Bengal Garden Tandoori Restaurant
Indian Restaurant in Belmont/Cloverdale
Not an easy name to remember, not for us anyway. Not quite the shortest name either. And no, there wasn't any tigers on the menu as the Bengal instead refers to a region of east India. There wasn't quite a garden either but I sat down in a cosy corner spot next to a plant and ended up with it's leaves gently massaging by beautifully styled hair.
We arrived at 7pm and felt silly that we had booked a table since we could see clearly from the street that there was nobody else in there (another dozen ppl did follow us in afterwards). The Bengal Garden Tandoori Restaurant isn't in the best of neighbourhoods. We had to park our car next to a congregation of drunken ummm local native, Heirisson Island type people who were loitering outside.
Staff were friendly enough although not all were authentic Indian looking as you would normally find in an Indian restaurant. The menu was quite well prepared with a great selection of the usual indian dishes plus a few more that you wouldn't normally see, presumably from a traditionally Eastern Indian cuisine. This is great for people like me who love trying new things, especially in a restaurant where you get to share your dishes (no need to worry about getting stuck with a dud dish!). We hesitated on a tasting plate as we didn't want to stuff ourselves but went with it anyway only to find it had just 4 pieces on it, this was a good thing. It consisted of a Samosa and with true journalistic professionalism, I have no idea what the other three were but hey, they all tasted great! I've had plenty of tasting plates at Indian restaurants and yes, us westerners can look at them and wonder what the hell is what and quite often the random pieces of randomness taste not only unusual but unpalatble. Not here at Bengal Garden Tandoori Restaurant though, all four snack-sized pieces of authentic Indian were great. And just enough to feed the apetite for two.
For mains, I opted for Mango chicken while my dining partner went for the Lamb ***. To accompany the curries, we also ordered Garlic Naam Break (of course!), Egg Fried Rice & the Cucumber Yogurt condoment. The Lamb for us was a little spicy but right at the perfect point where you get used to it after only a few mouthfulls. The Mango Chiken was very flavoursome and made a nice change from Butter Chicken or the more traditional Indian meals. The Egg Fried Rice was really good (and large!). I had an assortment of things in it including what we presumed were cranberries. Naam Bread was also great.
Give it a go if you're in the area and like Indian. Meals were only $12-$15 so not badly priced at all. Our bill came in at just under $60.
Can't really fault the food at all. The table had some dodgy papadums on there when we arrived but hey, what's an Indian meal without some dodgy 3 month old papadums lying around?