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Queen's Tandoor: A different taste of the East
by: Emma Kwee

Queen's Tandoor has over the years become legendary for its authentic Indian cuisine. Established in 1986 by now it serves as a reference point in the Seminyak region of Kuta. Basically everybody knows it, and everybody who knows it thinks highly of it, stories about succulent mutton curry reached my ears long before I even knew the exact location of the restaurant. All the more reason for a visit to taste if the myth lives up to its reputation.

  • The Vibe
    Entering Queen's Tandoor is as if going through a portal that transports you from one kind of East, the always busy Jalan Legian, to a whole other kind of East. The distinct lacquered wooden decor and intrinsic depictions of Ganesha tell you immediately that this is not a Western styled burger joint, nor a regular curry take out. Lighting is dim, which makes for an intimate oriental feeling. The open construction allows guests on the second floor to check what's on the plates of these sitting on the first floor. Customers are as well blend as the curries served; Indians who enjoy the food of their homeland sit side by side tourists who heard the same rumours I did, and even locals seem to enjoy the novelty of the Indian cuisine.
  • The Food
    Now let's turn our focus to what it is all about: the food. The menu offers an extensive list of curries, tandoori dishes, rice platters and vegetables. Every 6 months the menu is reviewed and new culinary innovations are added. This constant development has caused some interesting fusion dishes to appear on the menu next to authentic golden oldies.

    First to arrive at the table are vegetable samosas (12800) and vegetable chili kebabs (28800). The latter ones having a nice spicy kick to it, while the samosas are remarkably crispy yet not oily. The owner explains: ‘In Singapore and Malaysia Indian food is often too oily. We serve authentic recipes without loss of taste, yet we use as less oil as possible. Also we never change the ingredients of the spice blends, but we try not to use too much, otherwise it will kill the taste'. The main courses that follow certainly show. The chicken korma (40800), mutton mugli (lamb curry 52800) and fish tava (48800) are all very different in taste but equally aromatic. Whereas the mutton curry is the most legendary amongst them, the fish tava is certainly worth a try: very tender chunks of fish in a full bodied yet delicate sauce. This all is accompanied by safran rice (26800), palak paneer (creamy spinach with cottage cheese 38800) and several side dishes of bread (roomali roti 10800, butter naan 12800 and chapatti 6800). The occasional sip of fresh mango lassi complements the dazzling array of flavors perfectly.

    There's just enough room left for a dessert, and the cliché ‘last but not least' definitely applies here. As a perfect example of the before mentioned fusion innovations a sizzling hotplate arrives with an unexpected treat on top of it: a baked brownie with ice cream and hot chocolate sauce, a simple yet genius idea and an all ages favorite. Even though the gajar halwa (sweet carrot porridge 14800) is not bad at all, the sizzling brownie hotplate (28800) somehow disappeared light-years before it.

  • The Service
    The staff is well trained and very attentive. The owner's words: ‘good service is very important. You can have the best food in town but service bad, in the end it's not going to work'. Aside from that Queen's Tandoor has also reached out to curry cravers who can't make it too the restaurant in person. As a convenient solution scooters will deliver the sumptuous creations at home free of charge with every order above 100.000 rupiah in the whole Badung area.

The SD Food Advisor's take on Queen's Tandoor
As a self-proclaimed curry lover, Queen's Tandoor probably delivers some of the best Indian food I've come across. The spices are all there to tickle your taste buds in their own unique way without turning into a massive wall of heat that blows you away, as is so often the case in other Indian restaurants. If you're looking for a different taste of the East I suggest not too hesitate but to take this shortcut to heaven.

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Address : Queen's Tandoor,
Jalan Raya Seminyak No.73

About The Author

Emma Kwee
Emma is a Dutch born and bred Indonesia lover who after years of traveling stranded and lost her heart to the same country her father was born in. She studied anthropology and wrote her thesis about punk in Indonesia. Currently living the good life in Bandung, writing for streetdirectory.com while sipping fresh coconut juice under a palmtree, she's planning on staying put for a while.

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