Thursday, August 11, 2011
Taj...crown of Indian flavours?
Taj has recently opened at a location that has been renovated and updated to the tune of almost a half a million dollars (or more!) so I thought it would be a good idea to compare it to Raja, which I have to admit is a favourite of mine for take-out when I just don't feel like cooking, or when I'm in the mood for something spicy.
Now that I have tried both places a couple of times I have to admit that the decision is a very difficult one to make, but quite frankly, I was impressed with the food at Taj - though the price is more than a little frightening.
Even with the enticement of a 25% discount, lunch was in the $70 range, plus tax and tip (for two). I always enjoy the value at Raja for lunch, you can get away with a delicious and filling lunch for under $35 (also for two). Perhaps the two places are better compared at dinner time - as the menu at Taj seems to be the same all day.
Service at both places is incredibly attentive, I always feel treated like royalty at Raja and the young woman serving at Taj is quite capable and charming.
As for the menu: for the less adventurous types, the Butter Chicken at Taj seems to have more depth of flavour than Raja but in turn I prefer the Korma at Raja - maybe it's the cardamom in the rice that intensifies the flavour?
Tandoori chicken is good in both places but I think Taj's wins with increased moistness.
For those more adventurous palates I would certainly recommend the vindaloo at Taj - great balance of spice and flavour, and the heat certainly builds as you get farther into the dish!
Overall, I feel that I will most likely stay loyal to Raja, and I have to admit that this decision is heavily weighted on value for dollar and naan. The naan bread at Raja is more tender - though if you prefer somewhat crispy naan then Taj is for you.
Perhaps I was also swayed by the washrooms at Taj which seem to have been a last minute thought in the massive renovations that took place this spring.
Good luck to Taj, competition raises the bar for all of us!