Sherman's Food Adventures: Tandoori Flame

Tandoori Flame

Prior to this post, I've already been to Tandoori Flame 5 times since it opened.  I did do a write up upon its grand opening and was thoroughly impressed with the variety and quality of the food.  Putting my money where my mouth (or keyboard) is, I've paid to eat there 4 times with family and friends.  For those who haven't tried the place, Tandoori Flame is indeed North America's largest Indian Buffet in terms of items available and also dining space.  Furthermore, the place is modern, complete with a full-service bar sporting cocktails and their spin on traditional Indian beverages.  This time around, we were invited back to not only enjoy the food, but to sample the aforementioned cocktails.

So I'll get the food shortly, but concentrating on the cocktails, we had the (left-to-right): Strawberry Gulkand Lassi, Pudina Pineapple Mojito, Mango Jalapeno Margarita, Spicy Watermelon Margarita, Cilantro Jalapeno Pineapple Margarita and Tamarind Peach Lassi.  Loved the pretty colours and tropical presentation.  I thought the fruit flavours were bang on and impactful.  Love the tanginess balanced by sweetness.  These drinks were dangerous, especially the ones with alcohol as they went down real easy.  I particularly enjoyed the strawberry lassi since it had a good balance of creaminess, sweetness and tartness.

Onto the food, my favourite section is the appetizers or snacks featuring Chatpate Aloo, Paneer Tikka, Chicken Pakora, Amritsari Fish Fry, Kasturi Murgh Tikka, Malai Murgh Tikka, Malai Soya Chaap and Bhatti Ka Murgh.  Believe it or not, my favourite item was the soya chaap.  Yes, it isn't meat, but it had an appealing chewy texture while being bathed in a creamy spiced gravy.  As usual, the fish fry was excellent with flaky moist fish coated by a light and crispy batter.  Despite its spicy red appearance, it was mild with some sweetness.

Over to the left of this section, there is a selection of Chaat and other street snacks.  To go with the Papri Chaat, we found chickpeas being freshly made behind the counter.  Right next to it, there is Pani Puri which is a smaller crispier version.  In addition to these, many more ingredients including chutneys are available to create your own chaat masterpiece.  I love how they include Pav Bhaji where you can make your own little soft bread roll veggie sloppy joe's.  I love the meat version of this dish more, but this was still tasty.

One of the best things at the buffet is the freshly-made Naan right out of the tandoor.  You can watch the chef work the dough and then smack it against the walls of the tandoor.  It cooks up right before your eyes and the smell is intoxicating.  With a brush of ghee and then cut into smaller pieces, you literally get it into your mouth less than minute after it is made.   I love the naan here as it is pillowy soft with elasticity and chew.  On the outside, it is crispy and beautifully charred.  I know I should just eat bread at a buffet, but I can literally eat this and be satisfied.

Of course pairing naan with curries is the best combination, so let's get to the many varieties they serve.  There are 3 sections with my favourite being the meat curries including Malai Shrimp, Laal Maas, Chili Chicken, Methi Murgh, Black Pepper Fish, Goat Curry, Butter Chicken and also a Chicken Biryani.    Really enjoyed the lamb (Laal Maas) as each chunk was tender with the unmistakable gelatinous quality of lamb meat.  Curry had a good spice level and the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom really came through to give a fall spice flavor.  For a buffet, the butter chicken was solid.  It featured tender thigh meat and was balanced in terms of tang and creaminess.  Also enjoyed the goat curry with the tender bone-in pieces of goat.  It wasn't overly gamy and the curry also exhibited rich earthy notes.

For vegetarians, there is a section all for you that includes: Stir Fried French Beans, Veg Manchurian, Daal Makhani, Shahi Paneer, Aloo Gobi, Kadhi Pakora, Palak Paneer and Chana Masala.  Highlights include the aloo gobi with tender chunks of potato and cauliflower.  Not overdone but still cooked through.  Good gingery hit on those. I enjoyed the tangy gravy in the kadhi pakora as well as the softened fried vegetable pakoras within in.  I love palak paneer and this one was good with creamy spinach and tender chunks of squishy paneer.  Again, this was mild, but had some background earthiness.

One last section to the left included a mix of items including Halal versions of Bhatti Ka Murgh, Kasturi Murgh Tikka, Chicken Biryani, Goat Curry, Butter Chicken, Black Pepper Fish and Chili Chicken.  We also found Veg Fried Rice and Veg Fried Noodles.  It is nice to see that they have something for everyone (as in different dietary restrictions).  I will only comment on the rice and noodles as the others are essentially the same as the non-Halal versions.  The rice was chewy and firm due to the use of basmati rice while the noodles were quite good with al dente noodles and enough seasoning.

For dessert, they have a remarkable selection including Ice Cream (Hard and Soft-Serve), Rice Kheer, Badam Halwa, Gulab Jamon, Moong Dal Halwa, Seviyan, Thandi Kheer, Gulkand Phirni, Coconut Gulab Jamon, Kesar Rasgulla, Petha and Fruit Custard.  Not pictured is a station that does made-to-order Malpua and Jalebi with Rabri.  Yes, these are sweet, that is par for the course when it comes to Indian sweets.  Great selection.  I didn't even mention the salad bar, made-to-order Dosa (with Sambar) and freshly-baked pizza.  There is just so much food and something for everyone.  Add in a modern and trendy dining space complete with bar and great service, you can see why I've been back so many times.

*All beverages and buffet were complimentary*

The Good:
- Quite the variety of food
- Overall, very good, especially for a buffet
- Modern dining space

The Bad:
- Buffet area can get a bit crowded when busy


Search this Site