Restaurant review: Tamarind Indian Cuisine

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Courtesy of Hannah Owens Pierre

An array of dishes at Tamarind Indian Cuisine

Hannah Owens Pierre, Staff Writer

Centennial Lakes Park is home to around 20 teenagers filming TikToks and five family photoshoots on any given day. Since March 5, though, it is also home to Tamarind Indian Cuisine, a fine-dining Indian restaurant that’s ironically placed right alongside Five Guys. 

Unlike Five Guys, Tamarind offers a beautiful and sophisticated dining experience. Taking up the spot of the old Leeann Chin restaurant, the corner space has had a complete makeover on the inside, with the setting and music immersing the customer in the Indian experience. 

The restaurant’s menu is filled with dishes and appetizers for any diner, from a wide range of flavorful vegetarian and vegan main dishes to gluten-free meals. Authentic Indian dishes are fit for any pallet too, with the option of mild to high spices that is particularly helpful for the average Edina restauranter. 

Yesterday when I arrived at 4:00 p.m., the time the restaurant opens for dinner on weekdays, I found the best dish to be Aloo Gobi, potatoes and cauliflower. It is said that potatoes are the food you can survive on the longest, at least according to my sister Bubbles. It should equally be said that they are the tastiest food you can live on the longest, if accompanied by a good chef. Potatoes are famous for their versatility, whether they be boiled, baked, mashed, roasted, or juiced. The potatoes in the Aloo Gobi from Tamarind certainly make the meal, with the soft and delicate potatoes contrasting the sharper taste of the crunchy cauliflower. Each meal comes with a side dish of excellent steamed rice in a shiny silver bowl that would make a great centerpiece for any table. In fact, next time I return I’m planning on asking how much the bowl costs. I’m convinced that any rice would taste demonstrably better in that bowl. 

I also tried the Mixed Vegetable Curry, Aloo Mater, Dal Tarka, and Papadum. For someone who has never tried Indian food before, the first thing that stands out will be the color. Every dish at Tamarind is bright and eccentric, coated in deep orange or yellow spices and sauce. So far, every meal I have tried is excellent, providing an incredible burst of flavors and colorful aroma that has stayed on my mind for days. That is, except for the Papadum. The cracker has a strong taste that is not suited for everyone. It is brittle and dry, so make sure not to assume it can be used like a regular piece of bread you might dip in soup or use to wipe a plate. 

Yet another thing that stands out about Tamarind is the customer service. While customer service isn’t something people typically look for in a pandemic, it is worthwhile to dine in and see for yourself. When you arrive at the front door of the elegant, illuminous dining room, you are allowed to sit in any red booth or table you please, covered in a white table cloth as all fine-dining tables ought to be. Depending on the time of the day, you could be the only diner in the restaurant. The staff is kind and personable, and they won’t hesitate to strike up a conversation. Last time I ate there with Bubbles she was granted a free dessert of rice pudding, which she says was outstanding. Our waiter even took the Papadum off our bill when we weren’t satisfied. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

When it comes to prices, you’re probably better off at a fastfood restaurant if cheapness is your ideal. But considering that each dish serves big portions that can be shared with multiple people, the cost of 11-15 dollars for each main course, each served with rice, becomes a bargain. 

If you’re looking for perfectly-cooked, delectable Indian food for a wide variety of palettes, the Tamarind Indian Cuisine is your best bet in Edina. Anyone looking to expand their horizons should stop by. I can’t wait to come back again for the best Indian food I’ve ever had. 

Rating: 9/10