Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dinner Buffet at Tawa Tandoor (food)

Even though Jackson Heights is well-known for Indian food, I haven't really found any place that has wowed me, so I usually opt for a buffet. At dinner, the price for one entree at one of the more well-known places (eg. Jackson Diner) or one of the newer, somewhat fancier places (eg. Delhi Heights) costs more than the buffet at the other Indian restaurants. I haven't tasted enough of a difference to justify the higher price and smaller variety, so I usually end up at the buffet at Indian Taj.

The other day, I noticed that they now have a dinner buffet at Tawa Tandoor. It's about $2 more expensive than the one at Indian Taj, but the food is a bit better with a larger selection. Also, the place is much nicer. My guess is that they were originally going for something a bit more upscale than the usual restaurants around the area. They finally succumbed and began offering a dinner buffet about half a year ago.

The salad offering is a good start, allowing you to make your own bhelpuri.

The protein selection is pretty much the same at all of these buffets. Some version of chicken tikka masala or butter chicken, chicken curry, or goat curry. Here they have all 3 and the chicken curry is nice in that you get real pieces of chicken with bone and not just chunks of meat. In terms of taste, I couldn't tell that there was a significant difference versus other nearby places.

Where the buffet shines is the grill offerings. In addition to tandoori chicken, there are pieces of seekh kebab, chicken kebab, and skewered tandoori chicken chunks. These were all flavorful and juicy.

There are the usual vegetable offerings, including some sort of dal, some sort of saag or palak (spinach), and heartier fare with potatoes, eggplant, or paneer. I felt that their palak was brighter in color and seemed fresher than the ones I've seen at other buffets.

The most unique part of their buffet is the presence of Chinese food. This includes stir-fried noodles and fried rice, as well as vegetable curries with a sweet and sour type sauce. While the other more "generic" offerings are not spicy, these items are really hot, and can get numbing.

Naan is delivered to the table fresh, and they will ask if you want more when you finish. The restaurant gives off a nice bright, clean feeling, even though there is too much brown (different shades) in the color scheme. It might be a bit more expensive than my old go-to, Indian Taj, but Tawa Tandoor is my new choice when I'm in the mood for Indian buffet in the neighborhood.

Tawa Tandoor
37-56 74 St
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

No comments :