Saturday, October 6, 2012

Tangra – Indo-Chinese Fusion Wows the Senses

Last week I had the great fun to go out with the Queens Supper Club ladies, and each time there’s something really neat to discover. Anne picked Tangra, a Chinese-Indian fusion restaurant that was totally new to all of us, and which was pretty accessible, given its Sunnyside location.

Even before stepping inside, I totally judged a book by its handsome cover, being excited to uncover what lay beyond Tangra’s giant double doors. Inside, I found a large dining room that looked very much like a banquet hall, and judging by its random hanging disco ball and stage, I think it serves that purpose quite often.

There’s a large array of various sized tables and because we were a huge group of 15+, we were seated at a really long communal table towards the back of the restaurant. I loved this because it made me feel as if I truly was at a dinner party or some sort of celebratory event.

After we sat down, I got to observe my impeccable surroundings, which consisted of really intricate light fixtures with beautifully painted flowers, ornate banquettes that were located in an elevated area all the way at the back of the restaurant, the Indo-Chinese classical artwork and so much more. It felt like we were dining inside of a museum!

Because of the extent of their diverse menu, everyone had the opportunity to try something unique, and the vegetarians in the group were also quite happy with the options. Here’s what we devoured:

Appetizers - It was great that we got to share everything and try a whole bunch of apps including their well-known fried chicken drumsticks, the veggie pakora, and the paneer wontons. Out of those, I absolutely loved the chicken drumsticks, which were amazingly crispy on the outside, but the batter also being a bit pancakey when you bit into it. It was just such a surprisingly delightful snack that I can’t wait to get it again.

The pakora (or veggie croquettes) were fabulous too and really hearty, containing a medley of veg such as potato, onion, eggplant, tomato and the crust was just so crunchy. I loved the size, as you can get a lot of bang from eating just one – but word to the wise, if you get a whole portion, make sure you have some friends to share them with.

Entrees - Emily, a new supper club friend and I decided to share some dishes for our entrees including the sizzling tiger prawns in the manchurian sauce, which contained black beans and cilantro, as well as a milder chicken dish dressed with a garlic sauce.

While I enjoyed both, the shrimp was my clear favorite, as the flavors really stood out and gave you a little punch with each bite – it was spicy in a good way, and once coupled with some rice, it was an absolute winner. Even though the shrimp was quite large, it went fast, and I wished there were a few more on the plate. As for the chicken, which was gentler in flavor but still really great (especially for folks who don’t like spicy foods), its portion was large and totally conducive to splitting between two people. While I didn’t try the noodle dishes some people ordered, they looked fabulous, and were served in these beautiful copper bowls that I’ve seen at traditional Indian restaurants (like Seva in Astoria!)

Service and Cost:
Despite us being a really large group, the service was really great and organized. I was surprised to see that we didn’t have to wait too long for anything and that the waitstaff anticipated our needs even before we asked for anything. It showed that they have a clear command and experience when dealing with large groups.

Costs are moderate to inexpensive and include:
Appetizers - $3.50 - $6.95
Entrees - $7.95 - $13.95

Tangra Masala – 3923 Queens Blvd, Sunnyside NY 11104
7 Train to 40th St/Lowery Street

3 Mmmms

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