Indian restaurants are found in just about every city of the world. In some western countries [such as England] they are found in almost in every village as well. Most serve the basic traditional dishes and whilst you could never call Indian food bland some of it is when compared with the real thing, with flavours so rich and intense.
Queen's Tandoor is the real thing!
They serve sensational Indian food, with no apologies. No toning down of taste! Indian chefs, imported Indian chillies and spices, imported Indian know-how! That all goes to making food that is traditionally Indian! When you dine at Queens you are actually visiting India, without having to pay the air-fare. I have to admit that when I first saw Queen's Tandoor, and read the history, my gut feel was 'another franchise or Bali branch of a restaurant that 'works' in Java, but may not work here'. How wrong could I have been! Yes the 'chain' does originate in Jakarta and the Bali operation follows their principles but the local Indian management at Queens Tandoor, Seminyak, is very hands-on! If you love the cuisine of northern India then this is the restaurant for you!
Just passing and want a quick snack? Real Samosas [vegetable, chicken or mutton] or Kebabs with a difference; the Vegetable Chilli ones are full of fire, whilst the Harra Bara Kebab consists of deep-fried patties of vegetable, cheese and paneer, delicately spiced.
No matter what meat you order [there is no beef or pork served here], the slow cooking method of the meat, in some cases previously marinated, ensures that the end product will always be tender and juicy. As for the accompanying sauces, they are all rich and full of flavour! That unique flavour, and aroma, of Indian cuisine!
From the tandoor a variety of Chicken Tikka: Plain, Harra [coriander, mint and green chilli], Jaffran [saffron, cumin and ginger], Achar [marinated in pickles]. Sheekh Kebabs are universally popular, and rightly so. Minced lamb mixed with herbs and saffron, moulded into a sausage shape, then charcoal grilled. Prawn, Fish and Cottage Cheese offerings are also from the Tandoor. There is even a vegetarian version of the Sheekh Kebab.
Chicken curries include a wonderful Chicken Tikka Makhanwala [often just referred to as 'Butter Chicken'. The ever-so-tender chicken pieces are covered with a rich butter sauce, with such an intense flavour of Indian chillies and spices you could almost call it luscious. From Madras, there is a Chicken Curry [boneless chunks] in a thick rich sauce of tomato, onion and coconut cream. Chicken from Kashmir is in a much milder curry, dried fruits added. A traditional Chicken Korma [ground cashews and mild spices], Dhal Sag [in lentils and spinach] or Handi Chicken [masala, in a clay pot], are just some of the tempting items on offer here.
From Goa, that Portuguese inspired western region, a wonderful Mutton Vindaloo! Whilst as a westerner I have usually ordered a Beef Vindaloo in Indian rerstaurants around the world [or even goat] this one looses nothing by comparison. Fantastic full-on flavour, the sauce so rich! One of the many specialties from Kashmir is Rogan Josh. It consists of chunks of tender mutton [tasting much stronger than lamb] in a Kashmir masala with saffron and yoghurt. Another is Mutton Kashmiri Kofta is a plate of balls of minced mutton, stuffed with dried fruits.
The Prawns, Makhanwala style, are covered in that same buttery sauce of tomato, chilli and cream. Impossible not to like! If you are bent on showing how tough you are and want it fiery hot, then the Prawn Goa Curry will test you out! More subtle is the Allepy Prawn Curry. A variety of fish dishes are available with similar treatments although the Fish Tikka Masala is hard to go past if you like rich creamy Indian sauces.
Indian restaurants have always been a haven for Vegetarians. Queen's Tandoor is no exception. It started back with the entrees and snacks and continues with the mains. Mutter Paneer is a dish for non-vegetarians as well. Cottage cheese cooked with peas in masala, so delicate! Likewise with the Malai Kofta, vegetable balls in a soft creamy sauce. Malkai Jalfrazi are corn, peas, tomatoes and onion all combined in a thick, rich masala. And then there are the dahl dishes. If all those with cholesterol problems ate a good serve of lentils every day, their dietary fibre content would almost look after itself. Dahl Fry is simply mixed lentils with garlic and butter, whilst Buttered Moong Dahl is yellow lentils that have been simmered with butter and dry masala.
No Indian meal would be complete without some of their wonderful bread. Bread that has been baked in the tandoor, a clay oven. You can have your nan plain or stuffed with onion, potato, cheese or dried fruits. It can also be flavoured with mint, garlic or herbs. If you start eating those thin crisp Chappati [wheat bread] you will never stop! For something completely different, try the Masala Kulcha. Super fine flour bread stuffed with potatoes, cottage cheese and a blend of aromatic spices.
They also have a variety of true Biryani dishes and even a Dosa or three. Even their desserts are worth a try. Kulfi Pyalla is Indian ice cream like you have never tasted before.
The only problem with eating at Queen's Tandoor is that it can be habit forming. Here is quality Indian food, served in pleasant clean premises, with waiting staff that really want to help. Very habit forming!