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Tandoori Hut brings Indian buffets, biryanis to University Heights

A new Indian restaurant opened last month in the University Heights space formerly occupied by Sandwich Envy and Eddie's Chophouse.

Tandoori Hut started serving food Dec. 12, said owner Baljinder "Bob" Singh. The tiny place seats about 20. It's offering a daily lunch buffet ($9.99), a Thursday night dinner buffet ($12.99), and an a la carte menu.

That menu includes a broad menu of pan-Indian favorites. There's tandoori chicken ($10.99) and fish ($14.99), lamb biryani ($13.95) and spicy chicken vindaloo ($12.95).

Snacks include samosa chaat ($5.95), a deep-fried potato-stuffed pastry covered with cubed potatoes, spices and sauces, and gobi Manchurian ($6.95), fried cauliflower in a Chinese-inspired sweet and sour chile sauce.

Vegans and vegetarians are particularly well served, with more than 30 vegan or vegetarian dishes on offer, including vegetable byriani ($11.95) with peas, cashews and raisins, and tofu achari ($11.95), soybean curd in pickle sauce.

Its menu also includes 18 types of made-to-order bread, from puffy deep-fried puri ($2.50) to keema naan ($3.95), stuffed with lamb, and peshawari naan ($3.50), with coconut and dried fruit.

A recent visit caught the restaurant in buffet mode for a special party, but I was offered a seat. Fresh naan bread, accented with garlic and cilantro, showed up shortly thereafter.

Fresh-baked naan arrives for every Tandoori Hut buffet customer. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Once the steam table was filled with dishes, I filled my plate and was delighted to find the flavors vibrant, the array diverse and delicious, as in the lead image above. Chicken dishes were tender and fried pakora vegetable fritters were crispy, as they should be, even on a steam table.

The naan offered enjoyable contrast between browned edges and buttery softness. No alcohol is available. A mango lassi ($2.99), or yogurt shake, was tangy, sweet, and intensely fruity, one of the best examples I've tried.

Tandoori Hut stays open late Friday and Saturday, until 2 a.m. Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday, Saturday. Phone: 931-9343.

Tandoori Hut opened in December 2017. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

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