We were in a dilemma. Something that had us thinking hard and would determine our fate. Yes, we were trying to figure out where to eat after softball... To complicate things, not only did we have Miss Y and her paleo diet, but also another request - something vegetarian. I was confounded and frustrated since it also had to be within the Sunset area. Not to worry and never fear because Bear was there! He piped up and suggest Indian, specifically Tandoori Raj (well not really, he thought it was a different restaurant was located there, but we ate there anyways).
Interestingly, no one ordered any tandoori items despite a prominent section in the menu. Oh well, whatever, we did get a good selection of dishes including the veritable Butter Chicken. We asked for all of our dishes to be spicy and this one was no exception. It had a real initial kick, but was not unbearable. We could've done with even more spiciness. With that being said, it allowed the flavours of the butter chicken to come through including a mild tang and muted creaminess (I would've liked it more creamy). We enjoyed how the chicken was actual tandoor-prepared and it was fairly moist. Onto the Prawn Masala, we found it to be a bit sweeter due to the onion. It had the familiar spices including noticeable cardamom. The smallish prawns were well-prepared though being meaty with a light snap.
We ended up with 2 lamb dishes including the Lamb Vindaloo and Lamb Rogen Josh. We found the vindaloo a bit more red than we were used to, but that was partly due to the paprika. Add in vinegar and tamarind, the sauce was trending towards a ketchup-type flavour. However, this was not to say this tasted like ketchup, it was far from it. Again, there was a purposeful amount of spiciness that added layers of flavour. As for the lamb itself, they were in medium-sized chunks that were fairly tender. Again, the rogen josh was in a noticeable red hue once again from the paprika. I thought this was a touch sweeter due to the onion content and there was a noticeable cardamom finish. The spiciness didn't hide the rest of the spices which was pretty consistent with all of the dishes.
We also went with a Goat Curry Punjabi Style which was less intense as with the lamb dishes. The milder flavours could be attributed to the creaminess of the curry. We thought the goat was appealingly tender with only a muted gaminess. As mentioned, the spiciness was not as apparent, which suited this dish fine. We moved from meat over to veggie with the Palak Paneer. We found it to be creamy and nicely spiced. The heat level was still there, but not as strong as the first 4 dishes. As for the paneer, it was soft with a rebound texture. Loved the pop of the sweet peas that were nestled in the curry.
Yes, the dish we were all waiting for... The Vegetable Curry! Sorry for being sarcastic, I'm a meatatarian... It was actually quite good with also a creamy consistency. This was the only dish that was requested as mildly spicy. Hence, it was a bit sweet with the spices coming through a bit more. Naturally, we also got rice and Naan to go with our curries. As evidenced in the picture, the naan could've used a bit more blistering and charring, but it was okay nonetheless. It was soft and chewy with a slightly crisp bottom side. Overall, we enjoyed our meal at Tandoori Raj. Flavours were impactful and the spice level suited us. We just wished there was a bit more meat in the curries.
- Balanced spiciness
- Flavours were impactful
- Decent service
- Could've used more ingredients