HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >

Discussion

tashan?

anyone been yet? there's one review on yelp as of 9/10. would love to hear any early opinions. im thinking of going with family this weekend

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I went there 2 days after it opened. It was chaos ( as expected ) with waiters that had absolutely no idea what they were serving. The chef is Haitian and cooking "up-scale" Indian food while consulting an Indian master chef who appears to be resident in the UK. The overall result is mediocre indian "fusion" cooking. If you liked Bindi ( closed ) you probably will like this place. I will give it another try in another two months.

    1 Reply
    1. re: heineken joe

      thanks for reporting back- sorry to hear about your experience, but glad we're not going there and headed to kanella instead.

      i didnt try bindi- im not a fan of indian food, not sure whether id prefer fusion but im happy staying away!

    2. I just went there this evening. The food was fabulous. Tandoori shrimp had an uncanny, tender texture, with a delicate flavor, potato cake was smooth but with plenty of bite, the Indian lamb sausage perfectly cooked and served on a bed of addictive combination of chick peas, cashews, cucumber and cilantro, and the lamb chops simply some of the best I've had. The Chocolate Souffle was the real thing, unlike many wannabe's in town, molten, gooey, serious chocolate oozing out, and not too sweet. The service was a bit stiff and overbearing, a few too many people asking how your food was, but very attentive. If you're into great food, with not too many preconceptions of what Indian food ought to be, run to Tashan.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jrodescu

        thank you for reporting back! glad to hear about your good experience

      2. I tried it last week. Overall I liked it but I'm not in a big hurry to go back, mainly because the service was not very good.

        The space is very nice, it's trying hard to be cool and it mostly is, though it's a little bit too dark and the music is a little bit too loud. I love the exposed, tiled tandoor ovens. The wine list comes on an iPad, which sounds like it could be a neat idea but the implementation here is not that good, the wines appear as a menu and you can tap their names to get more information on each, but the extra info is only a few lines that would have fit perfectly well on a written wine list. The cocktails are on the iPad too, that made a little more sense since you can actually see a picture of the drink. The main problem is that the restaurant is very dark and the iPad screen is very bright, looking at it is not pleasant and my eyes had to readjust to the light level in the restaurant afterwards. They said the plan is to set it up so that you can order your drinks right on the iPad but that isn't working yet. I think I saw a paper wine list floating around so you may want to try asking for one. Another table near us was having trouble navigating the iPad.

        The food ranged from excellent (the lamb chops and the malai kofta lollipops) to bad (the scallops and the breads), more good dishes than bad overall but still more misses than I would have liked at a place that costs this much (and has gotten such rave reviews lately).I didn't have anything that totally blew me away but I'd go back in a few months for some of the other dishes I wanted to try.

        The main problem is the service. They don't really seem to know much about the food, getting their attention is hard, and even then you may not get what you need. It took a good 10 minutes after being seated to even get the wine list, and another 10 minutes to actually get a drink. After our server took our dessert order, I didn't see him again till he dropped of our check (without our asking for it). Someone else brought my after-dinner coffee with no cream to put in it, it sat for 6-7 minutes as I tried unsuccessfully to make eye contact with our server until finally a third person brought our dessert. I asked him if I could get some cream for my coffee, he said "Yes", but it never came. I ended up drinking it cold and black. When the check was dropped off, there was "absolutely no rush" but the server must have meant that he was in no rush, it sat on the table a good 8-10 minutes after that.

        I hope they get the service worked out because reading some other reviews, it sounds like I'm not the only one who had this problem, and the food is interesting enough that I'd go back.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Buckethead

          thanks for the report- ill be going there sunday (xmas day, i know, but my familys moving so cooking a feast isnt an option). what did you not like about the scallops and breads? they look quite good to me- as does the baby octopus

          the service issues are kinda weird, im sorry your experience wasnt really a good one

          1. re: InSearchOfTacos

            The scallops were gritty and the sauce that accompanied them just wasn't very interesting. The breads were all kind of the same (we got the "Chef's Basket" with 3 different ones) and all limp and a little soggy, probably partly because they were all crammed into a tiny basket. In addition to the dishes I mentioned above, I'd recommend the baingan bharta. The gol-gappa and quail were good but I don't plan to order them again when I go back.

            1. re: Buckethead

              ok, good to know that the scallops should be avoided and that we should order the breads separately and not in one basket- the baingan bharta looks good, as does the Dal Makkhani. i'll report back- thanks for your feedback! the ipad menu is weird but i do all the ordering for the table anyways, so my family wont care.

              1. re: InSearchOfTacos

                It's just the wine and cocktail list that's on the iPad, the dinner menu is on paper.

                1. re: Buckethead

                  right, thats what i meant- while im at it- any must-have cocktails or other drinks that looked especially good?

                  1. re: InSearchOfTacos

                    We actually tried one cocktail, the Bloody Mohini, it wasn't to our taste (overly sweet, with much more carrot juice than tomato).

                    1. re: Buckethead

                      ok good to know- ill prob go for the dhoom since it received good reviews and i do love scotch :)

        2. i promised a review, and here it is:

          we went for an early dinner- was empty when we arrived at 6pm but was pretty full (as full as it can be on 12/26) when we left. there were 4 of us, so we ordered quite a lot.

          - Peshawari Naan- we started with this and enjoyed it very much. wasnt soggy at all and we got several more orders throughout the meal. this came with four pieces, all chewy and terrific. the naan is quite sweet as it's made with raisins, nuts and coconut. came with a mango chutney, cilantro coconut chutney and a dry "chutney" with peanuts. i tried the coconut cilantro- good but nothing extraordinary

          -Baby Octopus Nicobari - nicely cooked octopus with a lot of sauce- we had to order more naan to sop it all up

          - Gol-Gappa - we wanted the lollipops, but they were out, so we went with this instead. fine, but again, nothing particularly special. i couldnt taste much of anything from the mint-cilantro water, so i ate with a bit of the cilantro chutney presented with the naan. enjoyed this but wont order it again

          - Mangalorean Sausages - i didnt have much of this, but the bite i did try was tasty. the chaat underneath, not so much. if youre craving chaat in philly, go to the cafe in west philly. the chili paste this came with was also delicious- but i love spicy and will eat anything with a kick, regardless of whether it's any good

          - Wild Alaskan King Crab ‘Tak-a-Tak’- delicious, but who doesnt like crabmeat?? it was served with those little crisp dough wafers (papri?) which i found to be a bit odd and throw off the balance of the dish. i would have liked if the crunch was achieved in another way.

          - vegetable samosas- super crunchy but not greasy. only 2 to an order, but the samosas were huge so i was happy sharing. these were very good

          - vegetable biryani- prepared the traditional way- cooked in a small vessel that was sealed in dough so the steam would be trapped. i thought the rice was a bit mushy (maybe that's intended) but the veggies werent overcooked

          - Galouti Kebab- 3 in an order so i didnt have my own. tasted good, but id much rather my lamb be served in skewers or as a shank or chop. i found this preparation to be a bit mushy- for lack of a better word. also i couldnt detect any chutney, and it was garnished with edible silver leaf. not a fan of garnishes that dont add much

          - Baingan Bhartaa - wonderful and a generous portion. it's so easy to make eggplant oily, and it was not at all. well-prepared.

          desserts were less exciting. my sis got a valhrona chocolate cake, which was a bit overcooked and not too gooey inside. the chai ice cream was fine, but sounded a lot better than it tasted. the creme brulee w/ gulab jamun was also a bit odd- the gulab jamun was way too sweet (which it always is...and this is why i dont like it). the creme brulee itself was fine, but nothing amazing. overall id skip the desserts and get more naan.

          i found the ipad drink list weird- but they did select the beer and wine option well. i got the sula shiraz from india- very earthy and enjoyable. wasnt fruity, very interesting- i recommend you try it if you havent had any indian wines (i had not). the weyerbacher merry monks was also on the list.

          i want to go back- the food wasnt amazing, but it also didnt make me feel ill afterwards from being too rich and greasy (like most indian food)- so i think this place is a welcome addition to the philly dining scene. not all the dishes could have been "modernized" well, and the chef didnt even try with some (the biryani and samosas were as far from modern as you can get). not sure what all the glowing reviews are about. but i liked my meal very much. if i come again, ill get a few orders of naan, samosas and that eggplant and call it a day. the brunch menu sounds pretty awesome.

          sorry in advance if i offended any with my lack of love for indian food in general :) hope everyones having a happy and safe holiday season!

          4 Replies
          1. re: InSearchOfTacos

            Couldn't agree more. Don't understand the fuss.

            1. re: foodielove

              hmmm...interesting. i've got reservations for tomorrow night. any other "must haves" or must avoids"??? i will report my findings... :)

              1. re: jba1216

                We went a few weeks ago. Some things were very good - the tandoori shrimp was one of the most amazing shrimp dishes I have ever had - forget everything you think you know about tandoori being dry! The Naan is delicious, but you do have to eat it fast, which is not a problem, b.c it does get cold and soggy, so if you are going to get multiple baskets of it, order it throughout the meal, not all at once. The service was abrupt, at best. We had done our homework, at this site and elsewhere, but he wanted to give us his rap and tell us when, and what, to order. He also seemed annoyed when we told him that we had theatre tix, even though we had almost 2 hours before we had to leave.

            2. re: InSearchOfTacos

              Obviously Philly is not ready for upscale Indian food.

            3. So we went on Friday night....here's my summary:

              space/decor - hip, trendy, and dark. very cool deep booths for larger parties. definitely hit the mark for what they're trying to achieve.

              service - good, but nothing to write home about. the hosts were welcoming. we had a drink before dinner, and the bartender paid above average attention to detail (e.g. chilling a glass for us), but it was a bit hard to get his attention to settle up or order another drink. our server was friendly and chipper, but i wouldn't say she had great knowledge of the food. she had her rehearsed script, and did fine. when we asked for her opinions in trying to decide between a few dishes, she was annoyingly diplomatic. "everything is just fabulous...it really depends what you are in the mood for." but...that's just a pet peeve of mine!!

              food - overall, everything we had was very good.
              things i would order again are the kobe beef kabob (nicely spiced), the scallops, a spinach mushroom patty (forget the name), black bass (perfectly cooked), masala donuts.

              things that were good, but i wouldn't necessarily order again, were the gol-gappa, goat cheese naan (I just prefer plain naan, but it was pretty good), the mangolorean sausage.

              would not order again - the white sweet potato chaat (boring, though i did enjoy the tamarind sauce), an Indian red wine (tasted medicinal).

              overall, a very tasty meal. we enjoyed it a lot. HOWEVER...when we saw the bill, we knew we'd never be back. it ended up being about $200 for 2 of us (that's with 2 drinks each, tax, and tip), and we ordered less food (1-2 dishes less) than they suggested. it was definitely not worth the money...