One of my major good fortunes, food-wise, was that my father was a nuclear physicist working at a university which had a fairly good international reputation. What does nuclear physics have to do with food? It turns out lots, but my particular good fortune was that Dad had a habit of offering his post-grad students the deal that he (Dad) would provide all of the ingredients and the kitchen, if the student was willing to cook a traditional meal for our family. This meant that at a very young age I was exposed to a very broad range of different ethnic foods. Frequent among these, and my favorites, were meals prepared by students from India.
While my wife isn't a huge fan of Indian food, our youngest daughter is. Whenever Pat was away, Lindsay and I used to go to the Taj Mahal restaurant on Broadway Avenue in Saskatoon. It was a chance to enjoy delicious food and have a pleasant Father-Daughter time together. Then "the Taj" shut down about a year and a half years ago, with plans to open in a new space downtown. That was the plan. I never learned the complete story, but there were rumors of first one location and then another, but no Taj Mahal.
The Taj quietly re-opened last November. So quietly, I hadn't heard about it for some time. Finally, a few days ago, Lindsay and I found a chance to go and check out the new digs. We shared one of the non-vegetarian meals for two, which included for appetizers Bhajia (potato slices, dusted with a spicy lentil flour and deep fried), Pakoras (chickpea fritters) and Sheekkh Kebabs made of minced meat with spices and grilled on skewers. The appetizers were served together on a plate with a sweet chutney and a cilantro sauce, both of which were wonderfully tasteful and complemented the foods beautifully.
For the main course, we had Beef Korma, Anar Chicken, Aloo Gobi and rice, served with Nan Bread. Each dish was wonderful. Together, they reminded me of the feasts of my childhood. Complex, exciting flavors that went together, each with the other, to make an amazing meal. The kitchen was more than willing to change the lamb korma on the menu for beef for us, since Lin isn't a big fan of lamb.
All I can say is, "Welcome back, Taj. I have missed your food and am thrilled to find the Taj Mahal back on the Saskatoon food scene."
Using the KitchenSavvy Restaurant Rating:
- Atmosphere/Ambiance - 8/9
- Food- 8/9
- Presentation - 8/9
- Menu Variety- 5/9
- Appetizer + Entrée price range $55-$75 for two people
- Will I return? - "I can't wait to come back"
The Menu Variety requires a bit of an explanation. We were told that they are in the midst of training new cooks. The owner's wife used to do all of the cooking single-handed. In order to bring the new cooks up to speed, they have reduced the menu to four fixed price selections each planned for two guests. Hopefully they will return soon to the full a la carte menu.
If you are a fan of Indian food, this is the place to go.
157 2nd Ave N
Saskatoon, SK S7K