A Chef’s Table at Taaza Fresh Indian Bistro
Kristi Maier | @triadfoodies
It wasn’t so long ago that my family and I enjoyed an impressive introductory taste of Greensboro’s newest Indian Restaurant. Taaza Fresh Indian Bistro exceeded our expectations and then some a few months back. Because we were so impressed, we wanted to share that experience with other adventurous foodies, so Taaza was a natural choice for one of our monthly Chef’s Tables. And owner Mohan Chinnathambi was totally on board for giving us an evening of surprises. And that’s just how Chef’s Table works. Surprise after surprise, multiple courses at an extremely affordable price point. It’s all about the food and getting folks talking about it.
Taaza Bistro is the second location for this family-owned business. The Burlington location has enjoyed success and it appears that things are humming along nicely in the Gate City. It’s becoming a fan favorite in Greensboro. Taaza is the only South Indian restaurant in the Triad specializing in South Indian crepe and curries. The professionally trained culinary team also can work some serious magic in the kitchen with cuisine from Central and Northern India.
Here’s a recap of what we enjoyed….
Tandoori Chicken, beautifully smokey and spicy chicken…for us served like nuggets, which was excellent for dipping in any one of the lovely chutneys and yogurt dips on the table.
Sechuwan Gobi (Cauliflower, battered and sautéed in spices and a sweet and tangy sauce). Battered cauliflower is becoming quite the thing in the restaurant world. If you want something light and crispy with an Asian flare, you’ll love this dish.
Main Courses (served with Basmati Rice and Naan Bread (garlic and plain)
Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Curry
I’m not exaggerating when I say Taaza does this better than anyone in the Triad. The chicken is charred and smokey, it’s wonderfully tender and the rich and creamy tomato sauce is so comforting. It soothes the soul. As for the lamb curry, a little more robust than the tikka, this lamb dish went into a spicier dimension. Enough to get you tingling in the tastebuds but not distracting. This, along with the Tikka, are excellent choices for your first foray into Indian cuisine. Though I admit to getting Tikka every single time. I can’t even duplicate it at home no matter how hard I try. Plus my children love it, so it’s always ordered.
Palak Paneer (fresh homemade cheese cooked in a spinach cream sauce). This is the best palak paneer I’ve had. Taaza makes their own cheese. Think of this dish as creamed spinach with extra cheese. You’ll like. It’s very popular among vegetarians along with any of Taaza’s mixed vegetable dishes.
This is an excellent side dish as well. Very simple and spicy superfood. A great choice for the non-meat eater.
Rice Pudding and Gulab Jamun
I am a huge fan of rice pudding. Taaza’s is quite simple and laced with cardamom. The partner dessert of Gulab Jamun is a beautiful light milk dumpling, akin to a doughnut hole, delicately scented with rosewater and honey. It’s simple and sweet and just the right ending to what can be a rich meal.
Finally, just when we thought we couldn’t handle another bite, Mohan and his team brought out their savory Dosa. These very thin crepes usually come prepared with your choice of options. Ours came to the table rolled up, but empty and were served alongside some lentils and potato and onion masala so each of us could “make our own.” Since I still had a bit of rice pudding remaining, I actually took part of the dosa and put a little inside for a sweet treat. I’m not entirely sure that’s an authentic way of eating it, but it kept the dessert theme going for my taste buds. If you go to Taaza, we recommend ordering a Dosa to share with your table as it is a fun, communal way of eating with your hands.
A number of our guests last week were from the United Kingdom. They said they really enjoy Taaza because the flavors remind them of home, as Indian cuisine has such a strong influence there.
You might be apprehensive to try Indian food. So many aromatics can seem daunting. But Indian food’s spices and flavors are not so different from flavors you might already love…tomato, cream, smokiness (from the grill or clay oven), garlic, cumin, chili powder, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, mustard, lots of sweet and savory going on. They’ll only go as hot as you want to go. If you’re really into it, go Indian hot. Not on all the dishes, but maybe just one to tantalize your taste buds.
And don’t be afraid to ask the kitchen to surprise you and “knock your socks off.” It’s an adventure you’ll never forget.
Wanna go? Taaza Fresh Indian Bistro is located at 1216-M Bridford Parkway in Greensboro and 579 Huffman Mill Road in Burlington. For more info visit taazabistro.com
Our next Chef’s Table is already announced. Join us on Wednesday, March 22 at 7:30pm, as Chef Mark Grohman, owner of Meridian Restaurant in Winston-Salem, surprises us with multiple courses at an affordable price. Tickets are $30 and are available at eventbrite.com. Get there by visiting the triadfoodies Facebook page under Events.