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Tandoori Bite Princeton Review
36 Witherspoon St
Princeton, NJ 08542
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Tandoori Bite Princeton NJ: Skip the Plight, Move itWe picked a mild winter day to sink our teeth into some nice spicy Indian food.
Tucked away in a nice upscale downtown Princeton location is Tandoori Bite.
It is a small and cozy little place. The decor though is very pedestrian and a bit dreary. A dash of color could liven up this place a bit.
We were ushered in by a guy who we thought was the owner of the place.
The place was almost full during lunch hour. Most of the diners were Caucasian and Chinese.
We decided to try the lunch buffet priced at $9.99 on a weekday. The buffet spread looked basic, not lavish by any means.
The salad was a plate filled with some lettuce, tomato and carrot slices.
There was no chaat or pani puri type stuff on offer.
Appetizers, SoupWe began by trying out the appetizers: Pakoras, Bajjis and the customary red Tandoori Chicken.
Tandoori Chicken (left), Salad, Pakora (right), Soup
The tandoori chicken tray had only a few pieces left in them.
Usually we are used to seeing drumsticks, wings and other smallish size chicken cuts in the tandoori chicken trays. But in this case we got a fairly large chicken chest with ribs in the tandoori chicken tray.
Alas, what we gained in size we lost in quality vis-a-vis the Tandoori chicken. It lacked proper seasoning or spice and was greasy. Hmmmm, it tasted more fried than grilled. Wish we had skipped this one.
Pakoras and Bajjis were also greasy and unappetizing.
Verdict - the appetizers were a big letdown.
Tomato soup was also on offer. Our fears about the Tomato soup came true - basically it was a canned tomato puree diluted and heated with some salt and pepper.
Anyone who pays for this Tomato soup should be filing for compensation on grounds of insult to tongue and stomach.
Naan BreadThe Naan breads were nice and fresh, no complaints there.
Tandoori Bite Fried Rice, Chicken EntreesWe proceeded to try the Vegetable fried rice, Chicken curry and Chicken makhani.
Fried Rice (top), Chicken Curry (right), Chicken Makhani (left)
Vegetable fried rice was white rice stirred up with mixed vegetables. This was average fare and we did not bother for a second helping.
We could guess from the cuts on the vegetables that frozen vegetables were being used.
The Chicken Curry was a little runny for our taste. The curry gravy did not taste like anything at all.
Devoid of spice and seasoning, we could hear the cries of shame from the chicken morsels floating in the gravy.
The chicken tasted bland and we struggled to get through what we had loaded onto our plates.
Chicken Makhani measured up to the Chicken Curry in terms of disappointment.
Cooked in a mystery sauce, it again lacked any spice or seasoning. Bland and vapid fare to say the least.
Vegetarian DishesNext we turned our attention to the vegetarian fare - Dal Tadka, Chole Masala, Paneer Saag and Vegetable Jalfrezi.
Dal Tadka, Channa Masala, Saag Paneer, Vegetable Jalfrezi
The Dal Tadka and the Jeera rice worked well.
Cooked well and seasoned well, the Dal went nicely with the Jeera rice.
But then how hard can it be to make Dal Tadka. At least, they got this right.
Chole masala was probably cooked in a hurry, they did not cook out the rawness of the spices and it wasn't any good. We noticed that the Chole masala tray was refilled and the cooks probably were in a rush to fill the tray. But then isn't this what running a restaurant is all about?
Anticipating the need and doing a good job in fulfilling it. These folks do a piss-poor job on the fulfillment.
Paneer Saag was the customary green paste with pieces of paneer thrown in. Tasted like nothing. Unremarkable.
Vegetable Jalfrezi had some vegetables cooked in some kind of sauce that had a little sweet and sour taste.
We could tell that the sourness was vinegar induced and vindicated by description label of the tray. The sauce was too liquid and we didn't dig it.
Verdict on the Vegetarian fare is a resounding thumbs down.
DessertsFor Dessert - Cut up mixed fruit, Rice Pudding and Gajar halwa.
It was redeeming that the mixed fruit did not come from a can.
Rice Pudding was nothing but cooked rice tossed into sweetened condensed milk. Probably took them all of two minutes to concoct this.
Rice Pudding, Gajar Halwa, Mixed Fruit
Gajar halwa had a very off-putting texture to it. It tasted very sandy/grainy and we were at a loss to explain it.
Tandoori Bite RatingAll in all, our meal at Tandoori Bite was one of the most disappointing Indian Buffet experiences we've had in a while.
We also think that given the composition of diners frequenting this place, the restaurant probably wants to play it safe and keep the food bland and non-spicy.
The food served here is Indian only in name, tastes nothing like it.
Will not be back anytime soon. - © Sagar.com