Tag Archives: kebabs

Tandoori Grill

pakistani food in columbus ohio

Cuisine: Pakistani

808 Bethel Rd., Columbus OH
Tuesday-Sunday 11:30am-9pm

When a place looks like this, and has great food, we’re all  kinds of happy:

pakistani take out food columbus

That said, we understand that perhaps not everyone feels similarly. However, when you take the same great food and serve it in a setting like this:

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…that should make everyone happy!

So here’s the story – when the space next to Apna Bazaar opened up, Apna’s owners pounced on it. They gave it the pictured makeover, named it Tandoori Grill, and evolved from functioning as a simple takeout counter to providing a true, full service, sit-down experience.

Tandoori Grill (and Apna – the takeout counter is still open) specializes in Pakistani cuisine, with an emphasis on tandoori-grilled protein preparations. If you’re familiar with northern Indian cuisine (most Indian served in Columbus is essentially northern Indian in inspiration), this should be comfortable territory for you.

Especially if you start with their tandoori chicken platter. The dish exhibits all of the traits one would expect from the style of preparation, but raises it to a level otherwise unfound in town. The char is restrained but present,  the marinade penetrates deeply and has a brightness and complexity of flavor that’s in a league of its own, and the tenderness is second to none.

tandoori chicken tandoori grill Columbus

It would’ve been the hit of the meal, were it not for the tandoori kabob karahi. This dish, made of ground chicken kefta-like kebabs that have been grilled, sliced, and tossed in a tomato based masala sauce,  had our table of 4 fighting over the scraps. It’s a bit on the spicy side, and a wonderfully complex melding of flavors and textures.

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On a previous visit we tried the fish karahi, and found it similarly appealing. The kitchen took obvious care in not overcooking it, and the distinct flavor and texture of the fish made for a dish that differentiated itself significantly from its karahi-sauced compadre.

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Our meal began with crispy, flaky samosa, one filled with a minced chicken mix, the other with a potato mix. Both were enjoyed, with our nod going to the chicken version.

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Rarely have we had such a satisfying meal and yet left feeling like there’s so much more to try, but we’re big fans of dishes such as pakora, tikka masalas, kormas, and seekh kabobs, and eagerly look forward to the chance to taste them.

Especially since we’re relieved to report that food at Tandoori Grill is every bit as good as Apna’s has been. Service has been on the ball on both of our visits, making for a complete and completely pleasant experience.

Read more about Apna Bazaar and some of their other dishes here.


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Cuisine: Persian
8631 Sancus Blvd.

Click here to map it!

Persian food at Polaris – who would’ve imagined?

We’ve made our way up to Noora’s Sancus Rd. location 3 times – the last with a gentleman who just returned from visiting family in Teheran – and each time found something new, interesting, and delicious.

And, each time, we couldn’t resist ordering (and reordering) the joojeh kebab. It’s not a complicated dish – it’s a cornish hen that’s been sectioned and grilled on a skewer – but, man, is it fantastic. The marinade is subtle but appealing, the meat is tender and succulent, and the controlled char puts it over the top. This experience, plus our visits to Jeddo Kebab, have led us to believe that Persian cuisine tends to have an unusually deft hand with poultry.

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Insofar as Jeddo is the only other game in town for Persian food (that we know of) comparisons are inevitable. Noora takes it by a hair in the poultry category, but falls a bit behind on some of the other kebabs. The beef kubideh, for example, was perfectly pleasant but didn’t have quite the harmony of spicing or depth of meat flavor that Jeddo’s version had.

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The apps – mostly dips – varied as well, sometimes even from visit to visit. The mirza ghasemi, a smoked eggplant and tomato spread, had a wonderful smoky flavor, but the texture varied significantly. No matter, though, as it was enjoyable either way. Their hummus was fine, and the kashk bademjan was enjoyable on its own merits but exhibited little of the whey that is intrinsic to the dish.

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The real beauty of the dips is the delicious house made flatbreads that accompany. Towards the back of the dining room a bit of the kitchen projects forward – this area houses the tandoor oven in which Noora bakes the them. They’re wonderfully fragrant, with a crispiness that yields to chewiness, and the flavor ranges somewhere between that of an Indian naan and a saltine cracker.

noora restaurant polaris

Not unlike the joojeh, once we tried the Persian ice cream we couldn’t imagine forgoing it on return visits. Redolent of rosewater and saffron, and topped with crushed pistachio, it’s a rare ice cream surprise in a city that’s just about seen it all on that front. Oddly, on our last visit it came out in a bowl that sat on a plate drizzled with chocolate sauce. The chocolate makes little sense, flavor-wise, with the ice cream, but as it was separate it was easily ignored.

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The space is pleasant and conspicuously clean, and features a raised seating platform where you can sit on provided pillows in lieu of chairs at a low table. Service was solid, if a bit harried when busy, and the management is personable and informative. Entrees range from $10-$20 (there doesn’t appear to be a lunch menu), and apps are generally in the $5 range. Vegetarian and vegan options are available.

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