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Tangra Masala - first time tonight - please help

b
bladerobbins Apr 9, 2008 11:25 AM

Heading out to Tangra Masala for the first time tonight, as part of my NYC culinary victory lap before I move to the Bay Area.

I've been through the boards, but there's not all that much on what specifically to order there. I know we'll try the lollypop chicken. But what else is a must try? We will have one vegetarian in our midst.

Thanks in advance!

  1. b
    burton Apr 9, 2008 02:19 PM

    I'd be sure to include the vegetable hot and sour soup and veg. tangra masala fried rice. Chili chicken (dry) is a winner. The fish with ginger and onions (mild) was also surprisingly tasty.

    1. bigjeff Apr 9, 2008 02:21 PM

      definitely get the chili cauliflower, get your dishes "dry" as opposed to "gravy" if given the choice; the dry tends to be better. there are some fish fingers that I thought were good and aside from those, I'd just ask the servers for a good mix. I'm never impressed with the fried rice or noodle dishes at most tangra places; I'm sure a lamb or goat dish should be good as well as some of the fritters/apps.

      unfortunately another tangra place nearby named Chopsticks closed a few months ago; I thought it was very good. and if you go further up grand avenue at least a mile or two, there is Talk of the Town, which I think is affiliated with a restaurant of the same name in Jackson Heights; the place looked packed when I went by but I can't speak for the food.

      1. Miss Needle Apr 9, 2008 04:11 PM

        Liked the Manchurian goat (dry). Agree with bigjeff that you should order the dishes dry as opposed to wet. Wet versions dilute the flavor. You've got to love a restaurant that's got more chili peppers next to the items than not.

        1. Polecat Apr 9, 2008 04:46 PM

          I really enjoyed their Singapore Noodles. Not too greasy, full of flavor. On my most recent visit , I had the Manchurian Beef, dry. Decent enough dish, with some pretty intense heat.

          I had been meaning to try Chopsticks. Drove by some weeks back, brought a hearty appetite, saw the "for rent" sign in the window. Tangra Masala was my consolation prize.
          P.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Polecat
            bigjeff Apr 9, 2008 05:36 PM

            ya its really too bad; they had a great chicken 65, an excellent goat curry, some "super" lollipops and a very nice fried beef app too. but alas, not enough business for the very nice, lone proprietor.

          2. E Eto Apr 10, 2008 08:21 AM

            My views of Tangra Masala or its sister restaurant haven't changed since I first started eating there.

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/237797
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/248909
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/240305

            1. s
              shauna869 Apr 10, 2008 11:39 AM

              i started out completely pumped on tangra masala in sunnyside.. the former romanian banquet hall, the sizzling hot plates, the tangra masala special sauce...the shrimp balls with cilantro dip.. the awesome grilled tofu texture.. all rocked my world. but several visits in, consistency suffered. one time we were overcharged on a bill then had to argue our way out of the charge, another time we got our food before we ever received our drinks, a third time we raved about it to a friend then brought her there only to find the sauce was gloopy and the vegetables were limp and bland. i wanna like this place and i still might go back for a redemption song, but it's decline did shake us up a bit.

              1. s
                shauna869 Apr 10, 2008 11:40 AM

                (and after reading all of the previous comments, i'm determined to return, get the chili chicken (dry), and enjoy the hell out of it...)

                1. lambretta76 Apr 10, 2008 01:09 PM

                  I've gone a number of times, and mostly the meals have been amazing. The chicken lollipops have always been good, I love the dry Gobi Manchurian (though my wife likes Chinese Mirch's better), and the paneer pakora we had last time are perhaps one of the greatest accompaniments to beer I've had in a long while.

                  Hakka noodles are also consistently good, but they're greasy and fiery and not to everyone's liking. (I love them, they're one of my wife's desert island dishes.)

                  I also remember a weird cream cheese/fried shrimp dish that sounded really weird but turned out to be really tasty. But then again after that we did hit pretty much every Irish bar between Sunnyside and Woodside, so my memory may be playing tricks on me.

                  1. b
                    bladerobbins Apr 12, 2008 05:55 AM

                    Well, we went the other night and had a pretty good time, although I have to say I wasn't completely blown away. We started with the lolly pop chicken and the steamed veggie momos. The chicken, as expected, was a big hit. Mainly, they're just really fun to eat. The momos were fine although a little dry, but the spicy, almost salsa-like sauce, that they came with was fantastic.

                    For entrees, we did the chili chicken, the Manchurian goat, the vegetable Tangra Masala pan fried noodle, the Tangra Masala chicken, and the Gobi Manchurian, all dry except for on the waiter's recommendation, the TM chicken. The big hit of the evening was the Gobi Manchurian. I loved the texture and the nice crunch, just a unique taste that was really pleasing. The Manchurian goat was also very good, kind of dry and very chewy, but in a nice way. I wasn't in love with the chili chicken, but it was by no means bad, just slightly underwhelming. The two Tangra Masala dishes, however, were not to my liking. They tasted like Chef Boyardee sauce had been poured all over them.

                    But all together, we had a nice time; the waiter was very friendly and helpful, and many, was that cauliflower good...

                    http://foodonthefrontallobe.blogspot....

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bladerobbins
                      z
                      zemilideias Jan 14, 2009 05:14 AM

                      Yeah, I was blown away by the food at the Grand Ave. location off Queens Blvd a coupla years ago but it's been going consistently down hill efver since then...I was there over the weekend and I can appreciate the above poster's Chef Boy Ardee (sp?) comment...too bad.

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