RESTAURANT OF THE MONTH: TAJ MAHAL INDIAN & PAKISTANI RESTAURANT
When we first arrived on these shores some 18 years ago, it was hard to find restaurants serving international cuisine and there were just a couple of Indian restaurants. One of them was ‘Taj Mahal’, which is still going strong and has just recently been completely revamped. Established in 1990, it has been serving Indian and Pakistani dishes for 27 years!
We went just before Christmas – me, B and D. We went again last week to try the new menú del día. The refit is clean, very light and gives the whole room a very spacious feel. There are panels of brightly coloured photos of India as you walk in the front door and to your right there is a window waterfall which is very attractive. There are framed pictures on the white walls, more photos and some paintings and tapestries. All the tables are laid with white linen and attractive crockery in muted colours and to the right of the main room there is a bar from where they serve drinks, not just wines, but I have it on good authority that they serve great cocktails and mocktails! We had a very nice Kir Royale on arrival.
It’s all a great improvement over its previous incarnation, I particularly liked the fact that there is a good deal of space between the tables, more and more often in restaurants lately, I feel like I might as well be sharing a table with the people next to me when we are seated so close together, and I was also impressed with the acoustics, no straining to hear each other speak over a background of babble that crescendos to a peak as the evening progresses.
On our evening visit we decided to order á la carte, D went for the mixed grill, a large and sizzling dish of griddled king prawns, a kofta and lamb and chicken tikka. B ordered the mix vegetable jalfrezi and me the lamb rogan josh. We also ordered, to share dhal tarka (fried yellow lentils), palek paneer (spinach and cheese), Pilau Rice and naan bread. While we waited for our dishes we snacked on poppadoms and pickles. We shared a bottle of red ‘Acantus 2014.’
There are two Menús de Degustación (taster menus) on offer – one for two people and priced at 35€ and another for 3 people at 55€. The first menu consists of two starters – pakora and chicken tikka followed by chicken tikka masala or lamb madras with basmati pile rice and a cheese naan. The 55€ menu consists of 3 starters – pakora, chicken tikka and seekh kebab followed by a choice of chicken tikka masala, lamb madras or chicken muglai with basmati pilao rice and a cheese naan.
On our return visit, the menú del día offered the pakora starter and for the main a choice of vegetable curry or lamb Madras. I chose the lamb and B the vegetable curry – we ordered a rice and a naan (included in the 10.95€ price). The pakoras were really good and came with a mayonnaise-y sauce and salad. My Lamb madras was tasty and the lamb was very tender. B’s vegetable curry was good and quite spicy. Also included in the price was a very quaffable red wine an ‘Acantus 2014’ and coffee, which represents very good value. The service too is great.
Next door to the Taj is their supermarket and halal butcher. It’s a great place to get not just your Indian spices, rice and vegetables, but also foodstuffs from all over the world including odd little things you might miss from England – Branston pickle and HP sauce, for example! They also sell beauty products from India and beyond. The Taj “empire” also includes a warehouse sized store selling not just bulk to the trade but also to the public just off the Pista de Silla in Catarroja.
Calle Doctor Manuel Candela, 20
(Zona Avenida Puerto)
Tel: 96 330 6264
Open every day 13:00h-16:00h and 20:00h-00:00h