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“Top Notch Tandoor Mahal”
Review of Tandoor Mahal

Tandoor Mahal
Ranked #38 of 337 Restaurants in Maidstone
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Indian
Dining options: After-hours, Delivery, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Delivery, Reservations
Reviewed 24 August 2014

I love this restaurant!!
I have been coming here for YEARS!!!!
The staff are always warm, welcome & attentive, over the years if I have ever needed a dish explaining they have taken the time to do this, learning my tastes & making recommendations that are spot on for me & now my 11 year old son has discovered a love of Indian food they take the same time to explain the dishes to him.
When he first came with me he was greeted like a long lost son & they are always enthusiastic & genuine in talking to my children, including them in the conversation.
Early in the evening this is a restaurant suitable for families dining together - often the case!
The food is always delicious, I have my favourites which I often eat, but anything new I try is always delicious too, succulent meat & fresh, creamy sauces.
It is a small restaurant - not lots of tables, just the right size for personal service.
One of the best Indian restaurants I have ever eaten in & I have eaten in a lot!!

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Thank K M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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131 - 135 of 221 reviews

Reviewed 25 July 2014

This restaurant is in a great location opposite a car park. Warm welcome by friendly staff.

Its not the largest of restaurants but it is by no means pokey.

Poppadoms plain and spicy were ordered which are a must. These get 3/5 as the spicy ones were a little soft but no real complaints. Once you laden them with sauce etc they are good to go.

Starter was tandoori lamb. Obviously freshly cooked as it was very succulent and tasty.

Main was the mixed Thali. This is highly recommended. Comes with Chicken tikka, chicken tikka massala, and two other meat curries. All fantastic. Also comes with rice and Naan so there is no need to order anything else. I ordered a keema nan which was OK, albeit a bit doughy which again gets 3/5. I did not really need it so just ate the meat inside.

Ordered a Mango Lassi. This was wonderful. Not your normal lassi, looked more like a cocktail. So good I have had to attach a photo.

Would I go here again. Definitely. There is another restaurant in Maidstone where I will go if I want a Tandoori mixed grill but this place is also definitely on my list.

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Thank Matt J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2014

I visited the Tandoor Mahal (along with every other Indian restaurant in Maidstone at the time) a few years ago when reviewing for the Curry Club (see personal profile) and I recall that I thought it the best in town along with Shamrat. I was interested to go back.

For those interested in the background of this restaurant, it was established in 1974 as the second Indian restaurant in Maidstone (and the first to have an authentic Tandoori clay oven). However, I believe it was an expansion from the first restaurant – the Curry Inn - which opened in King Street 1965. The owner of the Curry Inn retired in about 2003 and it changed hands to become the Bengal Diner, but whether it is still going I can’t say – somehow I doubt it. Whether it is or not, the Tandoor Mahal is by some way the longest established Indian restaurant in Maidstone.

Things don’t seem to have changed much in the intervening years as behind the wide high glass frontage it still retains the interesting appearance of being on a mezzanine floor that you reach by way of two open stairways, rather like going upstairs in a cinema. Potted plants give it an attractive appearance and many of the tables are situated on what is essentially a long mezzanine balcony.

The other thing that doesn’t seem to have changed is the menu, as it is still a fairly standard curryhouse list of all the old favourites without the addition of a long list of more imaginative and mysterious dishes often seen amongst the ‘specials’ nowadays.

I am also delighted to say the other thing that hasn’t changed is the food. It was all good. Onion Bhajis were of the small round variety and excellent - well flavoured with no stodginess. Chicken Shashlik was excellent with the chicken tastily marinated. The Chicken Tikka Dhansak was also well up to standard, being in a rich, flavoursome sauce, relatively hot (not too much, but enough to give it bite). I thought the Goan Lamb might be Xacuti (a popular and fairly hot Goan dish), but upon enquiry the waiter said there was no coconut in it so it’s not Xacuti. Nevertheless, it was very tasty being well spiced and pleasing hot. Chicken Bombay was milder but also good. The Dry Vegetable Curry was deliciously spiced, and the Tarka Dall was also very flavoursome. If I have to nitpick then I would say that the dishes were generally very oily – you could see the oil puddling on top – but it didn’t detract from the flavours and when mixed in, well you wouldn’t really be aware.

Portions were generous and prices extremely reasonable, particularly when you consider that the price of many dishes included Pillau Rice (for example, our Chicken Tikka Dhansak and Goan Lamb were £9.15 and £9.45 respectively inclusive of the rice, while the ½ Tandoori Chicken (which we didn’t have on this occasion, but I remember being very good when I last visited) was only £5.50 – a bargain!

The service was efficient and friendly, and again if I have to nitpick on service then it would be that in some instances it was a bit over-eager in that that the waiter was at the table with pad in hand asking what we wanted to drink before we had all even sat down properly, and the Onion Bhajis arrived before we had finished the popadoms. But a small point really that didn’t detract from the meal.

All in all it was a very good meal in an attractive and unusual restaurant. That they are long established is a good pointer, plus the fact that they were relatively crowded throughout a Wednesday evening. They may stick to the more standard curryhouse menu dishes but what they do they do well. Very well indeed. So much so that even with my hard-nosed standards for Indian restaurants to merit a 5-star rating (see profile for reasons) I think this nudges into the 5-star category (and although I haven't been to every Indian restaurant in Maidstone recently, it's the best of those I have been to and I would be surprised if there was one to better if for food and value).

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1  Thank malabarfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2014

We are regulars at this restuarant and absolutely love it. The service is always impeccable and the food is just mouth wateringly good. Extra chillis for hubby is always delivered and we have never been disappointed. Tried most items on the menu and they are all great.
Thanks Tandoor Mahal :)

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1  Thank ragdoll8565
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2014

Excellent food, service and lovely people......we go back every time we have a hankering for a curry,what more can I say!

1  Thank glamama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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