2017-08-09 / Restaurant of the Week

Tikka Indian Grill

Tikka Indian Grill has three fabulous locations to choose from, all serving authentic, freshly prepared Indian classic and vegetarian dishes at great prices. With two restaurants in Queens–Kew Gardens and Astoria–and one in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, you’re never far from a delicious Indian lunch or dinner. This time we tried the Kew Gardens location, lured by the large, outdoor patio ready for summer dining. Our lovely hostess, Julie, and husband Syed Chowdhury have years of experience running successful restaurants in New York City thanks to their commitment to high quality food, hospitable service and reasonable prices.

Enjoy the breezes and pretty lights outside while you dine. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the serene, interior dining room is decorated in soft hues of grayish blue, with a very colorful photo of Indian women at a spice market. Remember to bring your own bottle of beer or wine if you like, or order a cool, mango Lassi or sparkling water to accompany your meal. We started with a dazzling array of appetizers, from mild to spicy, that comprised many of their most popular dishes. Julie and the chef were very accommodating to my dining companion, who prefers dishes that are not spicy, and indeed all dishes can be adjusted to your liking. Traditional samosas are light, crispy triangles of pastry filled with mildly spiced potatoes and cauliflower, while the samosa chaat takes the savory ingredients inside and serves than on their own, without pastry, along with yogurt raita and chutney ($6.95). A special recipe of coconut shrimp was unlike any I’ve tasted, topped with a creamy coconut sauce made with lemon zest for a unique taste and texture that we really loved. Hariyali chicken kebab is marinated with herbs that give it a green hue, and the chicken is incredibly tender and savory, perfect with the accompanying sauce ($8.95). Chicken tikka and lamb kebabs are also great to start with and perfect for sharing.

There are entrées for all tastes and diets at Tikka Indian Grill, with choices in chicken, lamb, seafood, vegetarian, and vegan dishes. Chana Masala is a vegan option, made with tender, curried chickpeas with fresh coriander. Fresh okra is cooked with tomatoes, peppers and a tangy tomato sauce while pumpkin is cooked with black peas and mustard seeds. Classic vegetarian saag paneer is a creamy stew of spinach with chunks of homemade cheese. Tikka Indian Grill makes an impressive filet of salmon, steamed and served on a banana leaf with mild, green coconut Masala that is a vision for the eyes and a treat for the palate. Shrimp Tikka Masala is prepared with creamy tomato sauce and herbs. The chicken chop I had was superb, marinated with five spices, as I do enjoy the heat and the tenderness of the thigh. Tandoori chicken is marinated in yogurt and cooked in the clay Tandoor oven for supreme flavor and juiciness ($13.95). Lamb Rogan Josh is a classic curry, with tomatoes and saffron whose sauce tastes great over the fluffy basmati rice that accompanies these meat entrees. If you like it very spicy, the lamb vindaloo is a must, infused with red chili paste and ginger. Lamb kadai mirchiwala is another spicy dish cooked with brown sauce, onions and chilis. On the milder side is chicken korma with a creamy nut sauce with raisins, and chicken saag tikka with spinach ($12.95). Biryani are rice dishes from the north, made with your choice of vegetables, chicken, lamb, or shrimp. You’ll find there’s plenty left to take home for lunch the next day.

Such a satisfying and flavorful meal should end with something to cool and sweeten the palate. Tikka Indian Grill serves the perfect mango ice cream that does the trick, as well as creamy rice pudding called “kheer,” and sweet gulab jamun in sugar syrup. For a delicious Indian lunch or dinner, served with pride, visit one or more of the Tikka Indian Grill locations. Thank you Tikka Indian Grill!

119-30 Metropolitan Avenue
Kew Gardens  718.480.1307


34-14 30th Avenue, Astoria  718.255.1085
185 Grand Street, Williamsburg  718.768.2262

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