This is about the Tamarind East Indian Restaurant, not to be confused with Tamarind Vietnamese Grill & Noodle House (which I’ve been to, incidentally, but haven’t reviewed because I kept on forgetting to write a post).
Ah the flaws of this blogger continues.
But who cares when you’ve got pakora and a friend named Kat?
The occasion was happy (we were catching up and I was just engaged… speaking of which, I suppose I’ll talk about that some time later on this blog. Or something). To celebrate, we decided to indulge in some tasty, tasty Indian food.
The first dish, which I convinced Kat to order because I was craving it madly, was a platter featuring Tamarind’s pakora trio (6.95): cream-cheese and spinach tikki (like a croquette), vegetable pakora, and paneer pakora. I thought the food was plated in quite a pretty manner. The mint chutney was mad-green (as you can see, and I didn’t edit that photo very much), the plum chutney sweet and the tamarind sauce typical. But oh, nom. The spinach tikki (actually not really pictured in this shot since it’s hiding behind the paneer, my bad) was pretty bland, as was the paneer pakora (deep-fried cheese, pictured hiding behind the coleslaw). The vegetable pakora, however, pictured front and centre, was so, so good. I’d order the vegetable pakora on its own in a heartbeat. If ever you’re interested in ordering it, make sure you take bites of whatever veggie is served (in this case, chopped cabbage) alongside your bites of veggie pakora, because the flavour contrasts (cool and refreshing versus hot and crunchy and savoury) will knock you outta your seat.
The rest of the entrees came hot on the heels of our finishing up the appetizers. First came some deliciously soft and garlicky naan bread (2.5):
and then the curries came! Woohoo! First off was the lamb korma (12.95) in a deliciously creamy cashew sauce. The lamb was tender and the sauce flavourful. Oh golly. Lamb is in itself a treat, but this lamb curry was cooked so well I could have just been happy with that one bowl and nothing else. Well, rice, but rice is essential to sopping up every drop of sauce. Who knew cashews could be so creamy?
The next dish we ordered was a beef vindaloo (11.95), and although it was surprisingly not as spicy as I’d hoped, the flavours were still all there and all right. Yum. Unfortunately I’m not very knowledgeable about East Indian food, but I can say safely that the meat was well done, not over cooked, the spices alright (especially if you’re not used to this sort of cuisine) and the overall dish a very rich and hearty dish.
The two curries and the appetizer was way more food than Kat or I could handle, so I got to take home some leftovers (although I left it in J’s fridge after board games night T____T). Barring the wait at the end for the card machine (why has this become such a common issue with Calgary’s dining service?) the staff were quite friendly and service was quick.
Tamarind East Indian Restaurant
1110 Panatella Blvd NW
Calgary, AB T3K 0S6
Pros: The curries are flavourful but some of the appetizers sampled here less so. Portion sizes, however, are quite decent and the feel of the restaurant is very modern. Done.
Cons: Again, what is is with that last fifteen minutes in a restaurant? Is this part of some restaurant marketing strategy that I need to learn? The food isn’t crazy spicy, so if you’re looking for arson-in-your-mouth, you’ll have to make a special request. The prices are also pretty average.
As far as eating at East Indian restaurants go, my first choice would still be Rajdoot, located downtown. If I did want to travel far though, given the choice between Raj Palace and here, I’d probably choose here. The food isn’t perfect but it’s tasty and a solid delivery on all fronts. Go Tamarind go! I’m so coming back for your vegetable pakora.