At each of Tandoori Times Indian Bistro’s three locations—including one nestled inside a Holiday Inn—crimson and cream walls surround tables weighed down with indian curry, rice, and tandoori dishes. While morsels of lamb, seafood, and chicken prepare for supper by bathing in aromatic indian spices, soft naan bread keeps diners entertained by diving into appetizers of mango chutney.
Patrons can let the wind sweep through their eyelashes on one of the outdoor patios or form their own sweet breezes by puffing out fruity plumes of a hookah smoke on the weekends. Belly dancers weave their way across dining rooms on select nights, which contributes to each location's traditional atmosphere and each diner's desire to enroll in belly-dancing lessons.
Chandelier lamps with domed shades float below Tandoori Village's high ceilings, casting a buttery light on tables strewn with yogurt-marinated chicken, lamb chops, and tender fish steak. These succulent tandoori dishes cure in a clay oven, then arrive at purple-accented booths beside dishes such as rice biryani and amply stuffed tandoori wraps. In the natural light from picture windows, freshly baked naan sops up veggie and fish curries in ginger, garlic, and coconut. After meals, the sugar syrup on sweet gulab jamun dumplings can cleanse the palate or disable the gas tank of a ride reluctant to stay for dessert.
India Palace's blazing tandoori ovens beget fragrant and flavorful dishes forged from authentic North and South Indian recipes. Begin near-east expeditions with a helping of crispy vegetable samosas, two deep-fried bundles filled with fragrantly seasoned potatoes and peas ($2.95). In chicken tikka ($10.95), fresh cubes of white-meat chicken bathe in a spicy yogurt sauce before relaxing in a tandoor to seal in moisture, infuse the spices, and gossip about infatuations with renegade plates of naan. Alongside succulent lamb and beef dishes, herbivorous eaters partake of a multitude of meat-free items, such as palak paneer, which mingles sautéed spinach with homemade cheese, cream, and a bounty of fragrant herbs ($9.95). Seventeen bread varieties complement and cushion saucy selections, creating a flavorful sheath for meats, curries, or high-stakes samosa fights.
The scent of curry, chilies, and rose wafts from New India Bazaar's kitchen, where chefs roast yogurt-marinated meats in tandoori ovens and prepare other classic Indian cuisine. In addition to traditional dishes such as lamb vindaloo and palak paneer with homemade cheese, the cooks also create East-meets-West dishes, such as chicken tikka pizzas with spicy sauce, tandoori chicken, and replicas of Magellan's map baked beneath mozzarella cheese.
Inside Jewel of the Crown, turret-shaped wall alcoves form the shape of a honeycomb, filled with backlit statues of Indian deities. Wood accordion partitions are carved with vines and budding flowers. Since 1986, these decorative touches and the restaurant's traditional Indian dishes have attracted celebrity diners such as Kim Basinger and The Rolling Stones. In the light of large glowing chandeliers, thick curries and yogurt-marinated kormas gleam on tables next to tandoori dishes of lamb, fish, and chicken. After sopping up the last of a vegetarian chana masala, guests can head out to the outdoor patio for a glass of wine, or peruse Jewel of the Crown's hanging tapestries, which display classical scenes of embroidered farmers playing paintball in the fields.
There’s no shortage of things to try at Star of India. The robust menu, after all, showcases more than 60 entrees, including half a dozen curry dishes, nine tandoori specialties, and plenty of masalas in chicken, lamb, and vegetarian varieties. Beyond the traditional staples, flavorful Indian spices and tender cuts of meat and vegetables play their part in inventive chef's specialties served in Indian skillets. Dessert offerings include several exotic sweets, including kulfi, or Indian-style ice cream that dons pistachios, mango, or The Mahabharata written in syrup.
India Gate’s chefs immerse fresh shrimp in a spiced marinade and saturate chicken breasts with yogurt and ginger before slow-cooking the meats in a traditional tandoor clay oven. Speared lamb and minced beef pieces also spend time roasting in the oven, while nearby stoves heat pots of curry to simmering, and fluffs up rich basmati rice imported from India. The chefs can also whip up authentic dishes en masse for the restaurant's daily buffets and its banquet hall, which can host up to 250 people for a sit-down dinner or 25 people for a curry-fueled dance off.