Home Delta Tandoori Flame – Was it really worth the hype?

Tandoori Flame – Was it really worth the hype?

by Vani June 7, 2018

Address: 11970 88 Ave, Delta, BC V4C 3C8
Phone: (778) 578-7777

Tandoor Flame made a huge entrance in Metro Vancouver within the Indian food scene. They came in boasting as North Americas largest Indian Buffet restaurant with a variety of over 150 food items. Daily Hive added to the hype by writing about it, which garnered thousands of shares and comments on a restaurant that was yet to open.

But all their marketing and flamboyant claims of being the largest buffet restaurant paid off on the opening weekend. The line ups were obscenely long,with waits of over 2 hours on their second day (dinner time). My brother volunteered to stand in line for us  for which i’m eternally grateful. I can’t tolerate line ups when i’m HANGRY.

If you don’t want to read the whole review then in short:
Weekend dinner buffet (26.99): YAY!
Weekday lunch buffet (15.99): Nay 🙁
(make sure your read my tip at the every end)

My in-depth expert review 😉
The ambiance is sumptuous and grand, with walls that are adorned with gorgeous murals, its high ceilings showcase the exposed beams and pipes bringing the design into the modern age and from there hang hand picked chandeliers that set the mood. The food hall seems to be cleverly designed with food on every side which keeps the traffic flowing.
Speaking of food, there were some spectacular and delicious dishes there and it certainly does beat the other buffet restaurants right out of the water in terms of both variety and flavour. If you want a good Indian buffet which will please both adults and kids ($12.99) alike then this is it. This would also be a good place to bring your business partners in to have a nice meal.

Tandoori Flame was at its best with their weekend dinner buffet which blew my away! They had an extensive variety of North Indian Food, a good selection of Indian style Chinese food items (which I was super excited about!), then there was South Indian Dosa and sambhar and lastly Indian style Pizza and pasta as well. No one in Metro Vancouver has dared to offer that large a selection with those seemingly unusual combinations. But that was very impressive to say the least and it works!

So that being said, keep in mind the 150 number is seriously inflated by counting items like chopped onions, lettuce and chutney. I didn’t see any kebabs (the minced meat ones that are prepared on the skewer) or paneer tikka for the tandoori section for vegetarians after all the price point is $27 so they should up their game.
Their food lineup for weekday lunch was condensed ($15.99). It really did fall short in my opinion. I understand the cost is lowered by $10, but this is very evident in the selection given. Don’t expect to be blown away, it’s not worth standing in line for or travelling long distances for.  For me it would be a toss up between Tasty Indian Bistro/ Jaipur or Mirch Masala who all offer lunch specials at a lower cost.
Also, the service does need some work since our drinks came in about 30 minutes into our meal and when we asked for the bill that was another 20 minute wait. But it’s a new restaurant so there will be bumps here and there understandably so i’ll cut them some slack.

So what do they offer for a scathing $26.99 weekend dinner buffet: 
I will try my best to name all the food items I can remember:
Appetizer station: Onion rings, samosa, aloo tikki, french fries, spring rolls, deconstructed chaat ingredients like potatoes, onions, yogurt, spiced phyllo pastry puffs, gol gappas and gol gappa pani.

South Indian food section: had dosa and sambhar. I do think the person manning the South Indian Station should’ve been more attentive since the dosa wasn’t there half the time!

Tandoor station:  this was a good one. There was some sort of tandoori chaat, fish pakoras (5 stars),  roasted chicken (yummy), and  achari aka pickled chicken (yummy) and spring rolls (again).

 

Indian Style Chinese food station: Here we had vegetable chowmein (good), vegetable manchurain (good), vegetable fried rice (good), chili chicken (good),  steamed rice. They also had halal butter chicken (yummy) and one more meat dish I can’t remember and Indian style vegetarian pasta (good).


North Indian Food station (non-vegetarian):
Here there were 6 chicken and goat dishes in total (butter chicken, goat curry, murg patiala, mutton keema…) as well as chicken biryani.
North Indian Food station (vegetarian):  Shahi paneer (delicious), kardhai paneer (yummy), saag paneer (mediocre), dal makhani (good), mixed vegetable, channa masala, kardhi pakora and steamed rice.

 

Pizza station: This was the most disappointing station of them all. The first time I went there, there was a cheese pizza which had scarce amounts of cheese. I took a slice, hoping it wouldn’t disappoint despite the way it looked. And sadly it did. It really had nothing going for it. Also, in my frequent trips back and forth there was no pizza to be seen. So who so ever was responsible for that station needs to step it up!

The above list more or less concludes the hot food items that were served in the buffet.
There was a huge salad bar which included: coleslaw, 2 types cold pasta, greek and potato salads, chickpeas, broccoli. lettuce etc. There was also a variety of chopped fruit like pineapple, oranges, cantaloupe and grapes.

Then there were Desserts. There was lots of variety here: They had hot and cold Indian desserts, someone was making jalebi right in front of your (pretty cool) and an ice cream section with something like 8 flavours of ice cream, there was soft serve ice cream machine as well. The American desserts were pretty lame though. I wish they had some good cakes like the image they have on their website.

 

Tandoori Flame has made it’s mark and I would highly recommend their weekend buffet. They could improve on their appetizer line up which included mostly fried food and add some nice cakes (cheesecake ehm!) into their dessert selection. I’m sure they’ll make some tweaks as they go, but overall I was impressed and would come back on the weekends.

My favourites were: pani puri water, shahi paneer, kardhai paneer (this wasn’t available during the weekday lunch), all of their Indian style Chinese dishes (not available during the weekday), fish pakora, butter chicken and goat curry.

TIP: pour your curries in the small soup bowls provided at the soup station. This will prevent all your curries from mixing into one another! 

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