Naanbites

While munching on mediocre Japanese food at Tora Sushi over a year ago, I spied Naanbites across the parking lot. Maybe I was being overly judgmental, but I merely dismissed it as a place that was not high on my list to visit. After all, it's a restaurant located in a shopping complex. Not exactly a place where you would necessarily find good food. Case in point, there are the usual fast food joints, the Wok Box and the aforementioned Tora Sushi. I rest my case... Fast forward to the present and everything that I hear about Naanbites points towards the positive. Hence, that piqued my interest and of course I made my way out there. The place is pretty basic - you head to the counter, make your order, pay and take a seat. Since it is primarily a take-out joint, some of the serving vessels are plastic. That didn't really phase me since it is pretty much the same at such places like the food court stalls at Crystal Mall and the Richmond Public Market.

Looking over the extensive menu, I figured that one visit would not be enough. This time around, I decided to start with the Tandoori Chicken Bites. These little morsels were beautifully charred and bursting with flavour (a bit of spice and plenty of smokiness). The meat was super moist and tender (due in part to the use of dark meat). I'm not afraid to admit it - these were some of the best tandoori chicken bites I've had. And of all places... Moving onto my main dish, the Lamb Rogan Josh was also pretty good. With large chunks of tender, yet still slightly chewy lamb bathed in a flavourful onion-tomato sauce. I liked how it had flavour without being salty (although, I would've preferred a touch more flavour). I gleefully (really?) soaked up the curry with the pillowy soft, yet still slightly chewy Naan. I would've preferred a bit more charring though.

Well, the charring issue was not a problem the next time I visited Naanbites. Seeing how I needed to try a few more items, I went for their Tiffin Combo which included a choice of meat curry, veggie curry, rice and naan. I got it to go with Butter Chicken and Palak Paneer. I found the naan to be perfect this time around. With a tandoor on premises, they were able to combine the good points from last time with a perfect char. As for the butter chicken, there were large chunks of tandoor-cooked chicken bathed in a flavourful sauce. I would say it leaned towards the tomato paste end more than creamy, yet at the same time, it was tasty. I wasn't as enthused with the palak paneer though. Although I'm sure some people would prefer it, I don't personally like the spinach to be so smooth and blended-looking. I want some texture. Furthermore, it was kinda bland with lack of spice. However, that was probably the only thing that I could really nitpick about. Who would've thought: an Indian fast-food joint nestled within outlet shops producing more than respectable eats. Shocking but true.

The Good:
- Inexpensive
- Food is pretty solid
- Personable staff

The Bad:
- When busy, food is not really all that fast
- Some items could use more punch

Naanbites on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

LotusRapper said...

I think I ate here in August (if this is the place in Queensborough Landing shopping complex) and was pleasantly surprised at how good the food was. I had the dish that was vegetarian and resembles fried rice (dish name = ?) and it was good. A huge portion too, had to take home the leftovers.

I asked if they're a new chain and the owner said they're working on it.

LotusRapper said...

^ It was a version of biriyani but with way more "stuff", so I'm not sure if it was supposed to be a biriyani or their own creation.

Sherman said...

@LR That is exactly why I took so long to visit the place. At first, I merely dismissed it as a token Indian take out joint in a mall. How wrong I would be... Good stuff.