Great South Indian food - the idlis bad as and dosas are a must try. The juices are great as well.
Beware of the long queues on weekends!
Taste of India is just as the name suggests. The food isn't amazing. But they do server proper Indian food. When we used to be a regular at Saravanaa Bhavan, we never even gave a look at this one. But now that we have stopped going to Saravanaa Bhavan following one of those bad incidents, we have started looking at alternatives.
This is very much like Saravanaa Bhavan in the cuisine. Mostly South Indian and Pure Vegetarian.
Most dishes are served in steel plates as they are supposed to be in South India. But the filter coffee here isn't as good or even close to what we get in Saravanaa Bhavan. I am comparing Saravanaa Bhavan here because, these restaurants are pretty much next to each other in East Ham.
But we were pleased with the service. Waiters are excellent, they are friendly and take special care of each table. I don't recall having any alcohol choices there, but there are a lot of Indian juices and ice creams available.
If you feel like having some pure vegetarian then this is definitely a good choice.
It was a Sunday and a quick late lunch was in order. I had about 1 hour to get in and out. But the service was truly appalling. Now, I am not lambasting the restaurant as a whole but the speed of service is just tortoise-like. It took 15 mins to take the order and the last item ordered was served only after we asked specifically for it.
The food is good though - and the 2 stars are for the quality of the food alone. The Mysore dosas are really good here. But I doubt I'll be back. It must be hard competing against an established chain of restaurants like Saravanaa. Unfortunately I doubt they'll be very popular with poor service.
But once again, let me convey the fact that I felt the food was quite good.
Unlike so many restaurants named 'Taste of India', this place serves up real Indian food.
Forget 'Korma', 'Jalfrezi' or any of the made-up 'Anglo-Indian' cream laden, over-sauced, suspiciously bright coloured stuff some think of as Indian food. Taste of India serves up food of a quality and type which sustains around a sixth of the world's population, predominantly vegetarian and served up with a variety of breads and accompaniments.
From the highly flavoured, savoury and spicy South Indian Dosa to the robust and rich Northern Indian/Punjabi thali, Taste of India has the vast variety and richness of Indian food covered. If it isn't on the menu but you want it, they'll probably cook it. This is food made by knowledgeable people.
We were warmly greeted and quickly seated. Our drinks order was rapidly taken and delivered we opted for the salted limed soda and a bottle of sparkling water. Our food order was also efficiently handled. A trip to the loo confirmed that the crispness we saw front of house carried through, they were clean and well stocked with soap, papers and efficient hand-dryers. Access to the restuarant (and loos) was all on the level so it seems disabled access has been thought through and accomodated in the overall plan.
There was a general air of a busy, well managed and happy business. Our fellow customers ranged from sturdy Sikh builders to rangy Muslim students and numerous Hindu technicians and IT managers from Chennai, Banagalore and Kerala. There were many happy families tucking in. Everyone had a happy and satisfied air about them.
Our starters arrived quickly and with the sizzle of having been freshly made still about them. Paneer fingers (milk curd, covered in a spiced gram flour batter, and flash fried) had a sweetness and spiciness to them which achieved a delicate balance. Medhu Vada (steamed spiced lentil and rice flour dumplings) were offered up with coconut chutney and sambhar (a highly spiced lentil soup, with tamarind and chilli) and were savoury, spicy, soft and yielding and just delicious . . . creamy and tangy coconut chutney and spicy sambhar complemented them perfectly.
Our main course was potato paratha with a mild veg curry and raita, aubergine bharta and mutter paneer. Each dish had a distinct set of flavours. The mutter paneer combined the sweetness of fresh peas with the sharp tang of garlic, ginger and fresh coriander grounded with brown spices like cumin, cinammon and cloves. The bharta had the smoky, sweet flavour of roasted aubergine cut through with fresh green chilli.
The bill didn't hurt either, coming in at under £30 for everything. From start to finish, Taste of India lived up to it's promise.