Special to The Post
Does the food quality and taste really differ between lunch buffets and a la carte menus? My first experience at Agra Tandoori Restaurant to try the buffet left me dissatisfied based on their limited selection and overall mediocre experience, but a recent Groupon offering lead me to revisit the restaurant to try their a la carte menu.
We started with one order each of the Shrimp Pakora and Fish Pakora. The shrimp was meaty, but not as crunchy or hot as the fish. As for the fish, they were fantastic. Served piping hot with mint and coriander chutney, the thin layer of batter was crisp and not greasy. Inside, the fish was moist, flaky and light, with hints of cumin.
For our main dishes, we had Chicken Tikka served on a sizzling hot cast iron plate. This modest portion consisted of marinated chicken, onions and peppers. Although the chicken had good colour, the meat was very mild in flavor and on the drier side.
Butter chicken lovers divide into two camps: those who like it creamy and those who prefer a stronger tomato presence in the sauce. I personally like it creamy, but Agra Tandoori’s version would make tomato-lovers happy. That being said, the Butter Chicken did not lack in flavor, with a nice level of heat as well as the usual spices. The chunks of chicken were small, but moist.
Next, we tried the Aloo Gobi, which included large pieces of potato and cauliflower. Their textures were firm, but not hard. The mild dish had pronounced ginger and cumin notes, but it seemed like the flavours were not completely developed. We also ordered Garlic Naan to go with our meal in addition to rice. The naan had nice charring with some crispy portions, but they were mostly soft and slightly chewy.
Our last two dishes were our favourites of the meal. The Lamb Tikka Masala was full of flavour and spice. The lamb itself was very tender with its classic gelatinous fatty texture. Lastly, we tried the Fish Curry which was full of moist and flaky fish. The flavours were on point with a good mix of ginger, cumin, coriander and spice. Overall, we were fairly satisfied with our meal. The service we received was attentive and friendly. Agra Tandoori does provides decent Indian food in Burnaby, but I would skip the buffet and try a la carte instead.
Agra Tandoori Restaurant
#110 – 3790 Canada Way, Burnaby
• Friendly service
• Overall decent eats
• Buffet lacks variety
• Even though we asked for spicy, it could have been more so