Tamarind of London – not to be confused with Tamarind IN London – brings a modern twist to Indian Fare located in Sage's old spot in Crystal Cove, Newport Beach. The same shrubbery out on the patio is still there, but the inside has been revamped with sensual, warm hues of red, orange, and black.
Upon walking in, the rectangle bar lies to the left, while the dining room sits on the right with an open kitchen straight ahead where you can watch Chef Shachi Mehra roast Meat Skewers in the round pots below. As told by manager Maneesh Rawat – formerly of the luxury Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi and The Bombay Club in D.C. – this cooking technique acts like a vacuum, sealing in all the heat and juices, truly making it one of the tenderest meats you'll ever bite into.
- a nice twist on Parantha, wish there was more cheese to go around Laura Chene Chevre Goat Cheese & Scallion Naan with Black Pepper $6
- tender, sweet, succulent, left me wanting more Masala Crab with Fresh Coconut, Red Chilies & Curry Leaf Oil $12
- looks like mini cigars, tastes like minced sausage meat Lamb Seekh Kebab with Red Onion, Mint & Cilantro $11
- India's version of Cioppino with several kinds of fish like Salmon, Halibut, and Sea Bass, Kokum Fish Curry with Coconut Milk, Mustard Seeds & Fenugreek $21
- if you're looking for Chicken Tikka Masala then order this, heavy on the tomato, too light on the extremely juicy 'n tender Butter Chicken in Tomato Honey Sauce with Cardamom $19
- a little tough with a spicy kick Braised Lamb Shank with Red Wine, Garlic & Black Cardamom $24
- sweet, Asian-inspired Spicy Maple Leaf Duck Curry with Star Anise & Cinnamon $19
- rustic cut, clean 'n green Three Greens Saag with Kale, Spinach, Mustard & Garlic $8
- gets spicier by the day, keep some coconut milk nearby Smoked Crushed Eggplant with Onions, Cumin & Tomatoes $8
All the dishes are served in traditional Indian tiffin canisters. Favorites of the night were definitely the mouthwatering Butter Chicken, Three Greens Saag, and delicate Duck. If the Goat Cheese Naan had more of said Goat Cheese, then I'd be adding it to the list.
Make sure to book a reservation because this new spot books up faster than a Bollywood show.
7862 East Coast Highway in Newport Beach, CA, 92657. 949-715-8338.