Welcome to the Northern Virginia Restaurant Blog.

Restaurant reviews in Tyson's and surrounding area... mostly

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bombay Tandoor

8603 Westwood Center Drive, 
Vienna, VA 22182
phone (703) 734-2202
Don’t be fooled by the unassuming exterior of this strip mall corner eatery next to Paisano’s Pizza.  Bombay Tandoor is a treat in so many ways.  The outstanding staff, including the waiters and manager, is definitely an asset.  They were welcoming and upbeat, with friendly, plentiful and attentive service.  The wait staff was clearly trained and knowledgeable, multi tasking and hustling around, looking like they really like working there.   Our dinner was great, but the employees of the restaurant made it even better.  

Décor and furnishings are very Bombay Company style, beautifully accented with large portraits of who are probably Indian Panjabi elders.  High ceilings gave the restaurant the feeling of spaciousness.  The restaurant looked very clean and the atmosphere was warm and gracious. By 8:30pm, most of the tables were full.  

The food is what really deserves the focus.   While we were looking over the rather extensive menu, featuring a variety of dishes likely to please most pallets, the waiter brought us some salty crispy wafers (they are probably called something else) and two kinds of sauces.  Our appetizers – Paneer Shashlyk (a rather spicy fried cheese) and  Chicken Tikka Mint (mildly spiced grilled chicken cubes with grilled onions) – were a perfect mixture of flavor, texture and presentation.  We got a plain Naan to accompany our entrees, which were Chicken Biryani and Chicken Kadhai.  We also ordered a side of Mixed Masala Kachumber salad for $4, which was just as tasty as the entrees and complemented the meal perfectly.  It consisted of lettuce, onions, cucumber, tomato and a wonderful white creamy dressing.  The Chicken Biryani, which came with a side of raita (yogurt sauce), was excellent and probably a bit spicy for a standard Biryani, so if you are going to order it, keep this in mind.  The other entrée, Chicken Kandhai, was presented in a small pot over a tea candle with some green peppers and a delicious gravy, along with plentiful Basmati rice.  This was a lot of food, so we ended up bringing some of it home, no room for dessert.  All for under $60!

But the real unexpected surprise on this Saturday night was the banquet.  The restaurant sectioned off the larger part of the space for what turned out to be a wonderfully cheerful and colorful Sikh engagement party.  Party guests in colorful saris, young and old, began gathering around 7:00 for a party that began around 8:00.  We got to see the beginning of the festivities, together with some dancing and music.  This was an added bonus to the dinner experience.  Amazingly, the manager did not shoo us away when we asked if we could stick around to watch.  

We will definitely be recommending this place to friends and returning here. 

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