We have all heard of International buffets, Japanese buffets and even Italian buffets, but to come across a North Indian Brunch Buffet? That’s something worth mentioning. Every Sunday, Tandoor North Indian Restaurant at the Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre (Cavenagh Road), opens its doors for its guests to indulge in a traditional North Indian Brunch Buffet topped with an assortment of curries, freshly toasted naans, made on the spot dhosais, Indian sweets, snacks and drinks. An eye opener to what a Fine Dining Indian Restaurant would serve from its a-la-carte menu.
The most striking impression upon first stepping into the restaurant is the warm majestic ambience exuded. Settled in the middle of the room with a calm moat about it, lies a fountain where the constant splashes of water creates a tranquil imagery and one that suitably veils each table’s conversation from each other. Dining tables are presented in finery with red linen embossed with gold threads draped across the middle. And when it is not the hour to feast on a buffet but to savour the fine creations from the kitchen, gold sparkled glass plates with polished silverware line the table.
Dim lighting sets the mood, and it is hard not to be at home in the palace in this restaurant.
The buffet feast is placed outside the restaurant in circular fashion. Left for the meat lovers, right for the veggies. Wide variety with very tasty mutton biryani and saffron rice. And in the centre of the black table is a Tandoored Cottage Cheese. Absolutely delish!
Chef in action!
A unique appetizer of stuffed ball shaped cracker. Crispy with a savoury interior. Dip it into the sweet soup-like sauce provided for a medley of flowery tastes mixed together. Seconds! Seconds! =)
The live Dhosai making station. Freshly prepared Indian crepes stuffed with Masala potatoes and served with mint coconut, tomato coconut and coconut sauce.
Fantastic when served hot! I had to queue for this.
Thick and tasty, this is one pot of very good fish curry.
Mango Lassi, Orange Juice, Pineapple Ka Panna ($8.00)
Cold drinks for the buffet were Orange juice and the traditional drink of Mango Lassi. I found the Mango Lassi to be very thick and smooth with the fresh scent of mango perfumed evenly throughout. Delicious, but I know it is a cup of decadence.
I also ordered from the A La Carte menu a serving of Pineapple Ka Panna ($8.00). Prepared by roasting the pineapple over charcoal, it is then crushed and mixed with cumin and mint. The resultant effect of this digestive tangy drink? A sweet slightly sour taste with subtle hints of spices throughout that strikes awkwardly on the first sip but leaving that temptation to finish the whole cup. Very nice.
Craving for to try out more of the fine cuisine, I called for a serving of Shahi Lobster ($68.00) from the A la carte menu. Fresh King Lobster steeped in a marinade of cumin-enriched cream, cheddar, garlic and a hint of fresh coriander, thereafter grilled to juicy perfection in the Tandoor.
Undeniably, the King lobster was very meaty and chunky. Every slice of the meat delivers a flow of savoury flavours brushed with the robust richness of cream and umamied with the entrance of cheddar. The garlic is subtle, bringing out the seafood essence of the lobster. And the last bite hints strongly of the tandoor with a smoky complexion enshrouding the portion. Definitely a dish to impress.
Ajwaini Jheenga ($48) – Fresh prawns, marinated in a citric blend of lemon juice, ajwaini and green cardamom, grilled golden in the Tandoor. I knew I had to order this as well from the menu. 4 gargantuan prawns in a platter, deshelled and ready to devour. The acidity from the lemon juice sharpens the tastebud, revealing a deep smoky flavour from the tandoor. And the meat is well grilled with the insides being juicy with a very nice crunchy. Heartening and filling.
More desserts apart from the buffet spread to end the meal. The waiter recommended a serving of Mango Rabdi ($11) which is a reduced milk delicacy flavoured with fresh diced mango and mango pulp. Consistency was a thick chilled puree with chunks of mango floating within. An attraction for the real sweet tooth out there.
And as a traditional last from the memorable dessert I had in Shahi Maharani, I also had the Gulab Jamun with Strawberry ($10). Khoya balls deep fried to a golden colour and immersed in rose flavoured sugar syrup. Served warm with sliced strawberry. Each ball is seeped with the syrup sweetness and the first bite into it will reveal an outburst of sugar that will give that momentary sense of alertness. The touch of tart strawberry is a big welcome here to balance the flavours.
Tandoor with its spread from the Sunday Brunch Buffet reveals just a peak into what more fine cuisine the restaurant has to offer. The menu is extensive and the combined set meals are worth trying for its variety. Indian cuisine in all its finesse, with excellent service plus a grand yet cozy setting, Tandoor is a place set to impress your guests. Craving for a look, try out their Sunday brunch buffet.
Many thanks to Rachel from Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre for the invitation.
11 Cavenagh Road
Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre
Tel : 6730 0153
Adult : $42++
Child (5-10 yrs) : $14.50++