Features » The Good Food Guide
THE AUTHENTIC NEPALI-INDIAN BUDDHA TANDOORI
Staff Reporter / 2010-03-26 16:42:16
Just before I get going, I wanted to say that since October I have noticed a marked downturn in the numbers of people eating out. No big surprise I hear you say, didn’t I know there was a major recession in full swing!? Well yes, you would need to have been hibernating not to be aware of this crash. I know we’re all feeling the pinch but none so acutely as our restauranteurs, cafe and bar owners. Our local restaurants and cafes need your support! Even if it only means popping in for a coffee or taking advantage of one of the many credit crunch lunches on offer. Right… Got that off my chest, here we go…
If you can find it, Via Park II, near Playa Flamenca has amongst it’s varied shops, bars and restaurants a most interesting curry house. The Buddha Tandoori, an Indian restaurant with a Nepalese slant. Walk through the door at Buddha Tandoori and you will be transported back to early 70’s Britain. This is not a flashy nouveau eatery, it has that bygone charm. Shiva and Khem have created something special here but it’s not in the decor.We had decided to try as many different dishes as we could without appearing to be greedy. So we dispensed with our usual poppodums, which you can’t really get wrong and went for the mixed starter with mixed green salad, to share.
The mixed starter consisted of onion bhaji, chicken tikka, cauliflower, chicken pakora and sheesh kebab. The first thing we noticed was the absence of excessive ghee or oil, all of these meats and vegetables were dry but not over cooked. Succulent meats and cauliflower with a hint of crispness perfect! We had asked for the side dish of sauces to be medium strength which was perfect for our taste. The mixed green salad was equally good, crisp and beautifully displayed. All the correct spices and flavours could be detected here; garlic, coriander, garam masala, and chilli blended to perfection. A special mention for the mango chutney or as in this case, the mango sauce. This was not the usual sticky chutney but a smooth infusion of mango and cream, wonderful!
On to the mains, the choice here is huge. I selected one I hadn’t tried or seen before from the house specials, Chitwan Safari Chicken. This is chicken fillet marinated in yoghurt with fresh mint, garlic, ginger and Nepali herbs. Baked in a tandoori and served on a sizzler with a curry sauce. Chitwan turns out to be the name of one of the seventy-five districts of Nepal. Don’t say you never learn anything reading these reviews. Pam chose the Duck tikka another dish we had not seen before.
As accompaniments we selected; aloo gobi, mushroom bhaji, plain pilau rice and a cheese naan. Our taste buds were in for a treat! Personally I don’t like drinking wine with Indian food. I think the powerful flavours of the food overpower any wine and therefore the pleasure in drinking it is lost. Fortunately they have bottled Cobra beer which I believe is the perfect partner to a good curry.
When the two sizzling dishes were brought to the table we were not disappointed. The aroma of garlic and cumin filled the air. Imagine our surprise to see that my Chitwan chicken was bright green! We understood from Shiva that this was not food colouring but as a result of the marination in mint. I define a good Indian meal by the various flavours I can detect and the balance the chef has achieved by bringing them together. This was a very good Indian meal, one chef Khem should be proud of.
I don’t think we have ever ordered an Indian dessert, but dear reader just in case you do like to sample what is available we did on this occasion. Not a very varied choice and refreshingly none of the packaged desserts found elsewhere were on offer. We both selected homemade Indian ice cream, Pam going for the mango and I the pistachio and dried fruit. There’s not much to say here, Indian ice cream is obviously an acquired taste, one we have yet to appreciate.
If you enjoy Indian food the Buddha Tandoori is well worth a visit and not expensive, two people can enjoy a set menu for only €25!
Via Park II, Local 5, Playa Flamenca, Orihuela Costa. Tel. No. 966 730 759
Tags: Buddha, Indian