3.6 / 1 vote

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North Indian food in a retro 1950s diner setting

Standard North Indian cuisine (chickpeas, lentils, potatoes) served in a 1950s diner setting.

Added by conde.kedar on Aug 12 10 (last updated Aug 12 10)

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Tandoor is open later than the other Indian restaurants in town which gives it an edge, in my book. When I say "Indian" I mean "North Indian" which is a completely different type of cuisine than South Indian. North Indian food comprises probably 90% of the market in the US and is typically heavier and oilier than South Indian food (for example, tandoori dishes and tikka dishes are North Indian, whereas dosas and uttapam are South Indian).

Immediate notes: if you order online from campusfood.com, you can get a 10% discount on take-out orders. Similarly, if you dine-in, you can get a discount if you're a student. But, when I went there directly and placed a take-out order, they refused to give me the discount; had I ordered online, they said, I would have qualified. I think that's ridiculous.

Secondly, many of the dishes here contain cream or other milk products. If you are vegan like me, make sure to ask questions. For example, the baigan bhartha is made with cream (this is not disclosed) and the free white rice they give you is made with skim milk. Tandoor really needs to do a better job labeling what dishes are vegan versus lacto-vegetarian. There's a big difference.

The first time around I had an alu chole ($12) and roti ($3). Both were competently made and, in the case of the alu chole, not excessively oily. The portion size was sufficient, but wasn't enough for me to have leftovers. Tandoor doesn't have brown rice, which is a shame, as white rice sucks and has no redeeming taste or health value.

About half of the vegetarian dishes at Tandoor are vegan or can be made vegan. That said, none of the dishes stand out as unique or unusual.

The second time I went I had the baigan bhartha ($12) which, unfortunately, was super-oily. To make matters worse, it didn't really have any flavor; the eggplant was missing that sublime roasted flavor.

The atmosphere in Tandoor is unusual for Indian restaurants. I mean, it's a 1950s trailer with neon lights. That's kind of fun and crazy. I just wish the food were better and I wish they had better furniture (the chairs and tables look like they belong in a church basement).

How about offering some dishes that don't use the same old ingredients (chickpeas, potatoes, eggplant, spinach), and experiment with some Chinese vegetables, or some American vegan ingredients such as tofu, seitan, tempeh and TVP?

On a whole, though, Tandoor is probably the best value North Indian joint in New Haven. That said, it's not a great place and the food is simply the best of a mediocre lot. Thali Too is an excellent South Indian vegetarian restaurant, though I consider that an entirely different cuisine.

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Non-Smoking

Prices

$$ - average

Payment

  • MasterCard Visa

Cuisines

  • Indian (Northern)

Features

  • Buffet

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Hours

11am - 10:30pm

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