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Lunch at Tamba Indian Grill & Bar

*NOTE: This restaurant has since closed.*

  • Cuisine: Northern and Southern Indian
  • Atmosphere: bright, modern, casual
  • Attire: casaul
  • Ideal for: 1x1/small groups, buffet, cheap eats, casual, great for lunch, hangover cure, children welcomed
  • Price: all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, $12
  • Reservations: via phone
  • Phone: (212) 481-9100
  • Website: www.tambagrillandbar.com
  • Location: 103 Lexington Avenue (btwn 27th & 28th Streets)

*All of my photos from this meal can be viewed on Flickr

It's only been a matter of weeks since Tamba first opened its doors to the public, but the restaurant is quickly becoming recognized for its delicious and affordable Indian cuisine among the slew of neighboring competitors in Manhattan's "Curry Hill."  Emily and I arrived at Tamba on a Sunday at 1pm, and were both pleasantly surprised to see a number of other patrons enjoying the restaurant's bountiful lunch buffet.  I say "pleasantly surprised" because: a) I assumed that most New Yorker's would be feasting on eggs and pancakes; b) Tamba was brand new and it already seemed to draw in a healthy crowd. This, my friends, was a very good sign.

Tamba's interior: warm colors; comfortable booth, banquette, or traditional table & chair seating; bright and cheerful spaceEmily and I headed straight for the lunch buffet, which consisted of: fresh-off-of-the-griddle uttapam, green-chile pakora, an assortment of chilled vegetable salads, sambar, white basmati rice, vegetable biryani, mango chutney, raita, aloo gobi, palak paneer, chana masala, two chicken preparations (one being Tikka Masala), stewed goat, Indian rice pudding, and gulab jamun.

Tamba: homemade uttapamTamba: sauce accompanimentsTamba: aloo gobi and palak paneerTamba: gulab jamun for dessert!With over-loaded plates in hand, Emily and I slowly made our way back to our table.  Shortly thereafter, a waiter approached to fill our water glasses and to inquire as to whether we'd like an additional beverage.  I couldn't resist ordering Tamba's mango lassi, which was every bit as tart, tangy, sweet and creamy as I had hoped for.  I noticed another Tamba employee walking through the restaurant serving lunch-buffet customers freshly-baked and buttered naan, piping-hot poori and tandoori chicken. 

Tamba: mango lassiTamba: homemade naanFor a mere $12, Emily and I received an all-you-can-eat homemade Indian lunch + dessert, highlighted by the addition of assorted breads and tandoori chicken, served table side.  Though some of the dishes stood out more than others and many of the items were on the greasier side, overall, I enjoyed Tamba's fresh and delicious food and bang-for-the-buck lunch deal.  I look forward to my next visit.

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