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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tamarind of London celebrated Diwali in Newport Beach, CA

Diwali, also known as the “Festival of Lights”, is a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of the light over darkness. The festival usually lasts 5 days, but the main festival lines up with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month, Kartika (usually between mid-October and mid-November). In terms of food, the natural colors of produce and sauces visually pop from the dishes.

Tamarind of London started in 1995 when Tamarind of Mayfair opened and was the first fine dining Indian restaurant in the world to receive a Michelin star. Along with Zaika (opened in 1999) and Imli Street (opened in 2006 and rebranded in 2013 to offer authentic street food), it was time to open a location across the big pond. In 2011, Tamarind of London Newport Beach opened its doors to offer the taste of Tamarind’s Classics along with California’s local influences from flavors to ingredients.

Here is a sampling that you can experience during Diwali:

Strawberry Mojito (on the current menu) is fresh mint and limes muddled together, shaken with fresh strawberries, and topped with Sprite. It’s a little on the sour side. Lightening up on the lime or incorporating more strawberries may balance it out. The mint is a nice touch. Rating: 4/5

Mango Sparkler (on the current menu) is fresh lime, mango puree, simple syrup, and topped with soda. The drink is perfectly balanced with sweet and sour. The texture is thick like a smoothie (or Mango Lassi). Rating: 5/5

Condiment sauces may include Tamarind Ginger (sweet tropical and cranberry-like flavors), Smoked Tomato (very subtle, Indian ketchup), and Cilantro (tropical yet a little spicy).

Kebab Platter consists of Malai Chicken, Lamb Kebab, and Swordfish Tikka. Malai Chicken is very tender and is perfectly marinated. The sweet chili sauce for the swordfish actually worked best with the chicken. Lamb Kebab is similar to kofta (ground lamb pressed onto a skewer in an elongated shape). The kebab is very juicy and is loaded with tons of flavor. The sauce paired is a little too sweet. Swordfish Tikka is succulent and tender. The sweet chili sauce paired excellently with the swordfish. Rating: 4/5

The main course is served with Dal Amritsari (slow-cooked black lentils), Naan (Indian flatbread cooked in the tandoor oven), Saffron Rice, and Raita (yogurt-based condiment).

Butter Chicken is chicken in butter and creamy tomato sauce. The chicken is tender and the sauce has a creamy, buttery flavor that works well with the chicken. Rating: 5/5

Classic Rogan Josh is lamb curry, onion, tomato, and Kashmiri chili stew. The portion of lamb is very generous but is a little dry. Searing the outside of the lamb before placing into the stew might help lock in the juices. Rating: 4/5

For dessert, a Chef’s Platter with Diwali Sweets is a sweet and colorful ending to your meal. Gulab Jamun are Indian donuts glazed with a very sweet syrup. Kheer is a rice pudding of sorts. It has the texture of soupy rice pudding with tapioca like flavor. Rating: 3/5

Mark your calendars and check Tamarind of London’s website this fall to celebrate Diwali!

Special:
  • Purchase a $100 gift card and receive an additional $20 gift card for free. Call +1.949.715.8338 for more information.

Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 4 out of 5 stars

For more information:
7862 E Pacific Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92657
+1.949.715.8338

Tamarind of London on Urbanspoon

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