Thursday, October 1, 2009
Since my original post, I have now eaten at Tarka two more times. I don't usually repost on places I've eaten, but I feel this is worth it! (And read to the end for updated menu info.)
Arriving Sunday at 7:45pm, we had to wait 15 minutes just to order food because the kitchen was so backed up. Little irritating 'cause I was starving, but fortunately once we ordered, the food came fast. We had the veggie samosas, which are small but delicious, and come with a fantastic mint chutney. I had the lamb vindaloo, medium spicy. Lamb was tender, and the sauce flavorful, but certainly on the milder side of medium heat. My friend had the tikka masala with paneer, and the sauce was great.
Yesterday for a late lunch, I opted for the chicken curry "naaninni," which is their take on a paninni. The chicken was tasty, but maybe not as layered in flavor as it could be. Fortunately, it comes with the mint chutney, and that certainly elevates it. The plate also comes with seasoned fries, which were crisp & perfect. My friend and I split the samosa chaat from the appetizer menu, and essentially, it's a deconstructed samosa. Good flavor -- nice spice mixture, not too overpowering, nice texture. She ordered the lamb korma, hot heat, which it was, but good. She was torn between the korma and the coconut curry, and we asked our order taker, who deferred to the line chef, as he had only been working there 2 days. With no hesitation and a bulging of his eyes, the chef said korma.
I had noticed that there wasn't the after 5pm specials listed on the board, as there had been in the past. We asked about that too, and a woman, who I think is one of the owners, said that they decided to do away with them because they took extra time to prepare, and it was really backing up the kitchen, like my experience on Sunday night. She said they still had a couple things made in the back that people could order, but they're weren't going to be posted. I asked about my beloved Clay Pit Khuroosh-e-tursh, which I have been eyeing in anticipation on the Tarka menu for weeks now, but on my previous 2 visits, I forced myself to try other things. They did have some available, and I got it to go, and that will be dinner tonight! Of course when I got home with it, I did taste it, and the sauce still sends me over the edge! But in short, specials no more.
These last 2 trips in, particularly for Sunday dinner, I was pleased to see a LOT of people of Indian heritage eating there. Apart from Bombay Grill on Bee Caves, this is the only Indian place I know of in South Austin. Lots of happy campers, me included!