Restaurants & Bars

Punjabi Tandoori

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Punjabi Tandoori

TastyLlama | Apr 12, 2003 08:29 PM

The tagline on their menu is ‘just like home made.’ Being a Long Island suburban Jew, I can’t really validate that. I CAN say that if most Indian families on the island eat like this, they are extremely lucky.
Punjabi Tandoori is located on 470 South Broadway, in Hicksville. Kind of a trip for most people, I expect, but well worth it. Not for the décor, or the service. We must have waited for half an hour before we got ANYthing, and minutes tick by slower when you’re hungry. It’s a tiny place; only about six little tables. The restaurant comes across as a high school classroom… white walls, round clock over the door. Oddly, there are a couple 3D paintings; nature scenes, if I remember correctly. Weird.
The menu is very difficult to navigate for the inexperienced. Almost nothing is translated. The waiter guy we had was marginally helpful in deciphering some of the more obscure terms, and he also offered to modify spiciness to our personal taste; not something the often happens. We chose mild, jus to be safe. The food DID take waaaay too long to arrive, sadly, but when it did…
We chose a fairly wide assortment, from the more familiar Chicken Tandoori and Lamb Biryani to the unknown Bangean Bharta. EVERYthing was fantastic. The Tandoori was bright red (or so I’m told; I’m colorblind) and generous. On the menu is said ‘half-chicken,’ yet we somehow received all drumsticks and thighs. Perhaps their chickens are raised near Chernobyl. The Lamb Biryani was much fun as well, although a little less interesting. Maybe if it were spicier. Plenty of basmati rice included, though. Always a plus.
The main star, I would say, would be Bangean Bharta (when combined with the various fresh breads we got, anyway.) This is some sort of squished eggplant concoction, with peas, and lots of oil. Despite being able to feel my arteries harden as I ate, I couldn’t stop. I can’t think of anything similar I can equate it to… it’s just so very savory. I’ve never had anything like it before, even at similar restaurants. It’s the kind of stuff you just want to fill your bathtub with, so there will always be plenty around.
All the side items were great too. Bundi raita, which is like regular raita (yogurt… stuff) but with lots of, I dunno, tiny units of dough. Makes the raita more exciting than usual. We tried a few crispy breads; Aloo Paratha and Keema Naan I remember. The Naan smelled great, as it was covered in herbs; the Aloo Paratha was a bit too spicy for some, but therefore went great with raita.
I had a mango Lassi, which is a yogurt drink, and I’d recommend it to anyone. I like to try interesting juices different places, and Lassi is one of my perennial favorites. They didn’t give me much of it, though. The coffee, strangely, was GREAT. Maybe I’m just a coffee simpleton, but this was one of the great lattes ever. Didn’t require any doctoring at all. For dessert was Kheer, which is basically rice pudding with almonds and raisins. A smaller portion than we’d been led to believe, but it was still provided great closure to a fantastic, if slow as hell, meal.
It’s at 470 South Broadway, Hicksville NY, 11801. Go right now. We were there on a weekend night, and for quite awhile, and almost no one else came in. Let them feed you! It’s great! If possible, do as I do; get your loving family to pay!

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