For more than 15 years India Star has been serving northern India cuisine in the Des Moines area. The restaurant was started by Mohan Singh and has carried on under his son, Parvinder. It’s been at its current location on Douglas Avenue for more than six years.
Over lunch India Star offers a simple, but very filling buffet. Chicken tiki masala, malai kofta (veggie balls), saag paneer (cheese and spinach) and raj mahn masala (kidney bean curry) were among the offerings when we visited. There’s also an often-refilled stash of naan bread.
We arrived toward the tail end of lunch, but the buffet was still well stocked, with fresh food continuing to come out as we dined. The restaurant wasn’t packed, but there were still several tables of diners making repeat visits to the buffet.
The food was great, and didn’t seem like it had been sitting under hot lamps. The malai kofta in particular were wonderful, slightly crisp on the outside, but soft and warm on the inside. I’m a curry fan, but the veggie balls won me over that day.
The food on the buffet wasn’t too spicy, which is understandable since it’s meant for a broader dining group. My one disappointment was there wasn’t a “hot” section or some seasoning to spice things up a bit, but it’s a minor complaint and the natural flavor of the food more than made up for a lack of heat.
The food at India Star was delicious, and the service is above and beyond for a buffet. For a quick lunch, India Star offers a bit of an escape from a mundane day at the office. It’s worth a return visit both to the restaurant and to the buffet itself.
Where: 5514 Douglas Ave.
Hours: 11 a.m.-2:15 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Two lunch buffets: $7.99 each
Total with tax and tip: $19.94