Travel plans from CLT to any airport in India will cost you anywhere about ~$1-2K and at least 19+ hours if not a full day of travel, but lucky for us Charlotteans, Tandur has made its way to our side of the world! With two convenient locations in South Park and Rea Farms, this mini-chain may be fast casual but their commitment to sharing an authentic experience shines through each dish you order and at every bite, you’ll find another dimension to each dish’s complexity!
So–all you have to hopefully brave through is some city traffic, but get those taste buds ready for a culinary field trip to all the flavors of India!
We checked out the newest location on Rea Farms. Upon entry, you’re instantly greeted by warm hello’s by the staff and this spice wall! We love that this not only shows you all the different spices that goes into building the layers of flavor in their cuisine, but that they share all the other potential uses of these spices as they’re not only great for taste BUT each also serves a potential health benefit!
As pharmacists, we may have geeked out just a little bit! LOL!
Once we got past the wall, we explored the menu board and may have gotten a bit overwhelmed by all of the options; but the Tandur team was super helpful in navigating us through their extensive menu. They also gave us a sampler of their 6 sauces so that we could decide what bowl to build!
We also asked the Tandur team what their favorites were to help us narrow than our choices.
This could be all that we write about in this post because it simply is just that good, but we don’t want to rob you guys of the full experience that is Tandur. But really. After you eat these okra fries, you’ll realize that there’s no other way that okra should be served (and yes, that’s even after having eaten our fair share of some of the best fried okra as we live in the South!)
The GM recommended the Samosa Chaat, and we’ve also heard a lot about the Tandur Naanchos. With all of the usual heavy hitter flavors and spices that are often associated with Indian cuisine, the chaat was light and refreshing–especially in contrast to the naanchos. Both were great shareables, but we would recommend only getting one of the three if still ordering a biryani bowl! They call their starters: “Small Plates” but there’s nothing small about the portion sizes!
Back to those six sauces that we briefly mentioned: our Tandur server took the time to go over each flavor profile with us and also let us try each sauce. We’re no strangers to Indian cuisine and often order a lamb vindaloo, butter chicken, or tikka masala…but after the quick sauce tasting, we ended up ordering completely out of our comfort zone!
Kriska’s pick: Chicken korma – a saffron cream sauce with fennel and cardamom. Manny’s pick: lamb meatball kadai – an onion tomato sauce with bell peppers and chili oil. Both dishes were great, especially since we gladly shared which other–a little bit of heat from the kadai balanced out with a lighter korma! The korma would be a great introductory dish for those that may be too intimidated of the rich, complex, and fiery flavor bombs like the kadai and the vindaloo.
The bowls come with naan wedges–perfectly warmed and GARLICKY! YUM! The naan’s the perfect vehicle to scoop up all the goodness left at the bottom of the bowl.
We had a great time at Tandur and can’t wait to go back. We’re told that they may be touring the rest of the Charlotte market to hopefully get more locations established, and we can only hope that one is either in Dilworth or the Steele Creek/Fort Mill/Tega Cay area so that we can frequent the establishment more often!
Don’t be fooled by ‘the fast-casual space in another open-air mall’–Tandur wants you to experience REAL & VIBRANT culture through their food.