This week I tried Indian food for the first time at Taaza Indian Bistro, a local restaurant just eight minutes away from Elon University’s campus. The wait time for food was long, but it was worth it knowing how much effort they put into every dish.

To start, I had the 555 chicken appetizer, which were chicken strips coated in rice flour with light spices, sauteed with creamy basil sauce.The 555 chicken was the perfect way to introduce me to this cuisine, as it was delicious and colorful. Though I was expecting a basil creamy flavor from the dish, I tasted more of a spicy barbecue flavor instead, which I was okay with. 

For my entree, I ordered the tikka masala char-barbecued chicken, which was served with a  tomato sauce on a bed of rice. The tikka masala sauce was not spicy at all and was easy to eat. The sauce is a tomato base with spices which  had the perfect taste with the chicken. If you’re afraid of spices, I highly recommend to get the butter sauce with your protein instead of tikka masala sauce, knowing they’re substitutes and the butter sauce is less spicy. The menu also gave either lamb or salmon as the choice of meat. Every entree comes with white rice and a big plate to lay the rice out and then pour the meat and sauce over it. 

I also ordered the cheese naan bread, which was made with fresh pita bread filled with melted cheese. I dipped the bread into the tikka masala sauce for more flavor, but even without it, it was delicious. This side is a new guilty pleasure of mine.

Last but not least, I got the ghee roast, which is a crepe rolled out with a twist of butter. It looked nothing like I expected, as it could barely fit on the table due to its size. The ghee roast was more like a giant crunchy chip than it was like a buttered crepe. It tasted like a toasty Cheez-it and came with dosa sauce which I didn’t think complimented the dish at all. 

Though it was the most spicy food I had at the restaurant, the flavors were amazing and had the perfect amount of tang. I would rate Taaza Indian Bistro an 8.7/10 for the delicious food, kind staff and comfortable indoor seating. I would reorder everything but the ghee roast because of its taste and size. 

Taaza was the perfect introduction to Indian cuisine and I look forward to my next visit. 

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