Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tangra Masala - Queens

Chinese Indian Mashup
Unlike the mash-ups that I do myself (see here) this one came pre-mashed. During the meal, my Indian colleagues and their wives debated the origin of Tangra food - Chinese re-mixed for the Indian palate. A little post-meal research proved one of them right - it originated from a specific neighborhood in Kolkata (Calcutta) where many Hakka Chinese settled. Tangra is traditional Hakka food with Bengali influence. I don't know Hakka from Bengali but I can tell you this - if you like it deep-fried and spicy, this place is a godsend. Just take a look at this shrimp pakora!

The masala fries were unusually crispy, they're coated with a chickpea flour batter, we guessed. I ordered these for myself but had to share, unfortunately. I'm greedy when I get something I like. I ignored the dipping sauce and slathered them in the goat gravy in the next photo.

Sizzling chunks of goat in a spicy gravy. Lots of people don't like goat but I think if you non-goat-likers were to try this you may change your mind.

These "vegetable noodles" were reminiscent of Indonesian mee goreng, which happens to be one of my favorite foods. Not sure if these noodles were fried with the vegetables or not, but they were infused with a heat that made my nose run.

For those of you who like it a little less spicy, give the shrimp chow mein a try. After so many spicy dishes I was happy to have one that was on the milder side.

Walking into the place is an eye opener. First off, it's gigantic - much larger than it looks from the street. Second, its glittery, ornate decor will spin your heard on a swivel as you try to absorb it all. It's dimly lit, which made the photo-taking a bit of a challenge for a photo amateur like me.

Sitting there, stuffing my face, my small mind kept trying to figure out if this were a Chinese place with an Indian influence or an Indian place with a Chinese influence. Mostly Indian clientele. Chinese waitstaff. In the end, it doesn't matter. The food is excellent - something different than what I've been eating lately and a welcome change.

39-23 Queens Boulevard

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  1. I can see you are sold. Have had Indian Chinese in Mumbai before.. it was not too bad. My favorite dish I recall was the noodles though I doubt it's very different from what you had.

    So when will I get to try this place? Queens does sound far though.. wahhahaa.. lazy girl in the house!

  2. I'm sold alright. The spicy veggie noodles were the best, followed by the lollipop chicken (sorry, the photo came out bad so I didn't post it.)

  3. Is this the right place, tangra masala photo?

    Tangra masala is a hole in the wall, are you referring to royal tangra masala?

  4. Nevermind, the place you refer to is wrong it is asian fusion although the address is correct there is another place called "tangra masala" located in queens near queens blvd too.

  5. @Anon, thanks - you're right, this place is Tangra Asian Fusion, a sister restaurant from the owners of Tangra Masala in Elmhurst.


  6. What's the name of the dish in photo 3?

  7. @Anon - sorry, I don't know. I was here with some Indian colleagues who insisted on ordering. I never got to see a menu!