakistani food for $9.99 plus tax. (Don’t worry stomach (and people who care about my wellbeing) — I’m not going to try and finish this in one sitting.)
My next adventure in off-the-menu ordering will be trying to get an entrée by itself without the drink / saled [sic] extras. But I don’t have much hope — previous attempts have resulted in blank stares or random price jumps. Heck, my vegan coworker can’t even get them not to give him the yoghurt salad dressing every time he tells them he doesn’t want it.