Cuisine: World food
Blurb: I wanted to order nearly everything on this menu
Atmospherics: What started out as Smoke House Grill and then Smokey’s, is now Tanddav. While the connection between Lord Shiva’s divine dance and a very comfortable, well-appointed, western-style restaurant with comfortable seating and low lighting is not apparent, the menu contains page after page of dishes from several parts of the world. Hence, Hungarian pierogis, Indonesian rendang with roti canai, Korean chicken with kochujang and pulled kathal burgers all rub shoulders comfortable and unselfconsciously. None of them are clichés: that is the best part of the restaurant. Currently, there is not much choice for desi food aficionados (in that sense, the name Tanddav is rather misleading).
Table talk: When over 90% of a menu consists of dishes you’d love to try, you know you are on to a winner. Cold wasabi soup (Rs 195) was a perfectly innovative take on an ingredient that is only used in conjunction with sushi, but the soup had the optimal amount of wasabi in it to make its pungent presence felt yet not to overpower you. Even the salads traversed the globe from Japan to Italy, instead of being amorphous lettuce leaves that you’ll find in every other menu in town. Innovative starters include basil and coconut haricot beans (Rs 295) that could have originated anywhere in the world, including Kerala. Curried mushroom haru maki (Rs 345) or its non-vegetarian compatriot, Thai chicken haru maki (Rs 410) are light meals or hearty first courses that are as far removed from Delhi restaurant clichés as it is possible to get. Unless you are the kind of person who automatically orders the meaty version of every dish in every restaurant, do go for the mushrooms that have an earthy appeal and a depth of flavour that poor old chicken can never hope for. In addition, there are two appetizers (called apps on the menu!): calamari bhel (Rs 445) and prawns with rai and oats (Rs 545) that have a distinctly desi appeal yet are made up by the extremely ingenious Vidur Parashar whose brainchild the menu is.
Plus and minus: the parking here is a nightmare. Beware if you drive your own car. There is a mafia operated by the neighbouring eatery that makes it impossible to park.
Must try: John Dory confit, cheese bhaji slider, soaked French toast brioche.
VIPPS Centre, Masjid Moth Shopping Centre, Greater Kailash II
Open only for dinner from 7 pm to 1 am
Credit cards, alcohol served
Meal for two: Rs 3,000