Let me preface this post by saying I’ve had Indian four times in my entire life – twice in London on the infamous Brick Lane, and twice here in NYC. Â When I got invited to Tandoor Oven on the Upper East Side on 83rd between Lexington and 3rd, I was excited to expand my Indian knowledge. Â Still, I was a little hesitant to try a new dish – after all, I loved chicken tikka masala.
Luckily the waiter at Tandoor Oven suggested that dish was exactly what I should try. Â Like their name suggests, all the tandoor oven
recipes are in fact their specialties. It was also recommended that we try the chicken jalfrezi – boneless chicken with green peppers, onions, tomatoes and spices. Â Our wait also suggested we get an appetizer, and recommended the vegetable samosa. Â A meal isn’t complete without naan, so we ordered garlic naan as well – my favorite part.
Given this was the second time I ate a samosa, I didn’t know what to expect. Â To be honest, it reminds me of an egg roll, which vegetables inside. Â My boyfriend who has sampled Indian cuisine in his life plenty more than I have said they were really good. Then our entrees came out. Â Both our portions were huge, and we both struggled to finish – so much so that we had to bring our leftovers home. We enjoyed both dishes, but when comparing them head to head, we found that the jalfrezi chicken was juicier, but the masala had a better flavor and sauce – making us understand why it is Tandoor Oven’s signature dish. Â The garlic naan was delicious and so big we couldn’t even split between the two of us – and I spent the majority of the meal dipping it in the sweet masala sauce. Â Once the meal was over, our waiter offered us dessert. Â While we were stuffed, we couldn’t say no to two small scoops of pistachio and mango ice cream. Â Both of us were split over our favorite flavors – I preferred the pistachio to the mango, while my boyfriend felt the other way around.
As far as dining in goes, staff was very attentive and friendly, highlighting some celebs that visited before. What I noticed the most about the restaurant was a big party room – I feel like it can be super tough to find a place in Manhattan to house a table of 8 or more, and while we were there, I noticed they had a big party seated together in a private room, which would be nice if planning a birthday.
While we dined, I noticed that Tandoor Oven was pretty busy throughout the night, with delivery guys running in and out of the restaurant. Â In fact, if I still lived in the area, this would probably be my takeout spot.The Basics Name: Tandoor Oven Location: 175 E 83rd St between Lexington and 3rd Ave Who to Bring: Friends, Takeout Price: Entrees around $15 $$ Overall: Solid Indian food. 4 stars.Â Â Disclosure: I was invited to sample complimentary dishes at Tandoor Oven. Gratuity was not included and opinions are my own.