I could never claim to be a bonafide, “Foodie.” The truth is, I would happily eat a chicken Caesar Salad every day for dinner, and feel content. So what was I, a plain Jane salad eating non-foodie girl doing on a Friday night at one of Philly’s newest Indian food hotspots? Trying to broaden my eating horizons of course, and I did just that!
My adventure at Tashan, started off a bit awkwardly as I accidently entered the side entrance nearly knocking over a waiter (yikes! Already showing my inelegance). The staff however quickly showed me to the front and the hostess directed me to where my sister and usual restaurant companion, Gerrae sat. I found her waiting at a chic little table surrounded by about 4 other tables, already filled with probable foodies -chatting, drinking wine, and digging into a wide array of Indian delights.
I sat down facing a back wall filled floor to ceiling with bottles of wines, gleaming under dimly lit antique looking chandeliers.
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The waiter then greeted us, asking if we’d like for him to explain the menu. Yessir! We learned that Tashan surprisingly offers a variety of Indian and French fusion foods. We immediately chose an appetizer from that portion of the menu, named Malai Kofta Lollypops. Malai Kofta lollypops are a mixture of Yukon potato, Paneer, and 9 spices rolled up into a ball and dipped in cashew-tomato sauce…think Starbucks Cake Pops.
Our waiter went on to explain the rest of the menu, which is broken into sections based on the device used to cook the food. The “Tandoor” section is food made within an Indian Clay Oven, while the “Tawa” section’s food is cooked on a Flat Grill. A third way of creating these dishes occurs in a “Sigri” which is a Charcoal Grill.
There were many dishes to choose from yet Gerrae is a vegetarian so she ordered “Saag Paneer” This was a creamy looking spinach mixture cooked in the Tawa Flat Grill [Saag Paneer:Creamy-curried, spinach, cumin-baked tandoor paneer]. I, being the plain one, asked the waiter if he could recommend the closest thing on the menu to Chicken Tikka Masala. I ended up getting the most amazing Tandoori Butter Chicken, consisting of chunks of chicken in a smooth red spicy sauce. [Tandoori Butter Chicken: Free-range chicken, fenugreek (plant commonly used in Indian dishes as an herb or seed) -scented tomato cream sauce] In addition we ordered a ton of white rice and two types of Naan- [Indian flat-bread] plain and Peshawa Naan, flat-bread stuffed with a refreshing mixture of cashew, pistachio, almond, coconut, and raisin
All in all, the food was great… my only eye brow raise came from the bathroom, which was co-ed. It’s a little uncomfortable fixing your hair and make-up in the mirror as a man walks out of the stall behind you zippering his fly…. Haha.
words by: Renée Simons