As a teenager, Raj Jain waited tables at his parents’ Madhuban restaurant on State Street in Boise. But after his dad, Sudesh, got homesick, the Jains sold in 2005 and moved back to India.
Then the rest of the family got homesick.
“After growing up here, it was hard for us to live down there,” Raj Jain, 30, says.
So after returning to Utah in 2009 and opening a bridal store, the family moved back to the Treasure Valley last year. Along with his parents, brother and sister, Jain opened Spice Indian Cuisine on July 7 in the former Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant spot at 3223 E. Louise Drive in Meridian.
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“My parents are the ones cooking like they were before,” Jain says. “It’s being run exactly the same way as when we started Madhuban in 1995.”
With an extensive, enticing menu that features Indian rice, chicken, seafood and lamb specialties, plus lots of vegeterian entrees, Spice adds international yet local spice to Meridian’s dining scene. Madhuban continues to operate under different ownership at 6930 W. State St. in Boise.
It’s shocking how many people remember us.
Raj Jain, co-owner, Spice Indian Cuisine
“The best part is just meeting all our customers that remember us,” Jain says. “We’ve been open almost two weeks now, and we’re having old customers come back who are coming three to four times a week already.”
Spice Indian Cuisine is open for its lunch buffet ($9.99, kids 13 and under free) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Dinner is served from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
After several years out of the restaurant business, it has taken a lifestyle adjustment, Jain admits.
“It’s a lot of work, but we’re really enjoying it,” he says. “It’s been a great experience. It started better than we thought. I think we’ve got a good location, too, right by Buffalo Wild Wings. So the lunch crowd is great.”
“We missed our loyal customers and this great state.”
Phone: 208-901-3174. Online: spiceindiancuisineelouisedr.com.