Wednesday, December 27, 2006

indian: TANDOOR

No. 10 on Lane 73, HeJiang St.
(02) 2509-9853

lunch: 12 pm-2:30 pm
dinner: 6 - 10:30 pm



date visited: 9/24/2006

Tandoor is one of the oldest Indian restaurants in Taipei. You can often find other Indian families or customers there, which is a good sign (don't go to a Chinese restaurant in LA that has no Chinese people there!). And I have had good experiences there in the past, except that I was thrown by the fact that the samosas (NT$120 for 4) are made out of won ton paper skin. They are still tasty, it's just an example of how they tweak the food here for Taiwanese customers.

On this night, we had a large group, some who had never eaten Indian food before. I was excited because then we could order a lot and share. The menu is English and Chinese and has all the usuals.

my plate: clockwise from the top- lamb korma, aloo gobi, mushroom rice, chicken curry, eggplant, chicken tikka masala

Like most of the other Indian eateries here, the portions are bit small for the price. But on this night, everything was SO spicy, even the Tandoori chicken (NT$480 full/NT$240 half), served on a sizzling plate with four pieces of thigh-legs on a bed of onions.

if my tastebuds could cry from the spiciness, they would have

I've never had Tandoori chicken that was spicy at all, much less THIS spicy. We didn't specify to the waiter about the level of heat we wanted, and he never asked-- but it seemed like either (1) we were being tested or (2) someone in the kitchen lost their tastebuds. Everything we ordered was painful to eat, I had to gulp down with lots of rice (NT$80) and naan and water- the chicken curry (NT290), chicken tikka masala (NT$350), lamb korma (NT300) and eggplant and aloo gobi. Only the rice was not killer spicy, but it was a bit dry. It's not really worth it to pay extra for the mushroom pullao rice (NT$200) since the mushrooms seem like they are canned and it doesn't taste that much different. The lamb was also a bit stringy.

I want to say this is an "off" situation because it didn't happen to me on the previous visit. So until I try it the next time, I can't offer a recommend since my tummy didn't feel well from the spiciness that night and the next day. It also made me like the flavors of Aaleja in contrast to our experience here, even after I was disappointed with their last visit.. maybe I wasn't having the best luck with Indian restaurants that month. I just couldn't enjoy the curry's flavor. So far warning- be clear about what level of heat you can handle, even if the wait staff doesn't ask you when they take your order. In addition to that misstep from our servers that night, I have to note that they are hard to wave down.

It seems that quite a few other people have had the same experience with inconsistency of their visits. It's tough since there are such few good places to eat good Indian food in Taipei- but there are few more around that I haven't tried yet, New Delhi and Ali Baba's, and even some that I've been hearing good things about- the Spice Shop. For the best value, I guess you should check it out during their weekend lunch buffet (12:00~2:30PM or 6:00~ 10:30PM) to see if it's for you. You can also check their website for different coupons each month.


Lisa Wang said...

Have you tried Flavor of India in LA? It's on Santa Monica at the begining of West Hollywood, they have some good Indian food there.

joanh said...

no, i haven't been there! let's make a lunch date for when i get back there. :)

Lisa Wang said...

sounds good! we can go to Flavor of India and then hit up Pinkberry down the street. It's the original location too. Haha, yes i know, I'm a little obsessed :)

Chubbypanda said...

I wonder whether or not the spiciness is authentic. I know the heat in a lot of Indian food in the States is toned down. When I order it, I usually ask them to season my dishes with the authentic level of spice. Cat orders separately, since she can't handle that level of heat. Maybe the chef made your dishes for Indian tastebuds that night.

- Chubbypanda

joanh said...

chubbypanda: maybe.. but why not ask first? none of us were indian and i've never had tandoori chicken that was spicy! i can handle spicy. but this was burning down your tongue spicy.

ffc-l: yay!

Melting Wok said...

The tandoori chicken portions looked so much more than what we get here in the States. Wow, that plate with rice, naan & all the curries, so delicious :)

Jeff said...

My dad and I know the manager and his assistant. The manager's daughter used to go to my school, we knew each other because of classes.

I feel that this is a really good indian place to eat, the best way is through the lunch buffet. Least thats what I always get when im there.

Unknown said...

ooo... the dishes looks so delish!

i am an eggplant super fan! sigh. i want the spicy eggplant sooooo badly right now. with rice.

Here I bought a sauce pack so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.

Anonymous said...

One of the worst Indian restaurant in taipei. The guy is really extracting money from the chinese and the foreigners..Most of the indian dont like the food here..coz the food is not fresh..oily..bad for stomach..and the taste is really bad ofcourse if you are tasted indian food.

Anonymous said...

The owner does not allow you to order your dishes and starts dominating your choices and its like you have to eat what he wants and not what you want. Awful service and worst Indian food i ever had , avoid lamb dishes as the meat was stale. We were supposed to order all at once i dont understand why.... as he was against sending the waiter to come twice or thrice for orders. Really worst experience from a friendly city like Taipei .