Tandoori Hut may be low on atmosphere, but the food is worth a visit
Reviewed by Rachel Feit, Fri., Aug. 13, 2010
Mon.-Fri., 11:30am-10pm; Sat.-Sun., noon-10pm
Tandoori Hut13717 MoPac N. #300, 238-0500
Monday-Friday, 11:30am-10pm; Saturday-Sunday, noon-10pm
I spent several months eying Tandoori Hut. Situated next to a Pizza Hut at the corner of Wells Branch Parkway and MoPac, the restaurant has a playful name that implied an owner with a sense of humor. And I was intrigued at the possibility of a new restaurant offering unfussy Indian fare. But after doing a little e-snooping, I was frankly put off by some of the commentary from websites such as Yelp and Chowhound. These warned of abysmal service and a general deficiency in charm. Still curious, I decided to give it a try anyway. And I'm glad I did.
What the restaurant lacks in ambience, it makes up for in genuinely good North Indian and Pakistani cuisine. Lunch is definitely the time to go, when diners can avail themselves of the all-you-can-eat buffet ($8.99) and not have to worry about awkward service. On the contrary, I was quite pleased when the server promptly brought iced tea and hot, buttery naan to my table.
The buffet usually features 10 or so dishes that change daily, though some, like the samosas, are prepared every day. Do not bypass these. Tandoori Hut's homemade samosas are amply stuffed with spicy turmeric and cumin-laced potatoes. The pastry holding them together flakes to the touch, yet it still has enough body inside to give it some chew.
I loved the creamy chicken korma, scented with cardamom and ginger. I also liked the beef nihari, a juicy, burgundy-colored stew spiced with cinnamon, cumin, and red chiles. The palak paneer was sturdy and generously supplied with big chunks of cheese. Other dishes on the buffet include curried green beans and stewed spicy okra with tomatoes. As for the tandoori for which the restaurant is named, Tandoori Hut makes this with yogurt-marinated bone-in chicken and plenty of spices. The chicken is well-flavored, though on the occasions I visited, I thought it may have been a little dry from sitting in chafing dishes too long.
Tandoori Hut may be low on atmosphere, but the food is worth a visit.