You can have steak Tandoori in an Indian restaurant

THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee - The Philippine Star
You can have steak Tandoori in an Indian restaurant
Marvin Agustin and chef Kundan Singh
Pepper Teehankee

Restaurateur Marvin Agustin, who is also behind the cocktail lounge Kondwi, Filipino restaurant Cochi, and Secret Kitchen, opened a modern Indian kitchen in BGC called Tango Tandoor.

This new restaurant is a tieup with chef Kundan Singh, who is the executive chef of Tandoor Chop House in Covent Garden in London — a meeting of a North Indian communal eatery and a classic British chophouse. It combines the distinct flavor of the tandoor with Indian spices and marinades with prime cuts of meat. Imagine Indian-style steaks and bone marrow naan. It was named one of the top restaurants in the UK by Time Out magazine.

Cauliflower croquettes

Indian restaurants rarely serve beef since the cow is a revered animal that is considered sacred in Hinduism, but it is served in some parts of India. Due to religious reasons, there are many regions of India where it is illegal to eat beef. I have never eaten beef in an Indian restaurant until I went to Tango Tandoor.  The beautifully seasoned ribeye tandoori in Indian spices cooked in a tandoor was a dream. A tandoor is an urn-shaped oven usually made of clay where the standard heating element is a wood fire, which cooks food with direct heat and smoke. Temperatures here can reach up to 500 degrees centigrade!

Marvin has been going to London often and has visited their Indian restaurant called Tandoor Chop House each time he was there. He eventually met chef Kundan, who has visited the Philippines almost a dozen times. The idea of starting a food concept in the country Kundan loves came to fruition with Marvin and their modern Indian kitchen and bar opened in Manila.

Bahji rings

Tango Tandoor’s menu balances tradition and innovation. Start with the delicious cauliflower croquettes infused with coconut and the bahji rings — spiced garam flour-battered deep-fried onions served with a tangy chat masala.

Samosas come in vegetarian and chicken versions and so do the kofta curries. Nargisi kofta curry is reminiscent of a Scotch egg in sauce. These are hard-boiled eggs encased in a seasoned meat mixture, dusted in flour, deep-fried until crispy, and smothered with delicious gravy of tomatoes, spices, and yogurt.

Chicken samosas

I didn’t even get to try the tandoori chicken that’s been marinated in spiced yogurt. I’m sure it is delicious, but I opted for the ribeye steak cooked in the tandoor! It was perfect with basmati rice.

Tango Tandoor combines traditional and modern Indian cuisine and is a most welcome addition to Manila’s fast-growing restaurant scene.

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Tango Tandoor is located on 30th Street corner 11th Avenue, Taguig City, open daily from 11:30 a.m. onwards. Call (0995) 2703932 for reservations or inquiries.

Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.

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