Most readers will probably have heard of Chang’an town, way down on Dongguan’s southern border with Shenzhen. For those that haven’t, it is actually one of the more modern and densely populated townships of DG. I heard about an Indian restaurant there a few years ago which subsequently kept appearing on my radar. Being an Indian food lover, I finally decided it was high time to check it out with a gang of friends.
Situated in Chang’an’s bar street, the “Taj Mahal” seems a million miles away from its mausoleum namesake in Agra; but felt authentic enough upon entry with stereotypical Indian decor and a glass window looking into their open-plan kitchen. The place had several customers already eating and the curry aroma quickly found my nasal receptors, at which point my group was greeted by warm smiles and ushered to a long table. Whenever I try a new restaurant touting itself as “traditional,” I immediately enquire which kind of beer is available. This case proved a toss-up between Kingfisher or Cobra, along with various other non-Indian lagers. Happy days. The manager informed me that they had been operating for over ten years, claiming their best seller as tikka masala.
After settling in, we began with a fanfare of starters consisting of poppadoms, naans, samosas, soups and bhaji. Perhaps some of the expectations were a tad high as there were a few minor grumbles that the poppadoms were slightly soft, the samosas were not made with the usual thin pastry and the bhaji was not a condensed ball; but rather distended fried strips. To be fair that was probably us being picky, as everything tasted pretty good.
Continuing to test the Indian chef’s repertoire, our table requested condiments which came in the form of mint yogurt dressing and delicious lime pickle, but alas to my personal disappointment, there was no mango chutney. Upon ordering the mains the standard went from pretty good to excellent! Chicken madras and lamb bhuna were the big hits as the decent sized portions were devoured in no time.
With full bellies and hardly a morsel remaining, the general consensus was a unanimous “thumbs up.” The only catch if you don’t live in Chang’an is that it can be tricky to get to. There is currently no link via the metro, but if you appreciate good Indian food and you’re up for a little mission, this place surely won’t disappoint.
Address: No. 108, Zhong Hui Shan Pan Min Cheng, No. 315, Chang Qing Bei Rd, Chang’an