Miss New Foodie: A Taste of India in Cumberland County

By: Annalisa Francesca Ciro

A peak inside Indian Villa Curry-N-Cakes in Vineland. (Photo courtesy of Morgan Bishop.)

VINELAND, N.J. – An explosion of flavor, the layered aromas seeping from the doors of Indian Villa Curry-N-Cakes blankets their corner of Landis Avenue with the warm embrace of Northern Indian comfort food.

A rarity in both Vineland and the larger Cumberland County community, this relatively new restaurant introduces a unique novelty to an area lacking in Indian cuisine. Indian Villa Curry-N-Cakes originally opened in Cherry Hill, N.J. over a decade ago, and with the encouragement of longtime employees Elizabeth and Jagir Singh, owner Jagtar Walia opened a second location in Vineland this past July. As a Vineland native, Elizabeth saw both the demand and the potential for an Indian restaurant in her hometown.

A view of the lunch buffet, which rotates daily. (Photo courtesy of Morgan Bishop.)

“I think for the people in the Vineland area it’s something new, something that has never been here before, and the flavors are totally different. Everything is authentic. The recipes, the sauces, everything — we do it all here,” said Elizabeth, who manages the day-to-day affairs of the restaurant. The restaurant’s menu boasts over 100 Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes, from vegetable samosas to the popular chicken tikka masala, and is accompanied by a reasonably-priced lunch buffet that includes a handful of options which rotate daily. Each meal is prepared from scratch, with fresh, natural ingredients marinated in a generous selection of up to 65 different herbs and spices from across the globe. The array of dishes also caters to a host of diverse diets, with ample options for vegans and vegetarians as well as meat-eaters, and excludes all beef products in adherence to Hindu dietary practices.

The staff at the restaurant is excited to satisfy the community with something new and different, and the community seems eager to gain a rare eatery in a largely big-name, chain restaurant-driven environment. Within the past six months since its debut on Landis, Indian Villa Curry-N-Cakes has garnered local support for its flavorful food.

“They’ve really grown,” says Ali Hernandez, a regular. “We always get their lunch buffet,” said Ali’s friend, Amber Bishop. “I really enjoy their food honestly. It’s fresh and authentic.” The diversity and authenticity of their menu intrigues and invites new customers, and the bold flavors keep them running back for more.

“I’m very skeptical about trying new things but in this case I’m glad I did!” said Stephanie Metcalf, a Vineland resident and first-time customer at Indian Villa Curry-N-Cakes. “I tried the samosas that came with two sauces on the side and it was delicious. I would definitely go back.”

Fresh naan bread baking in the oven. (Photo courtesy of Morgan Bishop.)

Indian Villa Curry-N-Cakes offers a refreshing face to Downtown Vineland that represents a vital identity of the city’s culture, contributes to the diverse economy of “The Ave,” and provides the community with a novel dining experience. The restaurant has goals to establish itself permanently in Vineland and eventually expand within the city, and the staff invites the local community to join them on their journey. “Please come and try,” urges Elizabeth. “You will not regret it!”

Indian Villa Curry-N-Cakes is located at 601 East Landis Avenue in Vineland, N.J. They are open on Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. They can be reached at (856) 500-6199 and orders can be placed online at indianvillausa.com.