Insouciant bon-vivant and erstwhile troubadour prone to verbose verbiage.
Published September 16th 2012
Sangam Tandoori has been a mainstay of the Nelson Parade strip for over a decade. Tucked in a narrow building, the restaurant makes great use of its available space without crowding the diner and managing to purvey a very Indian ambience.
Providing all the classics of Indian cuisine the menu includes your typical fare of Tikka Masala, Rogan Josh, Vindaloo, Korma and of course, the wonderful vegetarian options for which the land of Hinduism is renowned.
Sangam Tandoori also make very good use of their tandoori oven with a whole cooked snapper providing a wonderful option in the seafood section of the menu. Be warned however, that ordering this dish will mean a bit of a wait for your meal to arrive, snappers don't just bake themselves you know!
Fortunately if you neglect to order one of the many delicious entrees you are still provided with some complimentary pappadams and dipping sauces.
Admittedly we were in relatively early (six-thirty-ish) given the pressing business of the AFL finals were calling to me from a television screen somewhere however I was surprised at the amount of young children present; especially given that this age bracket includes notoriously fussy eaters, Indian cuisine can require some discernment from its audience and there was not a children's menu in sight. Whatever the case, there were no tears, no hungry children and high chairs and Fanta was in much demand.
Our hosts were courteous and despite a procession of take-away orders, the tables were served in good time (obviously with our wait for the fish taken into account). Indian is probably one of the best cuisines to choose if you're going to share meals, with the bowls of curries lending themselves beautifully to communal dining. In this spirit, my companion and I were able to share a chicken curry along with the tandoori fish.
I must say that both meals were an absolute credit to the chef. The balance of flavours in the curry was exceptional; a sweetness in the sauce tempered with a mild spice that begged to be mopped up by the deliciously crispy roti breads. I don't think I've ever cleaned a bowl of curry as thoroughly as I did at Sangam.
Must have been terrible...
The fish meanwhile was perfectly cooked and if it took half an hour to get it that way then it was worth a wait twice as long. It flaked away perfectly from the bone and melted in my mouth, the texture and flavour of the snapper a perfect foil for those exquisite tandoori spices.
My only regret for the night was that a swift vacation of the premises to view the impending AFL semi-final meant we were unable to sample the dessert menu - although given we'd eaten a snapper and curry between just two of us (along with roti bread and a bowl of saffron infused rice) it was probably for the best. I do think that the Kulfi Pista sounds incredible though: special Indian ice cream made with thickened milk & pistachio flavoured with saffron, green cardamom and rose syrup. You can rest assured that I'll back for one of them.
Including a beer, the meal cost us bang on fifty bucks which, considering the quality, was excellent value for a Saturday night dinner. Sangam Tandoori is one of the real winners on Nelson Parade.