Michael and I were browsing through a blog called Richmond 365, a blogger hired by Tourism Richmond to write about food adventures in our fair city, and came across Tandoori Kona. It's located at a strip mall on 11700 Cambie Rd and seems pretty hidden so keep your eyes open for it. Despite being tucked in the middle of a strip mall, it's touted as a renowned restaurant - voted the best Southeast Asian cuisine in the Richmond Review.
The restaurant is really small with only a few tables. It's pretty simple. There are a few Indian pictures hung up on the wall and it reminded me of the paintings I have seen in my art history classes. There is a mini bar area and doors to the kitchen that looks onwards to the restaurant. We were lucky that we went so early, the crowds started to pour in later in the evening.
|Complimentary lentil biscuits with sweet sauce|
I wasn't too hungry for dinner today but Michael was a starvin Marvin. Their menu is straightforward, you get to choose from different meats or vegetarian curry dishes. All the curry comes with rice, naan and lentil biscuits. We got to choose how spicy we want the curry from mild, medium, or hot.
I was torn between the classic butter chicken or one of my all time favourite indian dishes, the Palak Paneer, which is spinach and cheese. I haven't been keeping up with my veggies lately and I felt that the butter chicken is been overdone in so many restaurants these days, so I ended up choosing the paneer. I chose the mild flavour but still got a little kick of heat, I could have really used a lassi. But yum yum yum! my paneer tasted as perfect as I remembered from India. The spinach was creamy with my the chewy cheese and was so smooth and tasted so well with my basmati rice mixed into there. The moisture from the palak paneer and the dry rice was like match made perfectly. It's like french fries and ketchup, they need to be together. I clamped my naan with my rice and paneer. It was like I died and went to Samasara.
Little daredevil Michael got the plain chicken curry with medium heat. I think he really had regret that decision towards the end. Medium was pretty intense and we would hate to imagine what spicy would be like. Nonetheless, the chicken was really tender and easy to chew. He also thought the naan bread was really fluffy and went really well with his curry. And I have to agree with him too that the rice served with our food was really good. I don't usually like basmati rice, but the folks at Tandoori really know their rice, it was cooked perfectly and paired well with our food.
Michael and I really liked the authenticity of the restaurant. I snuck a peek in to the kitchen between the doors when Michael was paying and everyone looked so hardworking. It really shows in their food. I also love how they serve their curry dishes in the metal plates and bowls, something that really reminds me of India, when I was seeing the Dabbawala making their lunch deliveries around the city.
Michael and I really like Tandoori Kona, and I am confident to say that we will be returning. For the amount of food that was served to us, we couldn't even finish. We could say what a bargain deal!
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