Exploring Shanghai – Indian food at Tandoor in the Jiujiang Hotel

22 Nov

Another special place that we found after we had such a great experience at the fairy tale castle was on the grounds of the Jiujiang Hotel in the French Concession in Shanghai.  The hotel is part of a conglomerate now – there are hundreds of branches across the country, but initially it was a special hotel founded in Shanghai only used by senior members of the Communist party.

Deng Xiao Ping is said to have told the hotel that it should be open to all people, not just party elite as he implemented his reform and opening up policy.  Now anyone with enough money to eat at one of the restaurants can come in and enjoy.

The grounds are extensive with multiple buildings and restaurants.  I think a couple of years ago I also went to a wedding in one of them (though I went to a lot of weddings of colleagues in a short period and I’m not 100% sure).  Once you enter past the gates the noise and bustle of Shanghai falls away.  There are tailor shops that line one walkway and when we were there one side was under construction where it appeared another Chinese restaurant would be opening soon.

We however, were exploring – looking for what is supposed to be the best Indian restaurant in Shanghai, Tandoor.  We had researched it and heard that it was the favorite of the Indian Consulate and so went to take a look.  The prices initially scared us off, but Li managed to find a Tuan Gou deal (similar to US Group-On) that provided us with a huge set menu at a very affordable price.

The entrance to Tandoor

The entrance to Tandoor

When we entered the restaurant, we were the only patrons for the first thirty minutes – and we arrived around 12:30 on a Sunday.  It made us a little nervous as typically in China empty restaurants don’t have the best reputation.

Empty restaurant?

Empty restaurant?

They seated us near one of the many mirrored walls and we sat back and waited for the food to be delivered.  One of the nice things about pre-set menus is that you don’t have to worry about what to order when you arrive.  It’s already been chosen!  I added a mango lassi (had to have it), but everything else was pre-selected.

The ceiling was covered with hundreds of Chinese characters - the only Chinese accompaniment to a very Indian meal

The ceiling was covered with hundreds of Chinese characters – the only Chinese accompaniment to a very Indian meal

The food was phenomenal.  There were three different curries, a huge basket of lovely warm naan bread, vegetables, tandoori chicken and beef, different sauces, dumplings – way too much food for two people.  As we ate, slowly the restaurant filled up, and around 1:30 as we were finishing a large table of Indians came in and sat down.  It made the restaurant warm and welcoming.

The pakoras and tandoori chicken and beef came out hot and not oily at all

The pakoras and tandoori chicken and beef came out hot and not oily at all

Curries, rice and vegetables

Curries, rice and vegetables

I would go back again just for the naan

I would go back again just for the naan

Enjoying my lassi (and the other dishes

Enjoying my lassi (and the other dishes

I haven’t eaten at every Indian restaurant in Shanghai, but it was the best I’ve had and I would believe the Indian consulate may order from there.  The combination of the story of the Jiujiang Hotel and the excellent food made our afternoon.

Have you searched for something and found it to be even better than you expected?  The empty restaurant almost made us turn around, but we were very glad we stayed.

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11 Responses to “Exploring Shanghai – Indian food at Tandoor in the Jiujiang Hotel”

  1. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary November 22, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    What an amazing restaurant! The food looks delicious but the thing that got my attention is the Chinese character ceiling. It is so cool that I think I would be spend the entire looking up.

    • gkm2011 November 29, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      The ceiling was really neat and the only concession inside the restaurant to actually being in China. Even the waiter was Indian – which was pretty unique among restaurants I have been to in Shanghai.

  2. Sarah M November 22, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    Yes i often pick restaurants purely based on how busy they are. if there’s nobody in then I think it’s no good. Also if it’s too busy I don’t go in because I think they’ll rush us out to get the table free again. It’s hard getting the balance right for me.
    The only way to judge a Chinese restaurant in London is to see if there are actual Chinese people eating there. if there aren’t we don’t go in.

    • gkm2011 November 29, 2014 at 9:18 am #

      It is funny how just knowing other people are there makes us feel better about our own choices. Totally agree about the Chinese food tip as well – in Chicago I have a friend whose parents run restaurants and they even have two menus- one for “real” Chinese food and one for the foreigner stuff.

  3. CrazyChineseFamily November 22, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    It looks wonderful 🙂
    In Finland we only eat Indian food when there was something on groupon as well…I like the food but the prices are scary high in Finland so we only went there on discount.
    However there is one problem withn the Indian food, most dishes have so rich and creamy sauces that I am filled to the brim after eatin there

    • gkm2011 November 29, 2014 at 9:19 am #

      Yes, Indian food is very filling – though a great treat. I imagine that there are lots of non-creamy options, just maybe not that popular outside of India.

      • CrazyChineseFamily November 29, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

        There are other dishes as well but I actually prefer those heavy dishes for an unknown reason 🙂

  4. Every Day Adventures in Asia November 22, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    Looks like quite the place. Desi khanna in Shanghai – oh my! Looks like a fab meal and I also would have been distracted by the ceiling. I’ve had quite respectable Indian meals on flights in China – as I order vegetarian, it seems this is the default option provided.

    • gkm2011 November 29, 2014 at 9:20 am #

      I never would have thought to order Indian food on a Chinese airline. Need to keep that in mind for my next trip!

  5. ladyofthecakes November 22, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

    I want it all!!! 🙂

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