Cravings for Indian cuisine on a Thursday evening brought us to the doors of this fine dining restaurant.
The four of us walked in and the wafting aroma of the food around greeted us. Taste of India boasts an inviting and modern look surrounded by creamed walls and large windows on one side of the room that gave us a fine view of The Chocolate Room (note to myself, dessert maybe).
After we took our seats at a very comfortable booth, we waited 10 minutes till a waiter finally attended to us and got the menus. Taste of India has an extensive menu serving from the mildest dishes to the hottest curries, various mughlai specialties and even tandoori delights!
We kicked off our meal with Paneer Tikka, Paneer Fingers and Tandoori Jhinga as starters which took quite some time to arrive. Accompanying the starters was delicious mint chutney which worked well with all of them. Besides these, Mukund had picked a Tomato soup and Daley chose a Murg Shorba (thick chicken soup cooked Indian style) which he wasn’t quite sure of but he felt like trying something new.
The tomato soup lacked creaminess yet Mukund found the taste good enough to finish it. On the other hand, Daley had two sips of the Murg Shorba and passed it on to me. It wasn’t one of the best soups taste wise and the chicken was bland so we left it aside to pounce on the other delicacies.
The Paneer Tikka (chunks of cottage cheese marinated in spices and grilled in tandoor oven) was really delicious! The paneer pieces were slow-cooked, extremely tender and offered a taste of well blended flavors. It probably took us few seconds to gobble everything on that plate up.
The Paneer Fingers (long pieces of cottage cheese coated with bread crumbs; deep fried) were crispy on the outside and surprisingly soft on the inside. This was the cheese lover’s paradise.
But the Tandoori Jhinga was my favourite of all. (Medium sized marinated prawns char grilled in the tandoor). The prawns were plump, tender and moist.
The spicing was well done. Luckily for me, Sam was the only one was sharing the prawns and we got a good portion to ourselves.
Our main course included Chicken Tikka Masala, Kadhai Paneer, Murg Makhanwala and an assortment of Indian breads (butter naan, garlic naan, tandoori roti) to go along with it. Again, the food took too long to arrive.
The portion of Chicken Tikka Masala was adequate for Daley, Sam and me. (This dish typically has boneless chicken pieces cooked in the tandoor and then added to thick creamy gravy of mixed spices). The gravy was rich with a cumin and coriander kick to it, not too spicy and the chicken gave a splendid smokey flavour.
Kadhai Paneer consists of chunks of cottage cheese cooked with mild flavours of spices and capsicum.
Also also served as a curry, this dish was flavoursome and it had a subtle hint of chilli and coriander.
Murgh Makhanwala also popularly known as Butter Chicken is Daley’s favourite Indian dish and he always orders it at every Indian restaurant (sigh). Even if it’s in Amsterdam or a sea-food restaurant in Goa! (Okay, leaking a few secrets out here).
Butter Chicken’s cooking style is much similar to Chicken Tikka Masala except butter and cream are added to Butter Chicken as primary ingredients.
The gravy was velvety smooth and it had a delicate hint of sweetness. It was tasty but in comparison to the other dishes, it was rather unexciting due to the lightness of its spicing.
On its own merits, the food at Taste of India was very good except for the soupy failures. The service needs to improve a lot because not everybody has patience like food lovers. Overall, the visit was a pleasant experience. I looked through the window at The Chocolate Room. Nope, I was too full.
Total billing for two soups, three starters, three main courses, two garlic naan, two butter naan, two tandoori rotis, two soft drinks and a large bottled water: OMR 22.200
- Ambience: 8/10
- Service: 6/10
- Food: 8.5/10
- Price: 8.5/10
Restaurant: Taste of India
Location: Al Ghubra High Street, Muscat, Oman
Restaurant hours: 11.00 AM to 3.30 PM, 6.00 PM to 12 midnight
Contact number: +968 24490034, +968 98361270