December 28, 2014

Sizzling Tandoor, Downtown, Victoria

Christmas shopping is hard work.  Or so it seems.  In reality, the ability to wander around many shops stocked with things that have been shipped from around the world, made from materials that didn't exist a few decades ago is a pretty amazing thing to be able to do.  The logistics, technology and engineering that allows it all to happen is the hard work.  Spending a five hours muscling through crowds to find a gift isn't hard work.  It's just a chore you do for the people you like, so you have the bright sparkle in their eyes (you hope) on Christmas morning when they open your gift.

And, there is often a place to sit down and get some energy again.  I have a good life.

So, as it was, myself and Brunette of my Acquaintance doing the last bits of shopping, and we decided to grab some food after completing the tasks.  We walked into an empty curry house, the lunch buffet having been cleared, but the early evening dinner crowd had yet to arrive.

So we had sanctuary and quiet.  Our server brought water and a beer for the Brunette, along with menus.  The space had used to house an older tandoori buffet that range from adequate to down right disgusting, but since the Sizzling Tandoor took the space over, they have refurbished.  The carpets are clean now, and the walls have large murals of various Indian themed images.  It seats about 40, on tables of four, covered in glass above the clean white table cloths.  Makes it easier to keep clean, which is needed judging by the mess I made.

Because I enjoyed it.  I order the Chicken Biryani, cooked medium-hot.  This was fantastic.  There was heat, but lots of aromatic spices as well, with tender chicken and al dente rice.  I love biryani's at a curry house, they are my go-to dish if I don't fancy anything in the vegetarian section.  This was among the best I have ever had.  It was served with a cucumber raita, whereas I am used to the biryani sauce being a small portion of mild vegetable curry.

The Brunette order the Prawn Saagwala.  This was a thick pureed spinach sauce, spiced with ginger housing plump juicy prawns.  This wouldn't be my choice to eat again, mainly as I am not a huge fan of unadulterated spinach, the vegetal flavour not being my favourite in curry.  That said, it was well cooked and well spiced.  The Brunette tells me she had dreams of this dish the night after, and I've seen this far away, wistful look in her eyes when I mentioned I was writing about the restaurant.

We also got a couple of naan breads.  The rosemary naan was a little dry, but had plenty of aromatic herb flavour and smell.  The paneer naan, a bread sprinkled on the inside with crumbly curds was softer, and very savoury.  Not masses of cheese that the 'stuffed' description would suggest, but a very good accompaniment.  For two very hungry shoppers.

Loaded up on the good food, we paid the cheery server who was attentive, chatty and knew the dishes well.  Good service, but given we were the only two people eating, it's what you expect.

Definitely the best curry I have had in Victoria, especially in the style of the British Curry Houses I knew and loved back home.  There's becoming decent competition in town, as Masala Bites is also good.  No longer the barren wasteland when it comes to Indian cuisine here in Victoria.

Sizzling Tandoor Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Post Script : So I have managed 52 weekly posts on food and going out in Victoria and the surrounds.  Very happy with completing it, and thanks to Andrea, the gorgeous Brunette of my Acquainttance, my best friend and the rest of the breakfast club for going out to eat with me at a variety of good, great and not-so-good places.

I hope this series will continue on into 2015... I do want to get my number ranking on Urbanspoon....

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