Review : Tandoor Restaurant

Review : Tandoor Restaurant

Written by Laura Baranik
for Expats.cz

Before my first trip to Tandoor, I was warned by my dinner companion, who had already been there, that the restaurant´s food is excellent but the place is “ugly.” She was right on both counts.



Entering Tandoor is like stepping in to a cleaned-up, better-lit version of a mid-90s neighborhood herna, which I imagine is what used to be located here. There are no slot machines now, of course, but some vestiges of the previous ownership still remain: a complex bar construction of dark brown wood (complete with angled mirrors and plastic plants), beige wall-to-wall carpeting, an old TV bolted to the ceiling. The walls have been painted with a fresh coat of Barbie-house pink and baby blue, something an over-eager Daddy-to-be might have done while decorating a nursery for his new child, sex unknown.

But the place is spotlessly clean, and Tandoor isn´t pretending to be a five-star restaurant, anyway. You won´t find an entrée over 170 CZK, though from what I sampled, they would fit in just fine, if not better, with any of the meals at Prague´s more expensive Indian restaurants. Tandoor just feels like an honest place – they´re not hitting you over the head with sitars and jewelled elephants, trying to make up in quasi-authentic atmosphere what they lack in the kitchen. They´re serving you home-style Indian, in generous portions and with friendly service.

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The chicken in my chicken tikka masala, for example, was accompanied by plenty of subtly spiced, coconut-tinged masala gravy. The sauce´s perfectly pureed consistency went well over a plate of fluffy basmati rice, and was just right to scoop up with bits of chewy, powdery-to-the-touch paratha bread.

My companion´s vegetable korma was equally satisfying, sweetened with coconut milk and full of crunchy veggies. I was pleased to note that the sauce seemed to be made with more yoghurt than cream, making it less heavy than other kormas I´ve tried. A side dish of saag aloo – steamed spinach and potatoes seasoned with chilli and cardamom – was pleasantly garlicky and did well to complement my otherwise vegetable-free tikka masala.

We´d been a little disappointed by the appetizers, not because they weren´t good, but because both the vegetable and meat samosas were unavailable (fans of Indian food are sure to notice, too, that perennial favorite naan is not on the menu).

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Expats.cz Rating
Atmosphere
Food
Service
Overall
From our plate
45 CZKMix Pakora (6 pcs)
90 CZKVegetable Korma
149 CZKChicken Tikka Masala
25 CZKBasmati rice
29 CZKPilau rice
35 CZK

Paratha bread

25 CZKIndian tea
Instead, we opted to share a plate of vegetable pakora, which turned out to be a great choice. The pakoras, despite being deep-fried, weren´t too greasy; instead, they were delicately crispy on the outside with a moist potato-cauliflower-and-onion mash on the inside. A light yoghurt dipping sauce was a cool contrast to the pakoras´ spiciness.

I didn´t manage to sample any of the extra-spicy dishes Tandoor has on offer, such as the jal frezis or vindaloos, but I´ve been told that they don´t skimp on the chili – a welcome relief to Prague hotheads who´ve seen many an ethnic dish dulled by a local preference for milder food. I could have used a little more spice in my Indian tea (also known as masala chai) though, with its heavy sweetness overpowering any hint of chai´s traditional notes of cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger.

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Nevertheless, I´m sure to be back, in spite of the slightly vapid atmosphere; good ethnic cuisine is too rare in Prague not to. If you´re really dreading an evening in a converted herna, you can always have your food delivered, at a charge of 10 CZK a kilometer (with a 50 CZK minimum). Now that you´ve been warned, though, I think you´ll find it really isn´t that bad in there. It´s certainly nothing a great curry can´t make up for.

Tandoor
www.tandoor.cz
Konecchlumského 7, Prague 6 – Břevnov
Tel: 233 359 274
Open: Mon-Fri 11:00 – 23:00
Sat 12:00 – 23:00
Sun 17:00 – 23:00

Laura Baranik can be reached at laura@expats.cz



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