Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area Cambridge

Tamarind Bay, Harvard Sq., Cambridge


Restaurants & Bars 6

Tamarind Bay, Harvard Sq., Cambridge

Limster | Jul 12, 2004 03:50 AM

A newish (2-3 weeks old) Indian place across from Pinocchio's, refined but pricey (main courses in the mid-teens) especially in view of the modest portions. The menu draws from all regional Indian cooking, and featuring many less common dishes, some of which may be non-traditional in substance but authentic in style; this is certainly not a round up of the usual suspects.

Good earthy papadams, brittle and crispy, but without any trace of greasiness, and showing off a fine fennel flavour.

Pleasant salted lassi, more daringly salted than most; thin but rich and tangy.

Saag aloo tikkayas are awesome, little patties of spiced potato cutlets, a blend of flavours led by coriander and cumin with two tiny shreds of ginger in the centre giving off a delicious but gentle sensation. Topped with finely pureed spinach and served with the ubiquitous garnish of sharp white onions (raw, but no trace of tthe raw sulphurous harshness) and red bell peppers.

Their tandoori is very good -- chicken is very juicy, yet firm and supple. Nice charry edges on the surface. The delicate but deep mint sauce works very well with the meat even if it does not penetrate the meat much.

The coriander rubbing on their grilled paneer/indian cheese is only skin deep; making the dish serviceable but nothing special.

The same paneer cooked as a curry is outstanding -- the sauce is light, but spicy, with all the toasty flavours of coconut that seem very Keralan, a meeting of cheese from the north and a sauce with the hallmarks of the south.

Dessert is beautiful -- it might be a simple pudding, set like a thick cream of wheat and topped with chopped almonds, but the saffron flavour is pure gold, refreshing and light, yet as enduring as a memory of a smile. Subdued in sweetness in contrast to the usual Indian sweets, a pleasant change.

Waitstaff are eager to please and very obliging, I was able to get a dish ordered as a half portion although that option was not listed on the menu.

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