Given how lackadaisical am I about this here food blog lately (you’d think one post a month wouldn’t be a hard bar to clear, yet here I am every last day of the month madly trying to bash out a post by midnight), I am ENORMOUSLY appreciative of my friends who take initiative and take me to try new-to-me food places. It feels more exciting these days to write about meals and restaurants that I’ve really enjoyed regardless of whether they’re new or top of the trendies must-visit lists; it feels even more spesh when it’s a friend recommendation.
Tandoori Den is somewhat of a Camberwell institution, I’ve discovered, having been around since 1981 and I’ve since heard stories from many of my friends who grew up in the inner-east eagerly enthusing about their fond memories of family dinners there, with their great service, and seriously good renderings of Indian classics. I’m certainly not going to contradict them – Tandoori Den served up one of the best Indian meals I’ve had in a loooooooooong time.
I try to keep it simple when I order Indian – a saucy dish with some kind of bread product to mop it up with keeps me very happy. Palak paneer tends to be my standard when trying out a new place and dang it was a good idea here at Tandoori Den because it was an exemplary version of the dish. The consistency was creamy without being too rich, and the spinach flavour was allowed to stand alongside the spices without being smothered beneath them. The paneer chunks were also clearly freshly made, softly creamy yet they held their shape in the curry goodness.
We ordered a variety of helpful sauce-absorbing breads, including plain and garlic naans, and roti. I sampled the plain, which was hot, slightly charred, and with little pools of butter brushed across the dimples along the bread’s surface and holy CRAP it was good.
There are plenty of vegetarian options to be had across Tandoori Den’s menu (the vegie rogan josh ordered by one of my companions looked particularly good and she said it carried a nice hefty level of heat), although vegans may want to inquire about butter and cream when it involves anything saucy. The wait staff were enormously professional, and the white tableclothes and napkins and slightly rarified decor may strike some as being dated, but for me just highlighted that what we were experiencing was a cut above the average. If you’re out Camberwell way, I can’t recommend a cheeky curry here more.
261 Camberwell Road, Camberwell
Ph: 9813 2598