By: Natalya Jones Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
Amidst savory delis and sweet ice cream shops in Boca Raton is a hidden exotic gem. Exotic, eclectic and quaint is Tanjore, an Indian restaurant. Excited to try this out, I attended an exclusive media dinner.
The cocktail of the night was the custom created Boca Sunset. It consisted of elderflower liquor, blackberry liquor and champagne. It proved a bit too fruity for my taste, but it was nonetheless a refreshing drink.
Kicking off the Indian smorgasbord were the papa dom appetizers. These were thin and crispy, almost like air. Sauces included were fresh mint, sweet tamari and tangy mango sauces.
What followed was the Jhor Jhinga prawns, where the shrimp was nice and juicy. This was not a spicy dish in the least, proving Tanjore has a variety of heat for many different diners.
Next up was a plate of four samplings: the Lasooni Gobi, Bhatti Di Paneer and two type of Tandoor chicken (Amristari murgh Tikkey and Malai Kabab). The Lasooni Gobi (fried cauliflower) was excellent- even the pickiest veggie eaters would indulge in it! The Bhatti Di Paneer (cheese) had a chewy texture with a kick of spice. Lastly were two different colors for the types of tandoor chicken: the red (Amristari murgh Tikkey) was spicy, while the white (Malai Kabab) was mild. I took an immense liking to the red flavoring, which was crispy and zesty. The white in particular was not my favorite, and I found it to be quite bland. However, it is a great alternative for those who do not prefer spice, or acid reflex.
An Indian staple, naan, was then served. Three flavors were available: rosemary (my favorite), onion and garlic.
Somewhat of a cultural presentation followed with a tiffin carrier, which is an oval shaped device with four tiers. In each tier was a different food item: chicken tikka masala, Kadai Ghosh (lamb), Shabnam curry (vegetable curry) and Jeera rice. More impressive than the unveiling presentation was the food – the Shabman curry was surprisingly tasty! Also, because guests were able to take one home, I am also contemplating using it as a lunch box.
Seafood comprised the next two courses, and were the best of the night. The halibut was both soft and buttery, complimented by a coconut milk/lemongrass sauce. But it was the lobster that outshone everything. Simply put, it was outstandingly delicious and definitely a must-have on the menu.
Ending on a sweet note was, of course, the dessert. The raspberry sorbet was tangy and refreshing – easily the best dessert of the trio. The Gulab jamoon (parle-g crumble, vanilla ice cream) had a chewy texture while the Rasmalai (pistachio, chocolate shell) was a bit underwhelming.
Whether it’s to shake things up for lunch at work or to dine in a cozy setting, Tanjore will certainly awaken your taste buds. In a good way, of course.
Tanjore is located at 500 Via De Palmas Suite 79 in Boca Raton. Visit tanjoreusa.com.