Minar Palace Philadelphia Review
1304 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Other Philadelphia Indian Restaurants
Minar Palace Walnut St - Mostly Mediocre Indian Food
Minar Palace on Walnut Street in Philadelphia is not new to us.
A few years back after an extremely disappointing Chicken Zalfrazi dish we figured the restaurant was not worth a second visit and gave it the cold shoulder after that.
But the other day we were in Philly and having learned that Minar had launched a lunch buffet a few months back we decided to give the restaurant another try.
Alas, with a couple of exceptions Minar is still a mediocre Indian restaurant.
When we walked into Minar around 11:35 am, the restaurant was empty except for the staff. We were greeted by a middle-age Indian waiter and quickly shown a table.
As we were settling down, a turbaned Sikh waiter came over to enquire whether we wanted to have buffet or order a la carte. Since Lunch Buffet is relatively new at Minar, we opted for the buffet ($9.95 per person).
During our visit, Minar Palace buffet included Salad bar, Green Chutney, Mango Pickle, Vegetable Samosa, Naan Bread, Alu Baingan, Plain Basmati Rice, Dal Makhani, Channa Masala, Alu Mutter, Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Saag and Chicken Curry.
Fine Vegetable SamosaVegetable Samosa was warm and had a freshly prepared texture and taste.
The Potato filling inside was tasty.
Samosa was so tasty that we helped ourselves to a second piece. The accompanying fresh Green Chutney enhanced the taste of the Vegetable Samosa.
Sadly, the Samosa was among the few delights we encountered at Minar Palace.
Chicken and LambChicken Tikka Masala, a fairly common Indian dish these days, was not in the least bit flavorful and, worse, the Chicken pieces were way too hard. We did not enjoy Chicken Tikka Masala either with Naan Bread or Plain Rice.
Mercifully, Lamb Saag turned out to be flavorful. The Lamb pieces were tender and although the gravy not as spicy as we'd like it to be, it was still tasty and we gobbled our small helping in no time.
Chicken Curry was another disappointment at Minar Palace.
You see, Chicken Curry is usually a spicy dish. But Minar Palace's travesty of a Chicken Curry was anything but spicy and was not boneless.
We quickly moved on to other items leaving this spiceless abomination behind.
Vegetable EntreesAmong the four Vegetable entrees that were part of the buffet, we loved Alu Baingan the most.
Alu Baingan was flavorful with Cilantro seasoning and went well with both Naan Bread and Plain Rice.
With a surfeit of burnt turmeric powder flavor, Dal Makhani did not endear itself to us one bit.
Alu Mutter was worse than Dal Makhani. Utterly bereft of any flavor, the Alu Mutter tasted like eating boiled cubed Potato and Green Peas.
Channa Masala was a close competitor to Alu Mutter with a slightly salty taste.
Man, you have to be really, really bad Indian cook to mess up Alu Mutter and Channa Masala.
How can you mess up such basic Indian items?
Naan Bread was hot and that's all we can say in its favor. It was too thick and had a rubbery texture.
Poor ServiceBesides the mostly less than impressive food at Minar Palace, we were not happy with the service either.
- First, even as the finished plates piled up on our table, the waitstaff stood idly near the buffet station and made no effort to remove them till near the end of our meal.
- Second, one of the lunch plates had some black specks on it suggesting carelessness on the part of the cleaning staff.
- Third, the issue with dessert didn't please us.
Usually at most Indian restaurants, buffet includes appetizers, chutneys, sauces, entrees, bread, plain rice and desserts.
But after three trips to Minar's buffet table we did not find any desserts.
The waiters never mentioned anything about dessert either.