Tandoor Chop House has some serious marketing skills, they launched their new Lunch Menu on social media on Monday. Offering diners 50% off by uploading a snap on Instagram. I said YESSSSSS, WHERE DO I SIGN?!?!?!!!
Luckily for me I was in London yesterday, so it was worth venturing into. I booked a table via opentable just to be sure. They do keep tables for walk ins. It’s in a good location near The National Portrait Galley, if you ain’t been there, do go! It’s worth the browse!
From the outside, Tandoor Chop House looks very clean as in style wise, simplicity goes a long way, modern chic design. Upon entering, it has the old colonial Indian style decor. Clean as it is on the outside, large booths on the left and tables and two seater booths on the right. It’s quite wide and spacious.
My friend had already arrived on time, and was sat on the two people booths. Quite comfy, but cramped to say the least! But hey, you’re there for the food right, not comfort! I had the view of the open kitchen, and could see the chicken being cooked in the tandoor! Now I have been to many places with an open kitchen, and especially in NW London where Indian food is at the heart of it all, so for me, its nothing special! At least you can watch the chefs cook if you are dining solo! Ordered our drinks which was a mocktail called Pomegrante Fizz – now I don’t know what the hidden after taste was. The first sip went down well, but the second to third, I felt like it was playing games with me! What is that hidden taste?!?! Some sort of Indian spice, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it! The bottle next to it, is tap water.
When our waitress came over, I asked what the Thali consists of, and bless her, she had no idea. They were still learning the ins and outs of the new launched menu. I ordered the Malabar Tiger Prawns and my friend the House Tandoor Chicken. The main menu though sounds mouth watering, especially the Amritsari crispy lamb chops – mmmmmmmmmmm gimme gimme gimme! So the Thali is £14 each, we only got to choose 1 of the favourites rather than the two as stated in their original lunch menu. Bit of a cop out if you ask me! They launched a new menu and decided to change the rules, hmmmmm.!…*eye roll*
The food came out within 25 minutes. It was brought out in a small thali which consisted of: Charred Malabar tiger prawns (with shell on) Black Dahl, Tomato and Smashed Kachumber Salad, Green Chutney, 4 pieces of naan, and Halva. So lets begin the analysis, from an Indian perspective looking at the plate of food, its tiny! But lets give it a try, the aromas were appetizing, my first taste was the Black dahl, us indians call it Dal Makhani, or if you want to be a proper desi, its called Urad dal. I went in for the taste, and honest to god, I tasted a lot of salt, it was swimming in the stuff! Also the texture was a bit thick, like stodgy, gujarati dal is not runny, but the roti soaks it up. Having said that, we have it with rice! So a thick stodgy mess is a no gamer in our household! I couldn’t really taste any ginger or indian masala, it had barely any garlic in it! Naan you cannot go wrong, I mean its simple science to make and was quite nice. The green chutney is made from green apples, chillies and coriander. It was ok, nothing special, I can make it with my eyes closed, and it be a lot tastier with an added kick. The kachumber salad looked old, the tomatoes had wilted (poor things), it was not fresh, the onions, bless its soul looked like it didn’t even want to be there! The prawns were hard work, they looked uh-may-zing and once I peeled the shells away, I felt like the flavours had disappeared. I was constantly licking my fingers from the shells where the masala was! Bit disappointing! They were juicy though, and went well with the green chutney! Oh and it needed lemon, a wedge of lemon to squeeze onto the prawns, maybe then it would’ve made the meal!
And oh that halva thing, its not everyones cuppa tea, I rarely eat Indian sweets and I kid you not, I hated this sticky toffee malarky in that little vatki! It was horrrrrible!! I made such an awkward face when I took my first teeny tiny mouthful of it! Why just whyyy………I would’ve prefered a gulab jamun or kulfi!
From an Indian perspective its a no-brainer, this sort of food is catered for the masses of the London crowd, who want something easy and chip chop for lunch. This sort of mild flavoured spice is for them, anything hotter and it may burn their asses and be in the toilet for god knows how many days! One thing for certain though, the flavours are nice, as in the charry taste is something that comes across really well, all meat and seafood is cooked to perfection. It’s hearty, comfort food, bringing British and Indian flavours together.
If you aren’t a fan of spicy food, then yes do go in and try it, the lasooni paneer sounds interesting. Even if you like your food spicer than a vindaloo (which by the way is not desi!!!) do go in and eat. It’s a dining experience, some may enjoy it, some may not. Was it worth the £14, in my honest opinon NO! I think its overpriced, but hey, these are London prices! Lucky for the 50% off! However one thing is for certain, I will be returning to try the A La Carte menu, I want them chops!
My friend enjoyed her tandoor chicken, but agreed with me about catering for the masses of London! Nicely cooked chicken though!
This review is my honest opinion of what I thought, everyone’s palates are different. If you liked the Halva, then thats cool dude! If the mild spice was the right amount for you, then thats cool too 🙂 Its all love here 🙂
Head over to Tandoor Chop House instagram page to find out how to claim 50% off their lunch menu. Its pretty simple, take an insta snap, upload, show it to the waiter and you save them pennies 🙂