Kitsch clusters of parrots, mirror work wall hangings and bhangra music- Tandoori Kitchen has none of these. In fact, Bandra’s newest Indian restaurant (they have a Juhu branch as well) makes quite a bland first impression with staid white walls and basic furniture. It’s only when you order do you realise that all the colour and theatrics are reserved for the food. Here, ice popsicles are doused in virulent green syrup (they have a gola machine!), gulab jamuns are spiked and set ablaze and betel nut concoctions are served in shot glasses that will have you leaf stricken. Paan intended.
It’s details like these that will set Tandoori Kitchen apart from its Bandra competitors - Kareem’s, Maroosh and neighbouring Papa Pancho - we thought, hoping the taste would match up. The menu, not surprisingly, has an entire page dedicated to bounty from the tandoor, and also offers rolls, mains and dessert.
Naan Other Than
We started with one of their specials, the Tandoori Chicken Sandwich, which is essentially a soft naan stuffed with tangy, slightly-charred chicken, a yum starter that could be a meal if combined with a bowl of dal. Veggies can opt for the paneer version which is just as nice. Next up, mutton galouti kebabs, subtly flavoured and ridiculously soft. But at Rs 300, we think the four piece plate could do with a quantity upgrade.
For mains we got the Chicken Shahi Korma, an Awadhi recommendation that came with a mildly spiced herbed sauce, a refreshing change from the usual butter chicken routine. The chewy boneless chicken pieces however, ruined it and had us using the gravy as a dipping sauce. The tawa prawns tossed with onion and teamed with pav goes well with the weather. The accompanying black dal tasted rich and smoky without being heavy on the stomach. Although, our fellow diners who thought it was a little low on salt, couldn’t help but compare it with the one at Kareem’s. The latter lentil won the taste test. For vegetarians, the mains are fairly routine, with kadhai paneer, malai kofta and channa peshawari on the list.
What struck us most about the food here is that unlike at many Indian restaurants of its caliber, it isn’t too heavy or oily. The staff here is yet to learn how to make suggestions and doesn’t seem very well versed with the menu. When we visited however, the restaurant owner was around and hovering, jumping in when required.
Let your last bite at Tandoori Kitchen be the flaming gulab jamun spiked with honey-flavoured brandy and set ablaze at your table. Although the firing up process could have been more impressive – the alcohol shot came in a bottle cap and the flame had to be re-lit twice – the dessert turned out to be soft, not too sweet and laced with just the right amount of booze. Fly! Who misses the parrots now?
Getting there: Tandoori Kitchen 11, Gasper Enclave, next to Thai Ban, Pali Naka Bandra (W), Rs 1,000 for a meal for two.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
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