Ever tried Indian-Chinese Food? This signature cuisine was created by Hakka immigrants who settled in a place called Tangra in Calcutta, India over a century ago. Over generations they customized their food to suit the Indian palate by adding spices and heat to their wok cuisine.
One of the first, and still the best restaurants to try Indian Chinese at is Peter Lo’s Tangra Masala in Queens (trust me – I’m a Calcutta born girl). Chef Lo is the grandfather of Indian Chinese cuisine in NYC and opened his first restaurant in 2001. He hasn’t looked back since! Although there have been a smattering of others who opened serving the same cuisine, none come even close to the fiery, bold and authentic flavors that Chef Lo bestows.
There are two locations for Tangra Masala. One is the original one in Sunnyside and the other is a much larger, grander version in Elmhurst called “Tangra Asian Fusion Cuisine”. We ate at the latter one and the meal we had took me back to some of the best Indian Chinese meals I’ve had growing up in India.
So what do you order at an “Indian-Chinese” restaurant?
I would start off with either a “Hot or Sour” or the “Manchow” soup. This version of the “Hot and Sour” soup is much spicier, full bodied and tangy versus what you try at regular Chinese spots. The Manchow is similar but has added crispy ginger and fried noodles served on top.
One of Chef Lo’s signature appetizers is the Lollipop Chicken. His version of these deep-fried drumsticks served with a chili mayonnaise sauce are really addictive.
Other favorites to try are the “Manchurian” dishes or the “Chili” dishes. You can choose your meat or vegetable to go with these sauces and can get the wet or dry versions.
The Hakka noodles are always a good option to cool you off from some of the spicy entrees and the “Fish w/ hot garlic sauce” is a must do.
There is so much that is good at Tangra Masala that I am practically salivating just writing this review. All that means is that I need to find my way back there as soon as possible.
Here is some of what we ate:
Chicken Hot & Sour Soup
Chicken Manchow Soup
Gobi Salt & Pepper
Fish w. Hot Garlic Sauce
This was such a tasty meal. If I could only have one dish again it would be the dry chile chicken with the fish coming in second place the cauliflower third place and the lollipops fourth! What about you?
I’ve been dreaming of the chili chicken – I think its one of the best renditions I have had in a while!! That dish won hands down and the fish with hot garlic sauce was incredible too! Such a great meal!
That dry chili chicken was one of the best I have had in a while. The fish was a close second. Next time round I would try a few different dishes like the Manchurian and shrimp salt n pepper and regular hakka noodles – oh and the chop suey!!