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“Excellent food, though pricey”

House of India Restaurant
Ranked #31 of 76 Restaurants in Loves Park
Cuisines: Indian
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Buffet, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Buffet, Reservations
Reviewed May 4, 2014

I've eaten a lot of Indian food in my time. I used to live close to Devon av. in Chicago (I wistfully long for the days of counter biryani at 4 dollar a vat). Unfortunately, ethic restaurants in northern Illinois are quite pricey because of the lack of competition. Expect to spend about thirty dollars a person (food, samosa appetizer, drink, tax and trip). The biryani starts at 15.95.

That said, I've had home cooked biryani, restaurant biryani, biryani in the heart of Indian food districts in various cities, and nothing tops this. They have a glass window where you can watch them matching your food. Everything is made from scratch. I saw them blend the flour and water for my samosas and then roll out the dough. They also cooked the potato mixture right there. They use bone-in chicken for the biryani, but I saw them take a super generous portion of chicken on a skewer and then cut it off, piece by piece, to make it boneless. The food was so good, my cheeks tingled. Though it was very pricey, the portions were large and I ate from it for the next four days.

I don't know if some of the other reviewers went in for lunch and received food that had been pre made, etc. Maybe I lucked out because I went on a Wednesday night when there was no one there, so they had no choice. I've also been to places in Chicago were samosas are made in the am and reheated throughout the day, and yes, this can be frustrating.

I would recommend. I plan on trying their buffet soon.

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Thank Catherine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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24 - 28 of 61 reviews

Reviewed December 5, 2013

We had the Dal Makhani (very flavorful, was yummy, but would have liked eating it over plain rice which costs extra), Garlic Naan (was great textured bread, too much garlic for my taste), and the Vegetable Dum Biryani (pretty much fried rice with Indian spices, was tasty but a bit too oily, and definitely not worth it for the cost of $11).

The restaurants atmosphere could be improved tremendously. Hopefully they can give it a good cleaning and get rid of the horrid tablecloths for something like a nice linen. The fake flowers in a vase on our table were COVERED in dust (at least like 6 months worth), pretty gross... makes you wonder what their kitchen looks like if they cant even keep the dining area clean.

The service was below average- I have heard it is a family owned restaurant... so why not make your customers feel welcome and be thankful for having them dine in your restaurant?

My pet peeves with restaurants are when they don't greet you, they don't keep an eye on your beverage levels, they don't ask how we enjoyed the meal, they don't clear your table, and they don't make a point of saying goodbye. This restaurant hit all of my pet peeves with poor service. It also took more than 15 mins for them to bring our bill after we were finished eating (with dirty plates on our table).

Although the experience was less than satisfactory, I would go back and give it another chance. Mainly because I believe it's the only Indian restaurant in Rockford and there were several other dishes on the menu that caught my eye:

Next time I'd try the House special vegetable thali dinner served with Dal Soup, Tandoori vegetables, plain naan or aloo paratha (bread w/ mashed potatoes), Surti yellow dal, Chana masala, Jai puri aloo (seasoned potatoes), veg curry, bengan bharta (eggplant), okra masala, aloo gobi (cauliflower and potatoes), aloo mattar (peas and potatoes), veg seekh kebob, and mango indian ice cream.

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1  Thank LikeToExploreAround
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2013

It was a horrible experience everything was made with leftovers chana masala was a mixture of dal makhani aloo matar and rajma.which recipe they follow god knows I mean channa masala contains chickpeas aloo matar dal makhani rajma .soup looks like they add water in leftovers sambhar.zeera rice was reheated.kheer is disaster. Trust me personally I would never recommend this place.

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2  Thank Ann G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

I'm from Chicago where Devon av. and all of its Indian fabulousness is near. I'm not a economist but I understand the whole supply and demand principle. India House is the only place where a Rockfordite (did I really just use that horrible word?) can get their Indian fix. The Taste of India closed (probably because of its exorbitant prices). While the food is pretty good, it's almost four times the price as it is in Chicago (at similar venues). You could probably break even (in terms of gas) by driving to Chicago and eat at the likes of ghareeb nawaz where you can get biryani for 4 bucks and samosas for 50 cents. Here, you are going to pay 30 to 40 bucks for two people to eat.

Seriously, I'm glad to pay 16 bucks a place in a place where the ambiance is commensurate with prices. Here, it feels like you are eating in 80s style Greek restaurant with jacked up prices. Take a few minutes to learn a few Indian recipes to whip up at home.

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1  Thank Catherine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

My family and I have been eating at this India house for years now and it's our favorite spot to eat at in all of Rockford. Every dish is well made and chicken tikka masala is best I have ever had. If your new to Indian food or have been eating Indian food all your life, India house is a must go.

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1  Thank Akm3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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