Saturday, December 3, 2016

Restaurant review: Set Lunch at Tandoor (Holiday Inn), Singapore

OMG! It is December already....everyones favourite time of the year! I cannot believe how fast this year has zoomed by 😲 This year has been great and to be consistent, I'm looking forward to end it on a high. I have a very eventful holiday season ahead of me and I cannot wait to pack my bags and be homeward-bound. I don't have much time to blog this month (I finished this particular post in under an hour!) but I still hope to end this year with at least one or two more posts 😊

Tandoor has been established in Singapore's Indian culinary scene since 1985. Over the years, this award-winning restaurant (a part of Holiday Inn located at Orchard City Centre) has garnered a reputation of being synonymous with authentically prepared, traditional Indian cuisine.

My parents arrived in Singapore last month, around the time of the twins second birthday. They wanted in on the celebration and we were more than delighted to have them with us! During the eventful birthday week, we wanted to sneak in time for a family lunch and having frequented most of the Indian restaurants in Singapore, we settled on Tandoor which was one of the few that we hadn't paid a visit yet. We proceeded to make a reservation on one lazy Saturday afternoon.

The menu at Tandoor reflects the aromatic spreads of India's diverse regions covering the coastal areas of Goa, Mangalore, Lucknow, Punjab and more thereby paying homage to the colourful stories that make up India’s rich gastronomic heritage. Keeping in mind their diner's palates, some of the dishes are touted to carry regional cultural influences and healthier preparation methods while retaining their original Indian legacy.

Contemporary yet laced with tradition, the restaurant offers an inviting ambience for families, groups of friends and working professionals.

The color palette of the restaurant, lighting, artwork and table settings are crisp, refreshing and bestows an aura of opulence. The vibe of the restaurants is chic and sophisticated. I was quite impressed when I walked in and I can say the same for the rest of my family as well.

The restaurant offers an ala carte menu, lunch & dinner set meals as well as Sunday brunch. We originally wanted to sample the Sunday brunch but that didn't work out and instead we found ourselves at the restaurant a day earlier. We browsed through their selection of lunch gourmet trails and went for the vegetarian counterpart of the one below,

Which included chaat, soup, kebabs, main course & dessert.

The compilation of dishes were to our liking and we even got to choose between the two paneer-based gravies listed under the main course. The waiter offered to get us a mixed bread basket to go around which I think was a good suggestion.

I was a bit disappointed to discover that a drink is not included in the Set Lunch (which by the way I think it should be! *hint* *hint*) so we had to order the drinks separately. We each chose between mango lassi and salted lassi as a fitting accompaniment to our Indian meal.

The little ones were promptly seated in high chairs and child-friendly cutlery was provided for them (which helped to keep them engaged for a while). We immediately placed an order for cheese naan for the them and it arrived quickly much to my relief.

Our orders were brought to the table in the following sequence. And may I just add that the plates were so pretty!

Samosa & Corn Chaat
Fried pyramid-shaped pastry shell stuffed with potatoes and chickpeas, served with tangy corn salad.

This was a great start to the meal. A small portion but it had that characteristically delightful 'chatpata' taste (the Indian version of 'umami') to it which tantalized the taste buds. 

Tamatar Basil Shorba
French basil flavoured Indian spiced tomato soup

I am not crazy about tomato soup but I did like this one indeed! This piquant concoction was flavourful and had a definite kick to it bringing on a warm and fuzzy sensation from the throat all the way down to the stomach. Spicy as it was, even my toddlers enjoyed the soup.

I didn't care much for the tiny thing served on the side though (sorry I forgot what it was called). Methinks one can never go wrong with plain ol' croutons served alongside tomato soup. 

Achari Paneer Tikka
Cottage cheese cubes coated in spicy, tangy pickled marinade and then chargrilled.

Another starter that was much appreciated. The paneer was the perfect canvas to showcase the flavour of the marinade and was grilled to perfection. I liked the components of the green salad too.

Aloo Ki Nazzakat
Potato barrels stuffed with nuts, marinated and chargrilled in Indian clay oven.

This one was my favourite dish of the day! It was so good. The potato was cooked just right and the stuffing comprising of nuts was delicious. I only wished there was more! Greedy me! 😁

Lahori Paneer Masala
Cottage cheese simmered in onion tomato based curry, tempered with crushed spices.

Subtly spiced, rich, creamy and moreish. This one was finger-licking good!

Lahsooni Palak Ki Bhurji
Fresh spinach tempered with garlic, onion and tomatoes.

I relished this mild side dish and was trying to analyze the whole time as to how it had been prepared. It had the delightful flavour of garlic coming through without being overpowering and the spinach was delicate and creamy. Yum!

Dal Makhani
Black lentil slow-cooked overnight with tomatoes and garlic, finished with butter and cream.

Dal Makhni is one of my most favourite lentil-based dishes and when it is done right, it makes me so happy! Rich and creamy, this is Indian comfort food at its best.

Assorted Bread Basket
An assortment of Garlic naan, Laccha parantha and Tandoori roti.

The breads were warm, had great texture and served as the perfect vehicles to mop up all those delectable gravies. 

Kesari Pulao
Saffron flavoured basmati rice.

This one took me by surprise. It looked quite ordinary but the rice was so aromatic and fragrant. I couldn't detect any whole spices but the flavour of saffron and the whole spices had lent itself to the rice beautifully.

Triple Sensation Dessert
A medley of Saffron Pistachio Kulfi, Rose and Cardamom Panna Cotta and Gajar Ka Halwa.

Honestly, the dessert at Tandoor didn't blow me away. Among the three, I liked the Kulfi the best. I am not a fan of rose-flavoured anything and the Gajar Ka Halwa wasn't anything special. It was dry and crumbly as opposed to rich and moist (the way I like it). I have definitely had much better. But I would still consider this a good dessert because it wasn't overly sweet or heavy and each component on the platter tasted distinctly different with contrasting textures.

As we were leaving, we were handed a complimentary car parking coupon. A nice finishing touch to a sinfully satisfying Saturday lunch!
My concluding remarks....
We enjoyed a wonderful family weekend lunch at Tandoor. I would label it slightly short of a fine dining experience. The restaurant is in a prime location, the interiors are tastefully done and unlike most Indian restaurants, it didn't feel congested and noisy. When it comes to food, although individual portions may appear small, when put together in a set menu, it is just right. The price is on the higher side (considering the far more sophisticated fine dining restaurant Rang Mahal offers a gourmet lunch buffet for $58) but overall, it was a good dining experience so I'd grudgingly say it is worth it. The only downside was that each course took a while to arrive at the table (or which probably felt that way because we had two restless toddlers with us!).

For tasty and well-presented food, courteous service, upscale ambience and a cultural immersion of all things Indian, Tandoor is the place to be!

My rating for this restaurant is

Holiday Inn Singapore
Orchard City Centre
11 Cavenagh Road
Singapore 229616

Ph: 6733 8333
Open daily 12-2:30pm (lunch), 7-10:30pm (dinner).


This is not an invited review or sponsored post. The opinions in this post are voluntary and from personal experience.

1 comment:

  1. I will take that triple desert, keeping the kulfi for last.


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