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Best Indian food in Fairfield County, CT

s
sfoss17 Oct 5, 2009 08:35 AM

My husband and i are getting bored with the same old places. Any type of restaurant from take-out to white cloth we're willing to try!

We enjoy Cormandel in SoNo & Darien as well as Bonani in Norwalk for take out.

  1. jfood Nov 7, 2009 04:09 PM

    Just received this weeks mail-coupons. Coromandel with the menu in there. $18 for tiki masala, adding further to the WTF at $25 at Thali.

    -----
    Coromandel
    25 Old Kings Hwy N Ste 11, Darien, CT 06820

    Thali
    87 Main Street, New Canaan, CT 06840

    1 Reply
    1. re: jfood
      t
      Tony Salomone May 3, 2010 09:58 AM

      We love Coromandel and frequent the SONO outpost.
      They care about the food they serve and it shows.

      If you just want to try it out DO NOT miss the lunch buffet. Best Food deal around. $11 all you can eat. Food is amzing. Enjoy.

      -----
      Coromandel
      25 Old Kings Hwy N Ste 11, Darien, CT 06820

    2. adamclyde Nov 1, 2009 10:40 AM

      Tawa is good. Actually it's very good. As I mentioned on another thread, I've been going to a lot of the great NYC Indian/Pakistani restaurants lately and Tawa holds it's own.

      -----
      Tawa
      19 High Ridge Rd, Stamford, CT 06905

      6 Replies
      1. re: adamclyde
        l
        lillydaisy Nov 2, 2009 02:33 PM

        And I concur, as I've said before Tawa on Summer St. is terrific. I would also vouch for Coromandel. Have not been to Thali in a while but always liked it.

        -----
        Coromandel
        86 Washington St, Norwalk, CT 06854

        Tawa
        19 High Ridge Rd, Stamford, CT 06905

        Thali
        87 Main Street, New Canaan, CT 06840

        1. re: lillydaisy
          t
          thefoodbully Nov 2, 2009 06:29 PM

          I always preferred cormondal (stamford) to tawa.. but have not been to tawa since it moved. The lunch / brunch at cormondal is quite good.

          BTW-- anyone been to the new chili chicken run by the tawa owners in its former location?

          1. re: thefoodbully
            adamclyde Nov 4, 2009 09:07 AM

            Ok, so I always get a bit confused. That's corner place on Summer street has been at least three different Indian restaurants since I moved here 9 years ago. Dashkin, something else (can't remember name) and now Coromandel. Has it changed owners in those name changes? Is it the same Coromandel as Darien, etc.? Because I've always left there VERY underwhelmed, but I haven't been there since they changed to now be Coromandel...

            confusing.

            -----
            Coromandel
            25 Old Kings Hwy N Ste 11, Darien, CT 06820

            1. re: adamclyde
              s
              Scotty100 Nov 4, 2009 10:21 AM

              The coromandel restaurants in CT and NY are all part of a small chain. I've eaten in 3 - Darien, Stamford and SONO. Darien was one of the original outposts and I believe the quality there is good and superior to both Stamford and SONO. I would then rank SONO outpost above the very "meh" stamford location.

              http://www.coromandelcuisine.com/

              1. re: Scotty100
                l
                lovesublime Nov 4, 2009 10:28 AM

                Have to agree Darien is def the best location.

              2. re: adamclyde
                louuuuu Nov 4, 2009 12:14 PM

                Daskin on Summer was a sibling of Coromandel just changed their name w/ decor. They do have an attitude. Tawa on Summer now outshines them, service, decor, and cuisine..

                -----
                Coromandel
                25 Old Kings Hwy N Ste 11, Darien, CT 06820

                Tawa
                19 High Ridge Rd, Stamford, CT 06905

        2. rifkind81 Oct 31, 2009 08:25 AM

          I tried Thali in New Canaan last night. Food was very good but not exceptional. The samosas had a great crust and were not greasy at all. The chicken tikka masala tasted like every tikka masala I have ever had (which is a good thing). And the black lentils were buttery and creamy as promised on the menu. Certainly no complaints on the food.

          However, for Indian food it was quite expensive. With 2 draft beers it came out to almost $70 before tip. And for $24 the tikka masala was awfully heavy on sauce and lite on chicken. So while there is plenty of lentils and rice and masala sauce for lunch today, I would rather pay $20 less and deal with more moderate portions.

          All in all...since the food is not extraordinary I will continue to search for a more modestly price good Indian restaurant. But if you can afford to overpay this place will suffice.

          -----
          Thali
          87 Main Street, New Canaan, CT 06840

          9 Replies
          1. re: rifkind81
            s
            shark_attack Nov 1, 2009 06:03 AM

            Try Coromandel in Darien. The Chicken Tikka Masala is 16.95 dinner price, is plenty enough chicken to serve 2 (my friend and I usually split an entree and an app) and the place is now the best Indian place around, now that Malabar in Norwalk has closed. Malabar WAS the best Indian food EVER. And I do mean ever.

            1. re: rifkind81
              jfood Nov 1, 2009 10:48 AM

              There is something a little screwy if the bill was $70 with this order.

              the samosas are $6.50, the tiki masala is ~$18 and a lentil dish is probably $15. beers probably $6 each.

              1. re: jfood
                rifkind81 Nov 3, 2009 06:57 AM

                Samosas were $7, Tikka masala was $24.95, Lentils were $12, Beers $5. I did totally forget to mention we had Kulcha for $5. Comes out to about $63 after tax.

                1. re: rifkind81
                  jfood Nov 3, 2009 07:26 AM

                  Wow...prices up 30% in the last few months. At $25 for TM jfood has better options in town.

                  Thanks R.

                  1. re: jfood
                    s
                    Scotty100 Nov 3, 2009 07:51 AM

                    25 bucks for tikka masala?!! That's insane. Such a run-of-the-mill standard dish on indian menus across the globe. It's never a high ticket option and I've dined in some 1 star michelin indian joints in London where the TM is on the cheaper end of the offerings. I would like to hear the restaurant explain their pricing on that.

                    For the record, I have never eaten at Thali but consider the Coromandel in Darien to be a cut above the rest of the competition. Granted have yet to try Tawa upstairs. Have tried the Tawa bread bar a couple of times, which is promisingly innovative and will get better once they get some consistency across their various menu items.

                    -----
                    Coromandel
                    25 Old Kings Hwy N Ste 11, Darien, CT 06820

                    Tawa
                    19 High Ridge Rd, Stamford, CT 06905

                    Thali
                    87 Main Street, New Canaan, CT 06840

                    1. re: Scotty100
                      jfood Nov 3, 2009 08:34 AM

                      Jfood was floored with this price as well and was interested in hearing an explanation since the on-line price is still $18. He spoke with someone who mentioned that only the Tiki Masal went up significantly and the other prices stayed about the same. When Jfood asked why the explanation from phone answering person was...

                      "(giggle) it was the owner's choice, I guess we sell so much of it. It is cheaper at lunch."

                      Yeah jfood guesses the Masala at $24 will not be a hot commodity. At table jfood it will be a "no-bid."

              2. re: rifkind81
                t
                tc_food2 Nov 1, 2009 02:01 PM

                Give Thali one more try and next time order their signature Lamb chops, and the chicken korma.. Their korma is so good, we never order the dish anywhere else since the other places never compare. i agree, they are expensive -- so we also go to other indian places as well --- but definitely worth it for some of their dishes..!

                -----
                Thali
                87 Main Street, New Canaan, CT 06840

                1. re: tc_food2
                  jfood Nov 2, 2009 12:31 PM

                  lamb biryani as well. the vindaloo can be hit or miss

                2. re: rifkind81
                  Syphrite Nov 3, 2009 11:52 AM

                  I agree with you rif. I got takeout from Thali in NC a while back and I was underwhelmed. For the price I was expecting something great and it fell quite short of that.

                  I've tried Coromandel in Stamford, which was good, but incredibly spicy - and I like spicy food! Overall though, it had the most authentic flavor out of all of the Indian joints I've tried so far.

                  Still haven't tried Tawa yet, but it's on my list.

                  -----
                  Tawa
                  19 High Ridge Rd, Stamford, CT 06905

                  Thali
                  87 Main Street, New Canaan, CT 06840

                3. woodys Oct 5, 2009 04:08 PM

                  Try the Bombay Bar & Grill in Westport. Recently had a wonderful dinner there. Noticed that there was a large Asian presence amongst the customers.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: woodys
                    s
                    shark_attack Oct 5, 2009 04:34 PM

                    I wasn't going to, but I feel I need to weigh in.

                    Coromandel in Darien is VASTLY better than Bombay, Westport. No comparison.
                    Haven't been to Thali yet.

                    Also used to really love Malabar, Norwalk, but it slipped and then closed.

                  2. h
                    hungrykids Oct 5, 2009 12:51 PM

                    The "new and improved" menu at Thali in Ridgefield (yes, the one in the Days Inn on Route 7) is better than it used to be (maybe a new chef???)...but the setting, admittedly, leaves a lot to be desired. Inside it is lovely. Same owners as Thali New Canaan.

                    And, although we're cheating on the "Fairfield County" request, we've had great meals at Jaipore on Route 22 in Brewster....only a minute or two off of Route 684...so not so far from Ffld Cty depending on where you're coming from. Given the Darien/Norwalk mentions, probably not likely destinations for you, but who knows?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: hungrykids
                      h
                      hungrykids Mar 26, 2010 03:23 PM

                      Went online just now to find a menu for Thali on Rte. 7 in Ridgefield. We wanted to pick something up to bring home. Were happily surprised to see a (new?) online ordering system. We've ordered dinner and my SO is on his way there to pick it up.

                      However...not everything on their regular menu is on their online ordering system...and although we could call and add to the order, that defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

                      Oh well...we'll skip our favorite appetizer (the chat) and dessert (no rasmalai for SO) for tonight...

                      And while I was typing this we got an email confirmation telling us to pick up in 20 minutes!

                      ETA: lol - at pickup my SO was told that the online ordering system has been in place for about a year.... Guess this wasn't exactly breaking news!!!

                    2. jfood Oct 5, 2009 12:16 PM

                      Jfood also likes Thali in NC over Coromandel in SONO (never been to the Darien location). Thali did change the menu a few months ago with a bit of a reduced selection but it did not move the needle. Likewise they do have have the overly spicey menu and even the Vindaloo is spicey but not over the top sweat on the forehead.

                      Jfood will probably try Tawa in the old 211 space in the near future. Hard to miss the outrageous exterior that looks like a cast-off from Vegas. But some good reports from some good hounds will force jfood to close his eyes and suck it up.

                      1. ChefBoyAreMe Oct 5, 2009 09:37 AM

                        While Coromandel in Darien gets raves, personally, I like Thali in New Canaan better...it seems to be less "gringo-fied"

                        Also getting good mentions here, though I haven't tried it yet is Tawa, in Stamford, in the old Ocean 211 space. It's on the list for ChefBoy and ChefGirl.

                        (But note, there are 2 other Indian places within a block, one right next door, so be careful you roll into the right one if your goal is to try Tawa.)

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: ChefBoyAreMe
                          ChefBoyAreMe Nov 7, 2009 03:01 PM

                          ChefBoy and ChefsGirl heading to Tawa for an 8pm'er tonight, and will report back on whether it lives up to the buzz so far. Hopes are high!

                          -----
                          Tawa
                          19 High Ridge Rd, Stamford, CT 06905

                          1. re: ChefBoyAreMe
                            adamclyde Nov 7, 2009 03:32 PM

                            I thought the chicken biryani was just ok, but man, the chicken chettinad was awesome. Great naan too.

                            I want to try the kathi rolls that Jim Leff mentioned in a different thread...

                            1. re: adamclyde
                              ChefBoyAreMe Nov 8, 2009 04:24 AM

                              OK, rundown on last night's dinner at Tawa, from ChefBoy and ChefsGirl.

                              First, it stuck me that Stamford now seems to have its own version of East 6th St in Manhattan, albeit a better and miniaturized one. If you walk down the street, and close your eyes, the air is heavy with Indian spice.

                              Meera, the ancestral Indian on the block was empty..I think between Tawa next door, and Coromandel on the corner, I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.

                              Walking in to Tawa, the downstairs bread bar was full, and it looks like a nice stop for a pre or post movie cocktail and snack...though with Barcelona across the street, the gastronomic gravitational pull towards the sub-continent will have to be strong.

                              We ate upstairs, and the place is decorated beautifully and tastefully (jfood, in contrast to the exterior you love so much!)

                              Our table was ready, and we were seated immediately, with papadum and condiments arriving quickly. Nice wine list. Some thought in the by the glass list, with some choices appropriate for spicy, hard to pair Indian, not the rote, Cab Suav/Chard/Merlot/Pinot distributors special wine list you often see at ethnic restaurants that don't really "get" the wine thing. The bottle list was pretty deep and well thought out, too, though I would say not as much as Thali in New Caanan, which seems a bit deeper in the rieslings, gru-vees, and gewertzes which do well with highly spiced foosds (though as much as I love wine, and drink it with Indian, in all honesty, I think it is more of a cosktail and beer cuisine).

                              ChefsGirl had a glass of Shriaz, and I went with the Slumdog Martini (somewhat against type, for me, being a martini purist, and loathing the abominations many places put in a martini glass and have the nerve to refer to as "martinis" (Chocolate mint pear-tini, anyone?...heck, even "vodka martinis seem wrong to me, Double-0-7 notwithstanding). But the Slumbdog seemed "cuisinically" appropriate...lime juice, muddled cilantro, and gin (Bombay Sapphire, by call). Very tasty, though I think it was made not with straight fresh lime juice, but a portion of Rose's...not my favorite (see maragarita prefs in profile). One knock....slow on the cocktails. We were done with apps before drinks, ordered first, arrived. They were apologetic, but I was thirsty.

                              For apps, split an artichoke scallion fritter...delicious. 4 pieces, and good sharer. Served with 2 dipping sauces, one tamarind, and one in a somewhat mustard-y, mayonnaise-y eggplant concoction, that didn't overwhelm the fritter, and was thus the better of the two, IMHO.

                              For entrees, ChefsGirl had laalmaas, a lamb curry, which was very flavorful, though as with many (most?) lamb curries, the meat tends to dry out. But otherwise excellent. I went with the Goan shrimp balchao, which was also excellent. Shrimp plump, and not overcooked. To be honest, between the lamb and the shrimp, I think the 2 sauces were the same...if not, they could just as well have been, they were so similar. Not that there is anything wrong with that....just saying.

                              We also had the mint paratha. Good, but a bit greasy...I think I'm more of a naan guy.

                              No desserts for us...

                              All in all, probably the best, most carefully prepared Indian I've had in the area. Plenty of choices beyond the pat "tikka masala/saag/vindaloo, pick your choice of chicken/lamb/or shrimp" curry joints (though it has those, too). I'll definitely go back. My one real knock is that, given the upscale setting, and the presence of two traditional Indians withing steps, I was hoping for something a bit more innovative and mold-breaking. Not going as far as say, Danny Meyer's Tabla in NY, but maybe sliding in that direction a bit, and taking some risk in breaking new ground in composition and concept?...its one thing to be the best Indian around (which I think it is), and another to really be an innovator, especially in a crowded Indian market, and a vibrant dining scene.

                              All in all, definitely worth it if you are a fan of Indian, but could be so much more...there is talent in the kitchen, though I'd love to see a bit more innovation.

                              1. re: ChefBoyAreMe
                                jfood Nov 8, 2009 05:24 AM

                                Nicely done C-BAM. This will be added to the "where should we go?" list and hopefully M&M can get there. Offered to prepare a Green Curry braise from Boulud book for dinner this evening that was not met with a lot of fanfare. Gotta work on theteam at home.

                                1. re: jfood
                                  h
                                  hungrykids Nov 8, 2009 10:34 AM

                                  jfood - the hungry kids would be delighted to enjoy bhe Boulud Green Curry braise....feel free to invite us all over!

                                  ChefBoy - thanks for the review - i'm meeting a friend for lunch in stamford later this week - now I know where i want to meet!

                                  1. re: hungrykids
                                    jfood Nov 8, 2009 12:33 PM

                                    well the jfoods rallied. 8 lbs of onions caramelizing for some onion soup and some salmon and honey hoisin. not exactly a balanced flavor event but lots of flavors.

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