May 22, 2019
Determinedly standing the test of time for nearly three decades, D'Tandoor has long delighted devotees of North Indian cooking with its skill around spices, mastery of meat, brilliance with bread and reputation for rice.
With current outposts in Selangor, Putrajaya and even Penang, D'Tandoor originally opened in Damansara Uptown in 1992, more than a lifetime ago for most restaurants - this is where we headed for a taste of the brand's capabilities. It's a lovely venue for a meal, transporting us out of this commercial enclave into a setting that evokes a sense of heritage and history, complete with classical paintings on the wall and copper cups on the tables.
An assurance of peerless authenticity prevails in D'Tandoor's kitchen, spearheaded by a fleet of Pakistani chefs and cooks who tackle North Indian and Arabic cuisine, thoroughly versed in the traditional fare of their home region.
Their repertoire is encyclopaedic, spanning more than 100 dishes and delicacies, ensuring there's something for everyone, in portions perfect for sharing.
Numerous visits would be needed to explore the entire menu, but for an introduction to D'Tandoor, these four possibilities would whet the appetite for more: Meat-and-curry enthusiasts can feast on succulent, savoury mutton rogan josh, balanced with uplifting notes of yogurt and coriander (RM27.50), and tandoor-cooked, fork-tender butter chicken masala that's robust and richly creamy (RM33.90). Crustacean cravings should be conquered by the prawn masala, laced with onions for earthy dynamics to complement the prawns' briny sweetness (RM32.90), while vegetarians can consider the palak paneer, a protein-packed preparation of fresh cottage cheese immersed in a luscious spinach-based gravy (RM17.50).
Other temptations span everything from fish amritsari to dhall maharani, keema mattar to korma zafar shahi, sheesh rampuri to chooza tikka, nawrattan korma to bengan bartha and much, much more - many of these might be familiar names for seasoned fans of North Indian cuisine, but there should still be some lesser-known recipes for even long-time customers to discover.
Baked in tandoor clay ovens for a lightly smoky crispness, D' Tandoor's bevy of flatbreads in baskets work well as companions to the cooking, soaking up the sauces to their fullest. Naan is a cornerstone of the selection, with the Kashmiri naan offering fruity, nutty nuances (RM10.50), while the aloo masala naan promises a layer of potatoes between the bread for a double dose of comfort-food, crowd-rousing carbs (RM9.90). Everything from puri to paratha is also available for starchy, stretchy satisfaction.
Have we saved the best for last? D'Tandoor's rice platters are mighty enough to make for complete meals on their own, built with firm, fragrant basmathi rice in multiple, mouthwatering preparations.
There's a nod to the Middle East's culinary cousins with the Arabic mandy rice, alluringly aromatic with smoked chicken, studded with almonds and cashews galore, buoyed by a salsa-style sauce for bursts of tang (RM28.50, sufficiently hearty for two persons).
Alternatively, the bamboo lamb briyani brings one of the Klang Valley's most recent briyani trends to D'Tandoor, with the briyani poured out of a hollowed bamboo stick, spilling over with its steaming-hot, herb-scented contents, revealing the rice with chunks of juicy meat (RM38 for the lamb briyani, rounded out with raita). If you haven't had bamboo briyani yet, D'Tandoor is a convenient, comfortable destination for this.
Besides masala tea and lassi, D'Tandoor's coffee also comes recommended to ensure customers continue to remain alert after indulging in a filling meal - try the D'Tandoor Special Coffee or the Bru Coffee for your fuss-free Uptown caffeine fix. Service is pleasant and helpful throughout.
All in all, this was a worthwhile trip to D'Tandoor, which has plenty going for it - this month, look out for its Ramadan buffet promotion (with different dishes every day throughout the fasting month), priced at RM42.90++ per person (half off for children). For catering services that includes non-Indian cuisine, you can check out D'Tandoor's sister brand, Al-Malik, at almalikevents.com
Many thanks to the D'Tandoor team for having us.
52, Jalan SS 21/62, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, 47400 Selangor. Other outlets in Subang Jaya, Putrajaya and Penang.
Open Monday-Friday, 11am-330pm, 630pm-11pm; Saturday-Sunday, 11am-11pm. Tel: 03-7728-2020
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