Restaurant Snippets

restaurant reviews

Marigold Maison

Visited 22 May, 2016.

Very crowded, far too many tables crammed in to a small place. The noise level was not bad but you should bring a sweater.

C and I  went here for restaurant week. It was a 5 course meal with generous portions. For starters we had samosa and chicken pakora. The samosa was nicely flavored, the crust was a bit tough, and the tamarind chutney was beautiful (very thick with a perfect balance of sweet and tart), but I missed having a mint or coriander chutney as well. The pakoras were a bit odd (I have only had vegetable pakoras before) and we found them quite bland; not a keeper.

The second courses were mango salad and chicken tikka. The mango salad did not thrill (I find kale to be too tough and bitter for a pleasant salad experience.); the mango was not ripe, the greens were uninteresting, raisins were not found (okay by me), and the dressing was uninspired. The chicken tikka was quite nice, well cooked in the tandoor and  the cast iron serving plate crisped the outside nicely and gave a delightful char to the onions.  We were also served a garlic naan (a side order) with this; the naan had a good texture and the amount of garlic was very pleasant, light but definitely there.

Gol Guppa (pani puri as I know them) was up third. These are crispy little puffed balls that you poke a hole in and then fill with goodies. In this case, they had spiced chickpeas, more of the beautiful tamarind chutney, and spice water. The spice water was very watery but the puri had enough integrity that they held up. I found the chickpeas to be very bland and the spice water was mostly salty. These could use some work.

For the main event we chose the lamb tikka masala and chana masala. Each came with its own bowl of rice, plain naan, raita, sweet chutney, and tart pickle.  The rice was a nice basmati, a little less nutty than most, but they threw some peas on the top which we did not enjoy. The naan, as before, had a good texture. Raita is hard to mess up and they did not do so. We both found the chutney too sweet while the pickle was mostly a very hard pit that was too difficult to remove. The lamb was very good but it was not a tikka masala and certainly did not fit their description of the dish. It was really a korma, a very nice version of one, with the yogurt based sauce and the pleasant nuttiness associated with that dish. The chana masala was bland, very little of the spice that I expect. This is one of my favorite Indian dishes and I was very disappointed in it.

Finally, course 5. I decided on the mango kulfi (Indian ice cream) and  C went for the gulab jamun. The jamun were a fine representative of the dish (I just cannot take the sweetness of them.) but, oddly, it was served with a scoop of mediocre vanilla ice cream (western style). My kulfi was served on a stick (as I recall getting it from the vendors in the streets as a child) with some more chopped up unripe mango. The kulfi was very good.

A glass of house red wine was included; it was unremarkable. The iced tea was pleasant; black tea infused with cardamom.

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This entry was posted on May 23, 2016 by in Arizona, Paradise Valley.
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