#91: Tandoori House

I was excited to have found Tandoori Nights a while back and try, for the first time, Pakistani food.  Yesterday I was skimming over my list figuring out where to go and I decided to see what Gourmet Cravings was.  Well, it used to be Gourmet Cravings.  Sometime over the summer it was replaced by Roseville’s 2nd Indian/Pakistani restaurant, Tandoori House.  It’s located in the Nugget shopping center at Pleasant Grove and Fairway.

I met my brother for lunch at 1pm and we were the only customers.  During our lunch 1 person picked up a phone order and a couple was seated right about when our food came out.  I read a one liner review on Yelp that had said it was similar to Tandoori Nights but “with atmosphere”, so I was expecting a nicely furnished and decorated restaurant.  I’m not sure I would agree with that review.  I felt that they were extremely similar, despite some obvious little differences.  Tandoori House has a bare cement floor but nicer seating and tables, and is also a much larger space overall.  The thing is, the handful of tables they do have are only positioned against the walls, and up towards the front there is a very large empty space, where the dining area widens out after the kitchen ends, that feels a little odd.

We walked up to the register area upon entering, not knowing if we should order there or be seated.  Quickly however, we realized that this was full service and we were seated with menus.  The gentleman serving us was very friendly and patient and told us to feel free to ask anything if we had questions.  I carefully went over the entire menu from start to finish before deciding on what I wanted.  We each ordered a mango lassi to drink, which I remembered loving before.  Thinking about it again today I went a little out of my way to pick another one up at Tandoori Nights but they were closed unfortunately (I’ll have to check back and make sure they’re not out of business because I didn’t think they closed on Sundays).  Eventually we decided on 4 items and I gave our order to the server.  He complimented me on my pronunciation of karahi chicken (chicken cooked tomatoes, green chilies, ginger & spices), which I was taking stab in the dark on, so that was nice 😉  In addition to the chicken we ordered shahi paneer (deep fried cheese cooked with mild spices and butter sauce), vegetable biryani (mixed vegetables cooked in saffron flavored Basmati rice) and a seekh kabab (mildly spiced ground beef, char grilled on a skewer).  We hadn’t planned on ordering naan but he threw in some garlic naan anyway.

Right away our mango lassis and a little appetizer came out.  The lassi was just as amazing as it was at Tandoori Nights.  Smooth and creamy with a sweet, rich mango flavor.  I wish I was drinking one right now…  The appetizer was a super thin, crunchy chip-like thing, served with a couple chutneys, both of which were delicious.  Our food didn’t take very long, maybe 10 minutes at the most.  Soon we had a table full of amazing smelling food.  The vegetable biryani dominated the table at the center, a big mound of colorful rice and veggies.  The shahi paneer and karahi chicken were each in small metal bowls.  Lastly, the seekh kabab came out sizzling like mad on a hot iron dish.  I had to wait a moment for most of the steam to dissipate before I could take a clear photo.  The garlic naan was coated heavily in the garlic spread they use.  My fingernails were pretty much yellow when I was all done.

Even though I had to get my hands right in there since they were all bone-in pieces, the karahi chicken was fantastic.  Soaking up the excess curry sauce with garlic naan was great.  Towards the end when we had run out of naan, the rice did good work in it’s place for both the chicken and shahi paneer.  Speaking of the shahi paneer, wow, it sounded great from the description and absolutely lived up to it.  There were little cubes of soft cheese and the butter sauce was pretty much the most awesome thing I’ve had in weeks.  I loved pretty much everything, with slight exception of the kabab.  Similarly to Tandoori Nights it was so spicy that it masked what flavors were there.  I doubt I’ll be ordering these anymore.

Basically everything was as good as Tandoori Nights.  Really great, friendly and helpful service, amazingly flavorful food, and decent portions.  We had enough to each take home another meal, which I had for lunch today and it was just as good the second time around.  I’m sold on Indian/Pakistani cuisine, it’s quickly jumped very close to the top of my favorite foods.

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