...Starry-Eyed "The Star of India"
Donned in my pastel spring and Sunday best (aka a treasured yellow linen jacket she had gifted me with a decade earlier before her move to Miami), I pulled into the hotel parking lot with Carlotta. Among other things, I was so excited for my friend to meet Carlotta.
My white Miami car named Carlotta glistened in the perfect spring sun, as I searched my memory for dates. “When was the last time I had seen my friend? Was it really eight years ago in 2015?! Was it Miami, or some time after? NO WAY. It couldn’t have been THAT long ago.” But the pandemic alone had halted our visits for a good three years. So, either way, this reunion was a long time coming.
And so commenced our lighthearted spring reunion, filled with hugs, a chocolate rose with earrings, lots of reminiscing, and one tasty, beloved haunt called Star of India. Yes, she and I had visited this restaurant also a decade earlier. This day, we weren’t sure if it would still be there. But guess what? It was. We spotted it from the Post Road. ZZZIIIIIIIIIPPP!!!!! We took a hard left into the parking lot. Salvation. Our perfect reunion would be topped off with a perfect lunch down Memory Lane.
Star of India is a small, casual eatery with sweet white tablecloths and an impressive buffet area. Even though we walked in post “Sunday buffet” hours, I vividly remembered the aromatic, vibrant grandeur of the buffet. Like a once-forgotten memory, potato samosas and lentil dahl filled my nostrils with delight. MMM.
On this day, we both ordered mango milkshakes to start. This tropical fruit smoothie is a wonderfully refreshing antidote to any parched traveler. I’ve been a fan of the Indian mango milkshake since forever. Maybe even a past life?
Like Thai iced tea, the Indian mango milkshake (aka mango lassi) is a staple in Indian gastronomy. And it has always been a welcome addition to my Indian feasting. But important note, drink this milkshake SLOWLY. Pace yourself, as it’s heavy, and it might fill your stomach, not leaving room for your delicious Indian meal to come. Don’t let this happen!
For our main course, we both had lamb tikka masala, served with a generous basket of garlic naan bread. The lamb was cooked to perfection, and the basmati rice, too. As we had opted for the “not too spicy” version of this dish, we of course weren’t concerned with the picante level, but one never knows if that lessened spice level will affect the overall tastiness of the meal.
But fortunately, Star of India was a true star. They prepared the dish “not too spicy” as requested, and still imbued it with exceptional flavor and consistency. The garlic naan bread was also oven fresh, and doused with sufficient chunks of yellow garlic. Tasty gems, but pop those post-meal breath mints. Right?!
Star of India was the ideal, dreamy back-drop for a day of pleasant reconnecting. The food was amazing. The staff was sweet and friendly. And the whole experience felt like a true “coming home.”
Who knew. My friend and I had followed our “north star” up the Post Road, not knowing what we would find there. In the end, we saw that our beautiful friendship was still in spring bloom, and that our tastebuds were still up for some Indian adventure. NAMASTE. Thank you, Star of India, for being part of our special day.
This post is dedicated to the one and only Norca!!!