Food Review: Tandoor North Indian Fine Dining at Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard

"Where in town can I find a restaurant to sample a choice selection of North Indian cuisine while having a fine dining experience?" Well, if that is the question, then Tandoor Restaurant at Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre (not the one near Zouk, but near Somerset) will be the answer. I was pleasantly surprised when I received an invite to try it out, but there's reason because it has just undergone its FIRST renovation since 28 years ago. That's.. older than I am. For a restaurant, that's quite a feat.

Took a shot while at the entrance, besides those beautiful flowers. Debuting my new saffiano leather tote from Rabeanco which I absolutely love.

This was how it looks like in the past. Notice those lamps?

And here's the revamped interior! 
Much more contemporary and refreshingly light, don't you think?

We had a total of 1 mocktail, 2 cocktails, and the Dinner Gourmet Set ($68) that night. According to our host, Tandoor has kept to traditional Indian cuisine, but gave some of the items a bit of a contemporary feel after the revamp. That is not to say they are twisting it into fusion, no, but there might be a few surprises here and there.

For 15 items, separated into a starter, a soup, a plate with 5 appetizers on it, 5 main bowls of gravy-ish items to go with different types of naan AND a plate of dessert with 3 small dishes inside, I say that's quite the spread! Of course you could find all these food at a fraction of the price somewhere, but you won't be getting the pleasant experience nor assurance of standard across all so $68++ is a good price.

To start, probably my favorite drink among the 3 - the Sour plum guava lemongrass mocktail. Did you salivate already? Because I did. It was the perfect blend of sour, sweet and citrus, though I couldn't detect much of the lemongrass. Still, a great palate cleanser and appetizing drink!

The Bollywood Bellini was a mix of lychee, raspberry and champagne. Girly enough for you? Tastes fruity from the raspberry and bubbly! Would have preferred more lychee, but that's just me. 

Last of all, the awesome-sounding drink, the Chai Mojito with spice-infused rum, mint, coriander and soda. Again I would prefer if they lay it on even thicker with the chai, because there was just a hint of it, but definitely a good concept to start.

Now comes the interesting part. Before we got started, the very friendly waiter told us to "pick a story card" after finding out that it is our very first time at Tandoor. Instavideo of us picking the card here. He explained that at Tandoor, every meal begins with an appetizing story.

That's how I got to know the story of the kebab. Apparently it was because during war, soldiers brought food, but they needed to stay for more days so they came up with this idea of skewering meat on sticks to cook them. Something along those lines. I was a little bit distracted with the story card and trying to post it on social media *sheepish*.

Well, on to the starters once we know the story!

Apparently Samosa Chat originated from Egypt because it is very portable and easy to store/consume. I learnt that from Tandoor as well (yay for learning). This samosa was interesting because of the pomegranate seeds which gave it that tart sweetness to contrast with the traditional filling, which I liked very much.

Some papadums to start too.. I liked the big black peppercorns in them that gave it the extra crunch.

And then something which I've never had before from Indian cuisine - chicken soup.

The Pudina Murg Shorba is a light chicken broth that is very comfort food - and paired with a single scallop dressed in zesty spicy sauce for that kick. Really yummy!

Then we had the heavenly 5 kebabs - The Murg Lemongrass Kebab, Malmali Seekh Bebab, Honey Dill Grilled Prawn, Paneer Chupa Rustom and Jalepeno Corn Kebab. All really good, with the jalepeno being just slightly a beeeeet too spicy for my level. 

We were then served with mains! There's a total of 5 dishes, paired with a basket of Naan, garlic naan, lachha parantha and tandoori roti.

The Goan Fish Curry was probably my favorite among the lot. It was served at table side on a sizzling hot plate with sauce added to it.

Sizzzzle away, little pieces of fresh fish!

Here's the assembly of 4 big fellas plus the little dal taking their family photo. The Nalli Gosht, Murg Dum A Dum, Palak Paneer, Mango Curry and Dal Makhani. 

The chicken curry's good, but I miss butter chicken!

The mutton just melted off the bone. Apparently it's cooked in the shank so that the marrow will go into the sauce. 

Among the 4, my favorite would be the palak paneer, always so comforting.

Followed by the mango curry which came from the chef's hometown and his grandmother's recipe. How. cool. is. that. Tasted tangy, sweet and packing some spice. It is the most special curry that I've tasted to date. Mango curry. Beat that.

Lastly, before you know it all the food started expanding and having a curry champagne chai party in your tummy and you are too full.

But you can't stop before dessert is served! We all joked about how it would be horribly terrifying and funny if it was GULAP (google it, really). But instead, it was a delightful trio of Bailey's Kulfi, Rose and Elaichi Panna Cotta and Gajar Halwa (warm and savory dessert). I liked the Bailey's kulfi with that cinnamon stick in the middle. After a while it will melt, and you can take it up like an ice cream stick. The panna cotta was rather delicate in taste and a fine ending to a fine meal.

And there's also a really cool gift that comes with the gourmet dinner trail. A set of 4 storybook coasters. How thoughtful, and in sync with the restaurant's tagline!

From 28 November 2013 to 1 Jan 2014 there's also going to be a festive menu!


Singapore, 28 October 2013 – Tandoor invites diners to celebrate Christmas with an Indian touch. A special festive menu and gourmet takeaway options will be available throughout this holiday season from Thanksgiving on 28 November 2013 to New Year’s Day on 1 January 2014.

Priced at an affordable $58++, the 4-course Festive Gourmet Menu takes diners through 10 dishes which include two main course options. Unique Christmas-inspired dishes created especially for the menu include a hearty Roast Pumpkin and Clove Soup laced with fresh cream and a delectable Christmas Mince Pie a la Indiana stuffed with semolina, dried fruit and topped with berries. Diners can delight in offerings hot out of the Tandoor oven like the Turkey Pankhi, turkey breast stuffed with lightly spiced cream cheese and mushrooms; and Turkey Raan, tender turkey legs braised in a rich cinnamon-spiced Turkey stock served with gravy. Perennial favourites from Tandoor’s a la carte menu, like the Murg Tikka and Mahi Rai, will also be served.

Four turkey dishes laced with Tandoor’s traditional Indian influences are also available as dine-in and takeaway options. These sumptuous offerings are perfect for hosts looking to satisfy their Christmas cravings with something different. The Roast Turkey andTandoori Turkey (both $88++) are whole birds lightly marinated with aromatic Indian spices. While the Roast Turkey also has cream cheese, both dishes have a rich potato and dried fruit stuffing, and are served with gourmet vegetables as well as an addictive cranberry chilli sauce. The two turkey mains from the Festive Gourmet Menu, Turkey Pankhi and Turkey Raan (both $32++), can also be ordered a la carte or enjoyed with loved ones in the warmth of home – portions are good for two people and are equivalent to a quarter of a whole turkey. Takeaway orders must be made three days in advance.

If you are a local who knows where exactly to get your Indian fix for cheap, you don't have to go to Tandoor. But for anyone uninitiated looking for a easy way to sample the best available in the most convenient and pleasant way, visit Tandoor, and get a story to start your meal with.

Tandoor Restaurant
#B1, Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre, 11 Cavenagh Road, Singapore 229616
+65 67300153
Daily from noon to 2.30pm, 7pm to 10.30pm

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