The Tamarind – Teversham

I have lost count at the amount of times I have been to the Tamarind over the years. My family and I visit frequently, I’ve reviewed its wheelchair access on Jim’s blog, we’ve had our 20th Cambridge Curry Community event back in 2015. Heck, I’ve reviewed it so many times on my own I felt it easier to just compress them into a 3 in 1 review! 

I’m not surprised I keep coming back either as it never fails to give us an excellent meal at great value. Even my friends who aren’t heavily into Indian restaurants have told me that they are big fans of the establishment.

So, to say that the Tamarind was one of my favourites is an understatement. Like a protective parent, when I heard that the Tamarind had changed management, I was keen to visit and make sure that one of my most treasured restaurants was being looked after by a capable pair of hands.

We have been working in partnership with the team at Tamarind over the past few months, as they have wanted to take advantage of our new Cambridge Foodies advertising packages. You have likely noticed their adverts across our groups which has helped us fund some of the blog over the past 6 months. This made me want to visit even more to make sure that a restaurant meets the standards of what I think The Cambridge Curry Community represents.

From the outside the restaurant has not really changed since its previous management. It was still the same beautiful historic building with bright blue neon lights lighting up the village. I was pleased to see that they have kept the wheelchair ramp making disabled access possible.

Upon entering you get a very clear idea of the style they were going for. Tamarind has always had a modern interior and no changes have been made here. They have put in those trendy table lights which can be found at other contemporary style Indians such as Lalbagh. The place is spacious (which is another point for wheelchair access) and feels very clean throughout.

The menu can be found here. Considering the rate of inflation, restaurants are understandably raising their prices across the board at the moment but personally, I feel prices here are fair. I was a little disappointed in the beer prices which came to approximately £4 for 330ml (which comes to around £5.68 a pint!). There was also no draught which was also disappointing but they did have a good selection, with Cobra, Tiger, Kingfisher and some generic beers available.

I honestly thought the only Indian restaurant in Cambridgeshire which still did a buffet was the one in Sawtry, so I was pleased to see that this is still going here! For anyone looking for a buffet option in Cambridge, this is the only place which I’m aware of which does it.

Naturally, we ordered some papdums while we discussed what to order for our mains. The place was quiet but the service was very polite and attentive.

We ordered ten papdums but got a few extra free for our troubles. The lime pickle was superb, as was the onion salad. It was also worth noting that they gave us two pickle trays between the six of us, which is more than the usual one stretched across as many people as possible like in other restaurants. The mango chutney and the yoghurt were both very nice in their own right but a little runny.

My wife ordered the chicken tikka masalas which she thought was “really nice and the chicken was incredibly tender”. My sister had the lamb biryani which she described as “a top contender” and “one of the best Biryani’s i’ve had, I’d definitely go back”. As you can see, they were both excellently presented and the biryani especially was a large portion.

Needless to say, I went for the lamb tikka vindaloo with saag aloo and pilau rice. It’s my usual benchmark to compare restaurants which gives me all the right things to test an Indian restaurant in one meal – lamb quality, heat/spice balance of a dish, and use of colourings.

My vindaloo was fantastic! The vindaloo sauce was a healthy colour and it had a heat to it which I could really feel build up slowly over the meal. For regular readers, you’ll know that I’m always complaining about mild vindaloo’s served in restaurants to prevent customers sending them back, but they really respected the dish here and served it as it should be! After all, it’s a vindaloo! The lamb portions were very generous and cooked perfectly. It fell to pieces on my fork and was very succulent. Top marks all round!

The saag aloo was a good portion and absolutely delicious. It’s a hard dish to get wrong but they did a fine job none the less.

The Tamarind has recently won “chef of the year” at the BCA Awards for their rendition of Jalfrezi, called Tamarind Jalfrezi, which is pictured on the right in the picture above. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Jalfrezi dish myself, finding it quite sharp, but this had a much smoother taste from what I’ve had in the past and I must admit, I was won over from the sample I tried. My step dad who ordered it thought it was very good and said it had a fair kick to it.

The naans at the Tamarind were excellent. Like a fool I forgot to take a photo of the keema naan but it was one of the best I’ve had in a long time and was one of the highlights of the evening.

One common problem with keema naan is getting that horrible dry slice of meat cut through the middle of the bread but this was done almost like a light kebab with small slices laying on a very succulent naan. It was superb! Pictured above is my wife’s garlic naan, which she said was also very good.

We were offered a dessert menu after our meal which was the usual generic dessert menus you get in most restaurants. Nothing too exciting but nothing offensive either.

Our meal came with some heated wipes. It’s always sad to see the hot towels disappearing across Cambridgeshire but I suppose this is slowly becoming an inevitability these days. They were good quality none the less and very thick, so they get good points for that at least!

Overall, we were unanimously in agreement as a family that the Tamarind’s high standards were being honoured by the new team. The service was attentive, the food was excellent, and the interiors was pretty much unchanged. There were a few little niggles which aren’t enough to ruin and evening and the price easily reflected the quality.

I am really looking forward to hearing people’s opinions on the restaurant, so don’t forget to share on the Cambridge Curry Community!

Thanks for reading!

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