I have to make a shameless plug for Himalaya which is pretty much the best Indian food, best buffet, and best service I've ever found. I'm from California and I've eaten Indian food from coast to coast and world-wide. This is the best I've found.
This is the review I posted on Google:
I have always wanted to believe that there could be a buffet that wouldn't overcharge and serve mass-produced-tasting food. I have found it. Himalaya restaurant serves the best Indian food I have ever had. What's more is that they offer it to you in a buffet for only 12.95. I have never enjoyed such a wide selection of amazing food for such a reasonable price. I am and continued to be delighted by this restaurant. They change their buffet selection weekly and have wonderfully friendly service. I go back at least once a week. I cannot believe what a jewel this is. To qualify this review I have to add that I'm not easily impressed. I'm not comparing this buffet to Hometown Buffet or Denny's and saying it's great. I'm comparing this to the wonderful food I've had across the globe and saying that Himalaya is superb. Enjoy.
You HAVE to try India Palace on Maryland Ave. in Wilmington. It's not a great neighborhood (but it's not terrible) and it looks like a hole-in-the-wall from the outside. Whatever it lacks in location and curb appeal it MORE than compensates for in food- it's good, quality, tasty Indian food. My foodie friends from Manhattan claim that it's better than their Indian places. And my real Indian friends (like, from India) love it too. Check it out! http://www.indiapalacede.com/
This is my favorite restaurant in all of Wilmington! Just tell Sushil not too spicy!!
I have tried most of the places mentioned in this thread and find that the range of quality is modest, that is, there are some differences, but they are more similar than they are different and it depends on the dish. I probably eat at Nirvana most frequently, mainly because it is the most convenient for me. I would put it toward the top end of the narrow range.
There is another place on Kirkwood called Himalaya that is also OK.
There are actually a lot of Indian restaurants in the area, so hopefully you'll be able to find one that hits the spot. I haven't been to Nirvana, so I can't comment there. I agree with kmcdonne and think that Palace of Asia would be your best bet. But here are rundowns on those I've been to, many towards or in Newark. If you've been to a few, maybe comparing your experiences with mine would give you an idea where my tastes lie and help with the decision:
* Maharaja, up on Kirkwood -- my favorite, as far as the food goes. Opened less than a year ago. Definitely the best buffet. They have dinner buffets Tuesday (vegetarian) and Thursday (meats & kabobs), although if you're going with anyone veg there is more than enough on Thursday nights to fill the plate three times over. You get free dosas, too, if you ask. The atmosphere is pretty standard, though.
* Palace of Asia, also pretty new. Good lunch buffet, but the food was even better when I ordered dinner from the menu. A bit pricier than the other places, but worth it. Especially if you atmosphere is important -- they've put some thought into the decor and it looks much nicer than any other indian restaurant I've ever been to.
* Taste of India, on Kirkwood, near the YMCA. I've had the lunch buffet twice. It's ok; nothing that really stood out.
* Star of India, on UD campus on Elkton Rd. The buffet is a little queasy; I've had better luck ordering off of the menu. But unless you live on campus, it's not worth seeking out.
* There's also one up 202 just south of the Brandywine shopping center in a strip mall off of Naaman's Rd. Yechh. Very greasy and very fried. Maybe it was an off-day, but I wouldn't give it a second try. Can't even remember the name.