Himalaya Wilmington Review
2909 1/2 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803
Other Delaware Indian Restaurants
Restaurant is Closed
Himalaya Wilmington: Unhygienic; Average Indian FoodThank God, the lifespan of some crappy Indian restaurants in Wilmington - like Mazza for instance - is short.
After giving up the ghost, Mazza was in short order replaced by Himalaya. Yeah, a sibling of the crappy eponymous Indian dump in Newark (DE) that serves spoiled food.
Being curious and ever hungry for Indian food, we made Himalaya Wilmington our port of call recently to see if the restaurant was anything to write home about.
As we walked into Himalaya Wilmington around 1:00PM recently, the dining room wore a deserted look with not a single diner. We were greeted by a tall friendly Caucasian waiter who seeing our uneasy expression over the empty room quickly told us all the tables had been occupied and that the restaurant had just emptied.
He even complimented us on our perfect timing and showed us to a table promptly.
AmbienceThe dining room has the same shitty look as Mazza. The same ugly ten tables, the same drab decor of its predecessor Mazza and even the same Menu.
Bloody Hell, the Himalaya cheapskates had not even bothered to get new Menus printed. How freaking cheap can you get! Heard of Staples, Office Depot or OfficeMax, fellas?
The buffet station was located in the same place as it was during the Mazza incarnation, to the right of the cash register.
The food at the buffet station is still arranged in two rows one behind the other. That means you'll have to stretch your plate and hand across the first row to reach the food in the second row. Not good.
Dining room floor and tables were all clean.
While we did not expect a Taj Mahal like serene ambience at Himalaya Wilmington, what shocked us most was the unhygienic dining room practices and the indifferent attitude of waitstaff to them. More on Himalaya's poor hygiene later.
Himalaya Wilmington - Lunch Buffet ItemsAs we were checking out the buffet, our waiter informed us that there were four chicken entrees besides an array of vegetarian entrees, appetizer and dessert.
Lunch items at Himalaya Wilmington during our visit included Vegetarian Pakora, Naan, White Rice, Channa Masala, Beans Poriyal, Malai Kofta, Baby Corn Manchurian, Chicken Korma, Chicken Biryani, Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Curry and Gulab Jamun.
Here's the DelawareIndia.com take on the Himalaya Wilmington lunch buffet.
We categorize the lunch items at Himalaya Wilmington Indian restaurant under three categories the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
- Tandoori Chicken - Tandoori Chicken had right marination and spice level.
The meat was cooked to perfection. Tandoori Chicken was neither soft and raw nor burnt or overcooked like it often happens at many Indian restaurants.
It was so good that we helped ourselves to a second piece.
In our opinion, Tandoori Chicken is best at South Indian restaurants like Himalaya where the marination process makes it spicier than the Tandoori Chicken at North Indian restaurants.
Good Tandoori Chicken (top middle),
Ugly Baby Corn Manchurian (bottom right)
Crisp Naan (bottom left) Salty Pakora (top right)
Tasteless Channa Masala (middle left),
Good Beans Poriyal (middle right), Green Chutney (top)
- Beans Poriyal - Beans Poriyal was tasty, flavorful and soothing to the taste buds. We enjoyed it eating like a Salad as well as with Naan bread.
- Chicken Korma - Set in a Creamy light yellow color sauce, Himalaya Wilmington's Chicken Korma was delicious. The meat was tender and was much enjoyed with Naan bread.
- Green Chutney - Very flavorful. Mercifully the Green Chutney was at room temperature and not a cold monstrosity like at most Indian restaurants these days.
- White Rice - Basmati White Rice had a fresh texture and was more than adequate. More importantly it was not dry.
- Malai Kofta - The texture of the Kofta balls in Malai Kofta was perfect. Neither too hard nor soggy and easily breaking. The kofta balls were tasty.
But what nearly ruined this North Indian delicacy Malai Kofta at Himalaya was the sauce i.e. the gravy.
Sure the sauce was creamy as it should be. But it was a bit watery and a wee bit salty.
Malai Kofta on Rice (top),
Ugly Baby Corn Manchurian (middle left)
Slightly Salty Malai Kofta in a Bowl
- Vegetarian Pakora - Pakora was not even lukewarm, had few pieces of chopped onions and worse it was way too salty.
No, dipping the Pakora in Green Chutney did not help much on the salt front.
- Chicken Curry - As if one salty assault on our taste buds were not bad enough, Himalaya's kitchen launched a second fusillade in the form of Chicken Curry.
Folks, Chicken Curry was salty on a wholesome meaning both the gravy as well as the meat.
We had difficulty in pushing more than a spoon of this salty nightmare into our mouth.
We normally take small servings and never waste any food. But Himalaya's Chicken Curry was so awful that we reluctantly let it go waste.
Having subjected ourselves to three salty assaults in the form of Pakora and Chicken Curry (both very salty) and Malai Kofta (slightly salty) we wondered how the hell Himalaya's kitchen placed such items before paying customers without running them through the Kitchen's internal taste test.
Good Chicken Korma (top),
So, So Chicken Biryani (bottom)
Salty Chicken Curry (bottom),
Salty Pakora (middle right)
- Channa Masala - Set in a medium thick brown color gravy, Himalaya' Channa Masala was utterly devoid of taste.
Usually Channa Masala is a spicy and yummy Chickpeas entree. But at Himalaya Wilmington Indian restaurant, it was a spiceless and tasteless travesty.
- Naan Bread - Sure Naan bread was tasty. But Naan bread is never crisp or brittle.
Usually Naan bread is soft and served hot. Naan bread becomes crisp or brittle when it is left out in the tandoor for longer than the required amount of time. As a result though the Himalaya's Naan bread was tasty we did not enjoy it much and it fell under bad items category.
- Gulab Jamun - Himalaya's Gulab Jamun looked attractive with evenly roasted outer cover of Jamun and floating pieces of Cardamom.
But after one sip of the syrup and a bite into the Jamun we retreated in horror.
For the syrup had too much sugar and the Jamun ball had partially cooked flour taste.
The UglyThe ugly item at Himalaya Wilmington Indian restaurant came in the form of Baby Corn Manchurian.
Baby Corn Manchurian looked ugly with its thick coating of nauseating reddish-pink food color. It tasted bad as the Baby Corn Manchurian was soggy and slightly sour.
Usually Baby Corn Manchurian is crisp, yummy with flavor of green onions, ginger, green chilli paste and definitely does not require a hideous coating of reddish pink food color.
Baby Corn Manchurian or for that matter any Indian-Chinese Manchurian items have to be served fresh from the stove to retain the crisp texture and is not an item that can be prepared in bulk and left at the buffet station.
Himalaya Wilmington Indian Restaurant - Chicken BiryaniWhen we walked into the Himalaya Wilmington restaurant, the huge letters on top of the buffet station "Himalaya Biryani Cafe" excited our spirits. You see the word Biryani usually has a rapturous effect on us.
The lunch buffet during our visit included Chicken Biryani as one of the four meat items of the day.
The tall waiter at Himalaya Wilmington restaurant explained that day's Chicken Biryani belongs to Dum Biryani type and is cooked on a slow flame for four hours with boned Chicken. On the day of our visit the tall waiter boasted that the Chicken Biryani was on slow flame from 8:00 a.m. till about 12:00 p.m.
Folks, we have had Chicken Dum Biryani and for that matter several types of Biryanis - Vegetable, Chicken, Lamb, Egg, Dum etc Biryanis both back home in India and at other Indian restaurants in the U.S.
Alas, Himalaya's Chicken Biryani was merely Average.
Sure the rice granules were cooked to perfection with each one separated from the other. The culprit in our opinion is the proportion of Biryani Spices, Rice and Chicken. It lacked the aroma and flavor of a fine Chicken Dum Biryani. And we did not enjoy it much and in fact regretted taking a medium sized serving.
If you are a Biryani buff like us and want to eat a delicious Biryani, we recommend you head to Dakshin Express on Oak Tree Road in Edison, New Jersey
Himalaya - Polite ServiceService at Himalaya Indian restaurant in Wilmington is polite and friendly.
The tall Caucasian waiter greeted us with a smile, a rarity at Indian restaurants. He brought us plain water with straw, removed the used plates promptly and got us extra napkins.
He even informed us about the number of vegetarian and non-vegetarian items on the buffet station.
By Indian restaurant standards, we'd place Himalaya's service in the very good category.
Himalaya Wilmington - Unhygienic PracticesWhile we were impressed with the polite service what shocked us was the strange silence and indifference of the tall waiter standing right at the buffet station and a Waitress (owner's wife) who was in the dining hall toward the most disgusting dining room practice.
Sure the plates were all clean and piled neatly to the right of the buffet station along with steel spoons, forks, knives stocked in trays.
But the buffet station did not have any sign boards requesting diners to use fresh plates with each visit. Folks, we have had lunch and dinner buffets at other Delaware restaurants, for instance Szechuan Restaurant on Kirkwood Hwy in Wilmington and Old Country Buffet on Rt 58 in Newark. A clear sign is posted at both the places with a Delaware Department of Health warning to diners to use fresh plates with each visit to the buffet station.
Not only the 'Use Fresh Plates' sign is missing at Himalaya Wilmington restaurant, but both the tall waiter at buffet station and the owner's wife in the dining hall did not care to prevent a white diner from carrying his used plate with a small pile of bones in one corner to the buffet station.
Buffet station hygiene has to be given special attention especially at Himalaya Wilmington Indian restaurant. For the buffet lunch items are placed in two rows one behind the other without any direct access to the back row. In order to reach the items in back row, one has to stretch the plate as well as bend over the first row of the food items. To allow a diner to carry a used plate to a two row buffet station with only one access point in our opinion is to display complete disregard to basic rules of hygiene toward paying customers.
Seriously, how much time does it take to place a sign asking diners to 'Use Fresh Plates' for revisits to the buffet station.
By God, we hope the Delaware Department of Health takes note of their bad practices and imposes a fine/penalty on Himalaya Wilmington.
Himalaya Wilmington Indian Restaurant - RatingPrice Range - $9.99 weekday lunch buffet
Food Taste - Mixed Bag. Some are good others are bad
Serving Size - All you can eat lunch buffet
Service - Polite and friendly service
Hygiene - Bad, Unhygienic Dining Room Practices
Himalaya Wilmington Indian restaurant is not for everyone.
Avoid Himalaya, if you are planning to take your date. For Himalaya Indian restaurant in Wilmington looks like a dump from outside and the dining hall is small and offers little privacy.
Also avoid Himalaya Wilmington if you are finicky about hygiene and care for your personal health. Himalaya Indian restaurant and the waitstaff are indifferent to good hygiene practices.
Go for the lunch buffet if you are looking for large quantity of Indian food. But make sure you get in early to minimize the risk of exposing yourself to Himalaya's unhygienic dining room practices.- © DelawareIndia.com
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Mazza Wilmington - Crappy Food; Crappier Service