Taj Aiken

Indian | Vegetarian
One of the best
Michael Stern | May 08, 2019

What I know about Indian cuisine wouldn’t fill a tadka spoon, but having enjoyed several meals at Taj Aiken — at its first location in the old Hotel Aiken, now up the street a few yards —  I want to know more. Well, really, I want to eat more. And more. Everything I’ve tried at Taj is stunning.

Let’s start with naan. Every meal should include some. The glistening flatbreads are available brushed with garlic, onion or chili flakes, each with a distinct personality, all sharing buttery flavor and puffy-crisp weightlessness. They’re great for mopping and dipping into curries and vindaloos and a pleasure to eat all by themselves.

On the subject of vindaloo, Taj Aiken’s is magnificent. It comes pepper-hot unless you ask the kitchen to tone it down or unless you are a masochist and want it even hotter. As is, it can set tongue aglow and drain sinuses, but within that heat is a tangy, vinegar-tinged hailstorm of spice; and it contains enough soft hunks of potato to serve as a welcome carbohydrate balm.

Another pepper-spiked dish, although not at vindaloo level, is an appetizer called samosa chat, for which warm, crisp-edged dumplings form a base for a hodge-podge of chickpeas, cool yogurt, tomato and onion, and a fusillade of bewitching spices. The cool/warm, hot/sweet dichotomies of this dish are beguiling.

Curries, both vegetarian and those made with chicken, lamb, or shrimp, are mildly spiced. When they are ladled onto the basmati rice that all tables get, they are a sort of subcontinental comfort food. Not that they are bland or boring! The swirl of spice is only more subtle … unless you happen to chomp down on one of the fennel seeds that lace the rice (and many other dishes here) — an experience that is something like a bottle of perfume exploding in your mouth. (Delicious perfume, that is!)

The menu is huge. I’ve yet to eat anything that didn’t fascinate my taste buds. I recommend Taj Aiken to anyone with an adventurous palate.

Note: Lunch is available both buffet style and off a menu. Dinner is menu-order only.

What to Eat
Taj Aiken, Samosa Chat
Samosa Chat
Samosa chat is a taste-buds fun ride.
Taj Aiken, Shrimp Vindaloo
Shrimp Vindaloo
"Normal hot" vindaloo packs a wallop.
Taj Aiken, Tandoori Chicken
Tandoori Chicken
Tandoori chicken delivers unique savory sweetness.
Taj Aiken, Okra
Spicy curry made with al dente nuggets of okra: vegetarian heaven.
Taj Aiken, Vegetable Biryani
Vegetable Biryani
The Taj menu says vegetable biryani is made with exotic spices. No kidding!
Taj Aiken, Okra
Spicy curry made with al dente nuggets of okra: vegetarian heaven.
Taj Aiken, Aloo Nan
Aloo Nan
Stuffed with potatoes, cilantro & spice, aloo nan is a hearty tongue-refresher.
Taj Aiken, Gobi 65
Gobi 65
Spiced, breaded, deep-fried cauliflower florets = Gobi 65
Taj Aiken, Vegetable Vindaloo
Vegetable Vindaloo
Vegetable vindaloo is not quite as hot as it looks, but it will play reveille on the tongue.
Taj Aiken, Basmati Rice
Basmati Rice
Fluffy basmati rice accompanies all entrees.
Taj Aiken, Butter Chicken
Butter Chicken
Chicken chunks in buttered chicken really are butter-soft.
Taj Aiken, Salti Lassi
Salti Lassi
Luxurious cumin-spiked salti lassi isn't at all sweet.
Taj Aiken, Mango Lassi
Mango Lassi
Spice-ravaged taste buds loved sweet mango lassi.
Taj Aiken, Tadka Dal
Tadka Dal
Tadka dal: silk-textured yellow lentils hum with aromatic spice.
Taj Aiken, Onion Bhaji
Onion Bhaji
Onion bhaji: sliced onions dusted with chickpea flour and fried to a crisp.
Taj Aiken, Gulab Jamun
Gulab Jamun
Gulab jamun is like a couple of donut holes swimming in sugar syrup.
Taj Aiken, Mango Kulfi
Mango Kulfi
Kulfi is like ice cream, but more muscular. This is mango.
Taj Aiken, Cucumber Salad
Cucumber Salad
Bright, appetite-piquing cucumber salad is a jolly way to begin the meal.
Taj Aiken, Tandoori Shrimp
Tandoori Shrimp
Tandoori shrimp come plastered with spice.
Taj Aiken, Rice Pudding
Rice Pudding
Super sweet and aromatic, soupy rice pudding is a balm for spice-ravaged taste buds.
Taj Aiken, Vegetable Pakora
Vegetable Pakora
Crisp-fried veggies (pakora) to start the meal
Directions and Hours
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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