We have just finished dining at Taj on the Cairns Esplanade and walked away feeling a bit let down. This place was said to be authentic but typical of many restaurants in Cairns they get it half right but let you down on many other points.
Our order was:- Pappadums with mango chutney, they were nothing out of the ordinary and served with about a tablespoon of chutney, barely enough to flavour the 4 pappadums. We ordered raita to go with that at extra cost but it was watery and bland.
Veg appetiser plate was good, spring rolls, onion bahji and samosa but accompanying sauce was again bland and tasteless.
Lamb cutlets were very good, cooked to perfection and very tasty.
Beef Vindaloo and Chicken Jalfreze were excellent, both spicy and full of flavour and the meat very tender. I would even go as far as saying they are some of the best I have tasted, however the rest confuses me....
Rice appeared over cooked then I quickly realised it was just plain boiled rice, not basmati as would be expected. I mentioned this to the waitress and she confirmed that yes it is plain boiled rice. If you want basmati you must ask for it and pay additional cost. She went on to say that basmati is very expensive. Sorry but if you can go to the extent of serving authentic food at the prices they charge surely the correct rice should be served. The waitress did say it is mentioned in the menu but we didn't see that written nor were we given the option.
We also orderd garlic naan to go with the dishes. It definately wasn't garlic but when I pointed this out she said "see, there are pieces of garlic". We couldn't see or taste it but she ensured me that it was garlic.
This restaurant is typical of Cairns. They do things by halves and unfortunately it's the smaller things that can ruin a good meal. As with my other posts for Cairns can we please have a restaurant that does get it right.
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