10:21:00 Yatin Gera 2 Comments

Our food cravings take us to new places all the time. No matter what the distance, the time or weather. Usually we limit our gastronomic excursions to the weekends but when the food craving hits, there's no turning back.

On one pleasant, odd Tuesday evening , we started pining for piping hot, spicy pieces of tandoori chicken and aromatic, soft and warm tandoori naan. A quick search pointed to Taareef in Aundh as the best bet for this. Taareef was easy to locate as its right beside crossword for starters and bang on the main street with a huge neon board announcing its name and trees decked with fairy lights.

Now, we don't get our expectations too high with North Indian food. Because every place, more or less, starts tasting the same, eventually. So we were basically just out and about hunting for some decent tandoori chicken before we headed home.

You wouldn't think the place was that spacious or as fancy from the inside if you'd just be looking at it from outside. But once you step in through the ornately carved front door, it is a different place.

The whole place is partitioned into two seating areas, both with roughly 4 tables. The ambiance is very ethnic with Persian and mughal accents. There is faint wisp of incense in the air and mystical trance music. The music suited the whole environment and to top it all, one end of our room had a glass partition to the tandoor room where you can look while the tandoor experts craft your rotis out of dough and pull out skewers of precisely charred, spicy and hot chicken out of the ovens.

The cutlery and plates were all in line with the theme, all of them brass and steel. We ordered for MURG GILORI, MURG TANGDI KULFI, AFGHANI PANEER TIKKA for starters. We opted for the sweet Lassi as our on-the-wait drink and masala papad to go with. We had to order more glasses of lassis eventually, it was that good. All creamy and smooth with just the right amount of sugar.
We don't know if it was the place or the fact that we were ravenous but we absolutely loved the masala papad too.


Masala papad

Before they started plating the starters, the waiting staff served us with bowls of green chutney (we dig it so much with tandoori!), small, round globes of vinegared onions and lemon slices. It went famously with the starters which were almost a revelation in itself. The MURG TANGDI KULFI was super moist, perfectly marinated and spiced. We could hardly wait to get some decent clicks before we could attack our food.

Murg tangdi kulfi

Murg tangdi kulfi

The MURG GILORI were tiny rounds of spiced minced chicken evenly coated with smooth, creamy gravy. It tasted heaven with the green chutney and onions.

Murg gilori

The chicken starters were so sensational that we ended up ordering another plate of MURG RESHMI KEBAB. It was better than we expected.... So soft and so well seasoned. We were short of licking our plates.

The AFGHANI PANEER TIKKA, though ordered for a vegetarian friend, couldn't be saved from the hungry TKDs and we shamelessly ate it up too. The paneer were tender and if I'd have been a vegetarian and never known what chicken tasted like, I'd think it was the best. But it came quite close.

Afghani paneer tikka

We spent the next few minutes guilt-tripping for having polished off a poor vegetarians food so we asked him to order anything he wished. Sadly he wished BANARASI SEEKH KEBAB which broke the spell of enchantment that tareef had woven so far. It came in sad, green turd shapes (apologies for the crassness, but that was the general consensus of the table that night) and tasted not very impressive. It tasted like fried mashed peas. Maybe it was the aftertaste of all the delicious spiciness of the chicken, but this was a damper.

Banarasi seekh kebab

Banarasi seekh kebab

For mains we agreed to make right the unjust treatment of the vegetarians at the table, hence we got in the TAREEF SPECIAL PANEER JAIPURI good enough for three people. We also ordered tandoori roti to go with it. The paneer curry was pretty basic. After the extraordinary starters it felt a bit, ordinary? It did have good amount and spices were as you'd expect in a good paneer dish. The tandoori roti was a bit of a downer too. Maybe it was just our lot but our roti was a bit undercooked.

Paneer Jaipuri

Tandoori roti

The few kinks were smoothened out by the great service that the staff provided, always on their toes and quick to respond. We were served meetha paan with the bill, which cheered me up considerably.

Sweet pan

However the chicken starters did make us sit up and notice Taareef. It's been awhile since we've had such good North Indian /Mughlai preparation. Do visit and try if you are a kukkad lover just as we are. And we'd love to know if you loved this place as much as we did. Comment or write to us. We love getting your messages and mails to read! Also let us know if you have places just as these because we still have so much to discover and we'd sure appreciate some help :)

Though the end at Tareef wasn't as we would have foretold from the glorious beginning, but we are still willing to come back again, just for the kukkad delights in store.

Taareef Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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