Rockville Road’s status as a destination for international eats recently grew by one cheery and intriguing eatery, Tandoori King (7220 Rockville Rd., 317-240-8000), which is billing itself as an “Indo-Pak” restaurant offering both classics of Indian cuisine and some not-so-common Pakistani specialties. We stopped into this spacious storefront restaurant last week to try it out and were charmed by neat rows of napkins folded into glasses atop all of the tables around us. We also found ourselves intrigued by the little labels on the lunch buffet promising goat dishes and egg curry. But since it was dinner time, we put ourselves in the hands of our pleasantly gruff but no-nonsense waiter, who laid out a whole meal for us including a crisp iceberg and cucumber salad on the house and heavenly light and flaky garlic naan—some of the best we’d had in town.
Kahari goat came with luscious, tender hunks of this oft-neglected (but the world’s most popular!) meat, with some chunky bones we could easily work around. A sauce of onions and bell peppers—spiced at medium—definitely wasn’t for the most timid of diners, but the depth of flavor was impressive. Rather than the signature tandoori chicken, our waiter brought us chicken tikka masala with a buttery tomato sauce, aromatic spices, and meaty hunks of spring chicken. We added baigan bharta, a rich stew of grilled eggplant with more onions, tomatoes, and herbs. Tandoori King also offers a surprising number of seafood entrees. We promised ourselves that we would be back soon to try them.