Fast casual Indian you say? Never thought I'd hear those words, but it's here and it's actually REALLY good! Recently at an event I was able to try several items and and I must say I was very impressed. The manager also gave us a little more information about the business and their cooking process in the Tandoor Ovens which added to the experience. I even learned that Tikka Masala isn't even an traditional Indian dish as it's actually more of a British dish (mind blown). He also explained how their goal is to introduce consumers to Indian cuisine without have to "look through a book" of a menu. Because of this, I think this fast, casual, simplified version of Indian food will do really well and bring in new consumers who have been hesitant to try ethnic foods prior. So how is the actual food you ask?
Spiced Okra Fries
Okra Fries?! Yes! If you haven't traditionally been an okra fan because of the "sliminess", no worries here - you wont get any of that in the fries. You will get nice, crispy fried okra strings for all to enjoy. This was a nice starter when you don't want anything heavy and makes for a good snack.
The Kale Pakora was cooked well, but was just OK to me. It was definitely not bad tasting by any stretch, but it was the most memorable either. Fans of kale will probably love it more than others, but it is a good addition to the menu at Tandur.
Tanduri Baked Wings
These wings were spot on in my opinion. They are cooked in the Tandoor Oven so you get the perfect char and smokiness that one could only hope for. You can definitely taste the authentic seasonings prepared in house on full display here. The wings are pricey, but they are large and prepared well. For those that don't like jumbo sized wings, they may not be for you - so just pass them my way please!
Tikka Masala w/ Shrimp
Yea I know what you're thinking - early you just said that Tikka Masala isn't even a 'real' Indian dish, why would you order it?! Plain and simple - it taste good! I definitely was a bit skeptical at first about order Tikka Masala at a fast casual Indian place, but that quickly changed after one bite! The flavors came through amazingly well, and the dish was vibrant and full of life. The shrimp were cooked perfectly(definitely was not expecting that) and the rice and garlic naan complimented the Masala well. Is this the absolute greatest Tikka Masala that I've ever had, no, but it is so close to it that it's a perfectly fine substitute when I can get this in literally about 5 minutes.
So yeah, there it is - a fast casual Indian spot. For a quick and easy way to grab some Indian cuisine, it definitely will be on my list. I was thoroughly impressed with the care they take in preparing their dishes, all the way making them quick. Is it the same experience that you'll get at a high-end Indian restaurant? Not quite, but it's definitely close enough in a way that it's a nice simple, substitute and I think that is the goal for them. Mission Accomplished! I'll be back to try more items soon!