Tandoori Bite in Roseville
Chicken Tikka Masala
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Anterpreet Dhillon never pictured herself owning a restaurant, yet nearly a year into business, her Indian-Pakistani eatery in Roseville has made her a true believer.
Dhillon’s business partner (a “finance guy” by trade) brought an amazing array of recipes—each one time-tested at family gatherings and backyard shindigs—and Tandoori Bite was born.
I decided to stick with the most popular dishes on my recent visit, just to see how the “finance guy’s” food stacked up, and started with the Lahori fish pakora—squares of moist, flaky, lightly fried white fish that were delightfully spicy and salty. Presented with sweet turmeric and piquant mint dipping sauces, it’s a great appetizer to have alongside a beer while watching an inning or two of cricket.
Next were two of India’s most recognizable dishes: butter chicken and chicken tikka masala. I ordered everything with “medium heat,” and was pleased with the outcome, as each bite was on the fine edge of flavor and fire.
The butter chicken was creamy, well-balanced and not too tomato heavy, and begged for some savory naan. Tearing off a piece of the keema (seasoned, minced lamb) variety and plunging it right into the dish’s succulent sauce proved to be mouthwatering.
I recently read a recipe in which the author called butter chicken the “General Tso’s of Indian food”; if so, then tikka masala is its Szechuan counterpart. Turmeric-infused yogurt sauce—replete with warm Indian spices like cumin, ginger, garlic and garam masala—alongside tender chunks of chicken, resulted in a masterpiece of gastronomic engineering. Once again, the recipe hit it “over the boundaries” (cricket home run!).
There were also lots of vegetarian options from which to choose; at the recommendation of my server, I tried the chana masala (spicy split chickpea stew) and aloo ghobi, an exotic cauliflower presentation sure to convert cauli-phobes into cauli-fans.
I’m not usually a dessert eater, but the chilled sweet rice pudding with chopped pistachios (kheer) was a soothing finish to a rich and fiery lunch.
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (Tuesday-Sunday), closed Mondays
Try This: Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Aloo Ghobi, Lamb Curry, Kheer
Alcohol: Beer and wine
Heads-Up: Catering and banquet facilities available; numerous vegetarian offerings; daily lunch buffet from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Tandoori Bite 1251 Baseline Road, Suite 150, Roseville,