9 July, 2009
Restaurant Review–Tandoor Indian Restaurant, Greenwood Commons, DurhamComments : 3 Posted in : Dining in Durham - NC, Restaurants on by : The Gourmez
Tandoor Indian Restaurant
5410 Highway 55
Tandoor, situated in a nondescript shopping center, has a nice, white tablecloth interior with plenty of tables and booth seating and a small, cute bar with elephant figurines on display. The Indian music playing had an upbeat tempo, which was appreciated as Indian music can occasionally put me right to sleep. I also liked the modern orange-swirled lamps in the booth section.
Mr. Gourmez and I opted for the dinner for 2, a $39.95 per couple option that included samosas, vegetable fritters, pappadam, chicken curry, lamb curry, vegetable curry, chicken tandoori, seekh kabab, chicken tikka, rice, naan, raita, and kheer for dessert. Portions were a great amount for two, not overwhelming but the leftovers would have still filled up a couple of to go containers, had we wanted them. We ordered medium spice and it seemed like the perfect amount for the first few bites but the heat didn’t linger.
My mango lassi was almost neon orange and one of the thinnest I’ve had, but the mango flavor came through loud, clear, and refreshing.
The samosas were pretty good, though almost all potato. I think I might have had two peas in mine. I did like the small size and taste of the fritters. They were mainly potato as well, and I couldn’t really determine what the other veggies were when dipped in the accompanying sweet tamarind chutney, but they were good.
Strangely, we were never served the pappadam, which I use as a vehicle for tasting all the condiments. The mango chutney was exceptionally sticky and tasted more like apples. I should have known better than to try the pickled vegetables as I don’t like most pickled foods, but I tried it anyway and nearly choked on the overwhelming bitterness and saltiness. That’s probably how it’s supposed to taste but it was absolutely disgusting for me. My bad. The naan was greasy and much less fluffy than I prefer; Mr. Gourmez agreed with me on that count. The basmati rice was excellent, though, and second only to dessert for my favorite part of the meal.
Curries, Tandoori, Kebab:
I didn’t eat the lamb but the chicken was very tender. The tomato curry used in both dishes was really nothing special but also not bad, just kind of there. The vegetable curry turned out to be saag paneer, which is one of my favorite Indian dishes. This version was rather salty and tasted somewhat smoky and earthy making it perfectly edible but not delightful. I’ve had better chicken tandoori though I quite liked the chicken tikka. The sauce served with the barbequed items was tart and intriguing, but I wouldn’t say I liked it. The seekh kabob was not for me, too dry and made of ground meats that weren’t tasty.
For dessert, we both received a large saucer of kheer, which is essentially rice pudding though it can be made with other grains. It was yummy! I would have liked some cinnamon or cardamom but the texture of smaller, broken up bits of rice in an extra sweet, creamy sauce, made for a great end to an okay meal.
As with many of the individual dishes, I have to say of Tandoor that I’ve had better. I probably won’t be back, even if I do get a craving for kheer. Trader Joe’s rice pudding fulfills that need well enough for me.
And my quest for outstanding Indian food in Durham continues…