Star of India Restaurant Wilmington
Star of India
1710A Newport Gap Pike
Wilmington, DE 19808
Other Delaware Indian Restaurants
Star of India Wilmington: No Star but Decent Enough
We're no strangers to Star of India, having dined at the Indian restaurant's old location on Elkton Road (behind the rail tracks) near University of Delaware in Newark several times.
We'd been to the old location for lunch as well as dinner and found the food and service there adequate.
But we'd not dined at Star of India after it moved to its new location on Newport Gap Pike in Wilmington (at the site of the now closed Indian Paradise restaurant). On the two or three occasions we went to Star of India, we found it closed.
Finally, we managed to find our way into Star of India the other day.
When we walked in for lunch, Star of India's dining hall was quiet except for two Desi guys waiting for the food.
Although we were taken aback by the near empty dining hall, in retrospect our visit was not a bad move. For much of the food we tasted at Star of India turned to be a tasty Indian fare accompanied by OK service.
No Lunch BuffetIn its new avatar and location, Star of India no longer offers lunch buffet.
You have to chose from a la carte menu or go with $10 lunch specials.
The $10 lunch specials include Veg. Pakora Appetizer, Basmati Rice, Naan Bread and one Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian entree.
Being cheapo desis, we opted for the $10 lunch specials and ordered Chicken Vindaloo, Paneer Masala (Spicy) and Garlic Naan for the bread.
Since we like our food spicy, we requested that Paneer Masala be made spicy too.
Star of India's new location is spacious and sports a clean ambiance.
Hot and Yummy Veg. PakorasOur Veg. Pakoras appetizer arrived in six minutes.
The serving size was large with a total of 12 Pakoras. The Pakoras had a sprinkling of dry ginger powder on top.
Hot Veg. Pakoras
Green Chutney, Tamarind Sauce, Diced Onions
Vegetable Pakoras were hot, fresh and flavorful. We enjoyed them with the accompanying Green Chutney, Tamarind Sauce and red color diced Onions.
These days appetizers at most Indian restaurants are inedible and it was nice to see Star of India delivering decent Pakoras.
Green Chutney was spicy as it should be and seemed fresh too. However, we used the Green Chutney sparingly as its color seemed to have been enhanced through artificial food color agents.
Star of India - EntreesWithin two minutes of finishing the Pakoras, the young waitress at Star of India restaurant got us dining plates followed by the entrees, Plain Rice and Naan Bread.
Chicken VindalooWith tender cubed Chicken set in a medium thick Vindaloo gravy along with potato and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro on top, Star of India's Chicken Vindaloo was delicious.
Usually Vindaloo curries are fiery because of the hot spices used to make the gravy.
Star of India's version of Chicken Vindaloo was not fiery spicy but well balanced and we relished it with both Naan Bread and Plain Basmati Rice.
As you can see in the above picture, the entree portion size was large and we got some of it home for dinner.
After getting our food, our waitress asked us if we'd like sliced onions with a piece of lime. Of course, we said yes. Lime juice squeezed on onion goes well with Indian food, particularly hot curries.
Paneer MasalaBesides cubed Paneer, our Paneer Masala included Onions and Green Bell Peppers. Set in a medium thick gravy, Paneer Masala was flavorful but too mildly spiced for our spice-hardened palates. Hey, it tasted almost sweetish.
Obviously, our request to make it spicy had fallen on deaf ears.
Since we do not like our curries to be sweetish, we informed the waitress who took it back to the kitchen for a quick-fix. The spice-enhanced version of Paneer Masala tasted much better but was not in the delicious category. The problem was in the synchronization or balance of various spices and the 'spiced-up' version could have done with a wee bit more salt.
Still, we'd place the Paneer Masala in the above-average category. It's just that we're picky eaters and expect a lot.
Star of India - Fine Garlic NaanGarlic Naan came piping hot to the table.
True to its name, it had a strong Garlic flavor with chopped Cilantro leaves added on top.
Flavorful Garlic Naan
Garlic Naan was soft and tasty.
We quickly finished the first four pieces in no time.
Soon another set of four pieces of Garlic Naan landed on our table.
Truth be said, Star of India's Garlic Naan is one of the best Garlic Naans we've had in a long time.
Much to our chagrin, Garlic Naan at most Indian restaurants come with a faint flavor. But Star of India offers the real deal.
Basmati RiceOur order of lunch specials came with a medium serving size of plain Basmati Rice with Jeera seasoning. Basmati Rice was hot and had a freshly prepared texture.
No issues folks.
Shame, No DessertsThe biggest disappointment of our meal at Star of India was absence of desserts in the Lunch Specials.
Hey, what's an Indian meal without a dessert? How much does Rice Pudding, Kheer or Gulab Jamun cost? Very little, as a matter of fact.
Star of India could have thrown in a dessert into the Lunch Specials to make it a complete Indian meal by reducing the serving size of Pakoras and not providing extra Naan Bread.
Star of India - Average ServiceThe young waitress greeted us politely and showed us to a table. The same waitress promptly brought us water, menu and removed the used bread baskets and plates with alacrity.
The lone waitress even asked us if we needed extra Naan Bread, sliced onions with lime and got us boxes to pack the leftovers and an aluminum foil to wrap the Garlic Naan.
There were no billing issues. We were not charged for stuff we had not ordered like it happened to us at the nearby Palace of Asia in Wilmington, DE.
While the service at Star of India is far superior to most Indian restaurants in Delaware including Palace of Asia, the waitress never mentioned availability of $10 lunch specials until we inquired whether there were lunch specials. Given the absence of information about Lunch Specials in the menu, how would diners know about Star of India's $10 lunch specials.
Also, our request for making Paneer Masala spicy was ignored. Though there were just four diners, the waitress never bothered to refill our water glasses.The young girl was simply standing behind the cash counter near the kitchen. We waited and waited and waited and finally had to call her to fill water.
Star of India - DelawareIndia.com RatingPrice Range - $10 lunch specials
Food Taste - Good with option of custom spice level
Serving Size - Sumptuous, filling
Service - Average
New Diners - Ask about lunch specials
Notwithstanding the minor irritation over service snafus, we would still recommend Star of India on Newport Gap Pike in Wilmington DE especially for lunch.
Sure $10 will get you over 15 items in the form of All-You-Can-Eat Lunch Buffets at other Indian restaurants in Delaware. But if you have any concern for hygiene and your personal health you would rather go with lunch specials than the buffets.
We have seen diners carrying their used plates for refills at the buffet station; munching on food while refilling their plates and waitstaff turning a blind eye to such unhygienic practices.
Sure the Delaware Department of Health and Hygiene requires the buffet serving restaurants to post a notice about using fresh plates. But we have not seen such notices at Indian restaurants unlike the other buffet serving restaurants like Szechuan Garden on Rt. 2 and Old Country Buffet on Rt. 58.
Maybe, Star of India is doing the right thing in avoiding buffets and instead offering $10 lunch Specials.
Given its mostly flavorful food, Star of India is one of the few Indian restaurants in Delaware that we'd care to revisit. - © DelawareIndia.com