Located on Histon Road, surrounded by some of the cream of Cambridge Indian dining, the Tandoori Palace is often forgotten about as it lacks the usual gimmick or neon sign which seems to be necessary to get noticed now days.
We decided to head in on a Sunday afternoon, still full from my trip to The Regency Club. We were greeted and shown to a table. The place was empty at the time but the place looked nice. It felt like a very text book, all round, Indian restaurant - A theme which I noticed would continue through the entire dining experience.
A good old fashioned Indian restaurant - They seem to be few and far between now days.
We were given our menus and ordered some papadums. The first thing I noticed by looking at the menu is the very average amount of choice. All the things you would expect, all the curries, tandoori chicken and a few chef specials. I also noticed that the price was very competitive though, with a chicken vindaloo being £4.95!
The plates and cutlery were really nice here.
Text book side sauces in the textbook spinning metal container!
Once our papadums came out, they came with the usual four side sauces. Mango chutney, lime pickle, onion salad and red onion chutney. Each presented in the text book metal container which you can spin around the table for sharing. All the portion sizes were decent and very few complaints from the lads while eating it, though nothing jumped out as excellent.
My heart always bursts with excitement when I see this little cart come out!
The food came out in good time, presented on the little cart you used to always see back in the day. Everything looked well prepared and fairy decent. Some of our dishes looked a bit oily but everything tasted great. My chicken tikka vindaloo was done well and it had a good kick to it. My onion rice was decent and had a nice texture and my saag aloo was excellent. There were no complaints from my friends on their dishes.
It seems to me like Tandoori Palace does a good curry and for a good price. Nothing blew us away, except perhaps the saag aloo, but it seems to be of an acceptable standard here at a minimum. This might be a place to avoid if you do not like your food very oily however.
The place continued to be empty besides a family sat behind us. The staff generally stayed out the way despite there being nothing to do. They came back to make sure everything was ok with our food, which it was.
Our food went down well and everyone seemed in high spirits. Once we asked for our bill we were presented with hot towels and a few chocolates, but most importantly we were presented with a very small bill. The place seems to be very competitive and does everything to a good standard. I can see why this place is often over looked but at the same time I am surprised it is empty too.
Everyone left fond of Tandoori Palace but the place didn't blow anyone away either. It seems to me that Tandoori Palace is just as it looks from the outside - A good all round text book Indian restaurant.
It offers great value, average quality, average service and a basic selection on the menu. For the average curry goer the Tandoori Palace will have the basic curry and papadums most people come for, but you will not find the diverse selection of cuisine like you would at, say, Zahza Grill or The Rang Mohol.
I can see this place being a local favourite but for people coming from out of town this being very low on the list considering the options around. I think most people would rather pay a few pounds more for a little higher quality and atmosphere.
I really enjoyed my time here as it seems that every Indian now days seems to need a gimmick or some sort of flashy interior or fusion food. Sometimes I just want spicy slop in a bucket and a hot towel and this place offers this well and for good value.
Now if you will excuse me, after three Indian meals in three days, I am going to buy myself a girdle!