I must say I rather enjoyed my brief visit to Himas Indian Cuisine, a Punjabi restaurant that opened earlier in the year. Despite its Tourist World location, adjacent to an outlet mall and across the street from the now-defunct Artegon Marketplace, Himas offers a relaxed and pleasant dining experience with welcoming service and very good food.
As with most Indian restaurants in the area, lunch at Himas means a buffet. This one is smaller than most, but it offers a well thought out array.
The offerings change daily and options are noted with handwritten cards taped to the steam table's sneeze guard. The day I visited, the buffet included: mixed vegetable pakora; Bhindi (okra) Masala; Dal Makhani, a lentil curry popular in Punjab; Chicken Biryani; Malai Kofta, potato and paneer balls in a tomatoey sauce; Tandoor Chicken; and Fish Manchurian, which featured hunks of fish in a mildly spicy gravy.
I enjoyed the Malai Kofta, especially spooned over the basmati rice. The lentil curry was also very good, with multi layers of seasoning that showed its complexity.
The lunch buffet includes a basket of freshly baked naan, thick and buttery, almost as good a food conveyor as the rice.
I was impressed with the eagerness of the staff to offer advice and information about the food. They made me feel quite welcome.
The small space is tidy (as was the buffet, not incidentally) and sparsely but pleasantly decorated.
I know that an I-drive address is a deal killer to a lot of Central Floridians, but consider this a worthy exception.
Himas Indian Cuisine is at 5135 International Drive, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. Website alert: The website has auto-playing music with no obvious way to mute it. Scrolling through the site might make you think you're lying on a massage table. The phone number is 407-574-4254.