Minar Palace Philadelphia Review

Minar Palace

1304 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Other Philadelphia Indian Restaurants
minar palace
(File Photo)

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 Samosa

Vegetable Samosa was warm and had a freshly prepared texture and taste.

The Potato filling inside was tasty.

Minar Palace Samosa
Veg. Samosa, Naan & Channa Masala

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 Lamb

Chicken 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.

Minar Palace Chicken and Lamb
Chicken Tikka Masala & Lamb Saag

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 Entrees

Among the four Vegetable entrees that were part of the buffet, we loved Alu Baingan the most.

Minar Palace Chicken Curry and Alu Baingan
Alu Baingan and Chicken Curry

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.

Minar Palace Alu Mutter, Dal Makhani
Alu Mutter and Dal Makhani

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 Service

Besides the mostly less than impressive food at Minar Palace, we were not happy with the service either.

Rice Pudding was cold, creamy, medium-thick and came with pistachio and dry grape toppings. It could have done with a little more sugar but was still decent enough.

Minar Palace Rice Pudding
Decent Rice Pudding

No complaints with the Mango Ice cream as well.

Minar Palace Mango Ice cream
Good Mango Ice cream

Our grouse with both desserts was the small serving size.

Also, why was Rice Pudding not kept at the buffet table so that we can help ourselves to as much as we want. Hey, it's supposed to be All you can eat buffet, right?

These kind of cheap tactics at Indian restaurants irritates us a lot.

Minar Palace - Rating

Bottomline, much of the food served at Minar Palace did not find favor with our Indian taste buds. It's unlikely we'll revisit the place any time soon.

But after reading our experience at Minar Palace, if you still plan on going for the lunch buffet make sure to check with the waiters about the desserts. © PhillyIndia.us

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