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Taj Mahal Flavour of India, Moncton : A Culinary Abortion!
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Taj Mahal Flavour of India, Moncton : Getting Better!

So I’ve finished my first week working in Moncton … I saw the Super Tidal Bore and bought some lobster in the Airport … so what else is a consultant supposed to be doing in town during the week? I’ll give you a hint …

  • Sleeping
  • Working
  • Eating

There is nothing else on the agenda because there is simply no time during the day to see anything else. It is with this focus, that eating becomes the main tourist activity for consultants. Walking through the core of downtown spans from the Crowne Plaza Moncton to the Marriott SpringHill Suites and this takes about 10 minutes – that’s it!
In our first week here, we ended up eating at 4 places

  1. Pisces Restaurant
  2. The Tide and Boar Gastropub
  3. The Pumphouse
  4. Taj Mahal Flavour of India

But today’s post, I’m just going to focus on the worst of the lot, because it warrants it’s own review. The Tide and Boar and Pumphouse were excellent and I strongly recommend those places … but back to …

Taj Mahal Flavour Of India

21-Nov-2013 Update

Since my initial review in July, I’ve had takeout, a couple times from Taj Mahal … if simply because of the dearth of quality ethnic food options in Moncton. I’ve since retitled the header of the post, since it’s not fair of me to skewer a place and then have dishes from the place. My team also consistently orders from them, so I have to put some stock in the fact that they’ve improved or listened to feedback, else my team wouldn’t be ordering from them every week. In the end, I’ve been pleased with the changes I’ve seen, even with my orders. My spicy Chicken Biryani requests have come out the way I would expect it to come out. In the end, when I’m as harsh I was with a review, I owe it to the proprietors to repeat a couple times, especially as my experience in the Maritimes over the last couple months (NB, PEI and NS) has indicated that finding even decent ethnic food is a challenge here. I have also realized that my Toronto expectations for portion size will simply never be met in the Maritimes, when it comes to ethnic food … all the restaurants I’ve been to whether Chinese, Viet, Thai or Indian all have consistent portion sizes – so I can’t fault Taj Mahal for that either. Maybe in the end, I might actually change the title of this post from

  • Taj Mahal Flavour of India, Moncton : A culinary abortion
    to …
  • Taj Mahal Flavour of India, Moncton : Getting Better!
    in time, we might even get to …
  • Taj Mahal Flavour of India, Moncton : Pretty decent Indian food

10-Oct-2013 Update

I’ve since gone back twice for take out at the restaurant, since I found that of the two real options for Indian food in Moncton, Taj Mahal is actually the better one. The other option of Asian Garden, doesn’t even warrant a review … as the food was just poor, but they did have very friendly service and were very accommodating to our corporate split bill requests. In the end, if you’re in Moncton, Taj Mahal is the best option for Indian food, which is sad but true.
I’ve since had multiple portions of the Chicken Biryani, Chili Chicken and Beef Vindaloo at Taj Mahal. I’ve found the following:

  • The Chicken Biryani is passable, especially if you’re craving something Indian. It’s not terribly good, but it’s not terribly bad either, just average.
  • The Chili Chicken has gotten better as they actually listen now, when we request it to be super spicy. It is a little better than average.
  • The Vindaloo is still god awful terrible. The next time, I’ll order it specifically and do a video review on it. Whoever is making it, needs to learn from someone else.

3rd-July-2013

Oh … where do I even start with this excuse and abortion of an Indian restaurant? In a town like Moncton, I would expect that the seafood, fish & chips and other maritime goodies to be awesome … and you would be right – see Pisces Restaurant for their basin of mussels for $13. I would also assume that in a town where the height of diversity was the Indian consultants walking into an Indian restaurant (i.e. me and my co-workers … how cliche!) … you couldn’t get a good Indian meal to save your life. If you made this assumption, you would be completely right.

I had eaten at Taj Mahal many years ago and I thought the food was bland, insipid and uninspired Indian fare back then. After eating there again this week … I was again treated to bland, insipid and uninspired Indian fare again but at a higher price point! I really thought I was crazy, when I first read some of the recent reviews of this restaurant on Yelp and TripAdvisor. The reviews are awesome … but then again, the majority of people won’t put harsh but honest criticism of any restaurant online, hence the preponderance of positivity – which is a complete travesty to your taste buds and wallet.
I didn’t mind the boring decor and average service … I don’t care about these things in a restaurant … in my opinion, it’s a bonus when the restaurant has those elements. You get the idea from the pictures below … btw, it seems that the decor hasn’t changed since 2006


I didn’t even mind the very average service … there was only one poor waitress there serving the entire restaurant. Our overworked Caucasian server was running around like a headless chicken between 6 tables. I do mind however, when I order Chili Chicken and Beef Vindaloo with some Lalcha Paratha and the Paratha was the only truly edible thing on my side of the table.

How about some Chili Chicken, with no chillies or just battered chicken skin?

I also mind when someone insults my intelligence. The Vindaloo is described as this …

  • Vindaloo: Chicken, Beef or Lamb
    A popular Hot & Sour Goan style delicacy. Tender boneless meat cooked In fiery sauce with tender potatoes.     Boneless lamb or chicken mixed with minced lamb or chicken, cooked with whole spices in rich creamy cashew sauce. $12.99 – 13.99

What I got was a reheated pile of @@$@ … with 6 pieces of beef and two pieces of potato smothered in what tasted like a bottle of store bought Vindaloo sauce. You can even see the congealed oil on the sides of the bowl… trying to run away from this culinary abortion. It’s stuff like this that makes people afraid of eating Indian food.

Count the 6 pieces of beef … and attempt to find a Potato in here …

My coworker has other meals … Butter Chicken, Rogan Josh and rice. My Marathi colleague was embarrassed at the food, having convinced me to come back here … but I’m going to come back again, just to ensure that I give this restaurant a super fair shake.

The final part of awesomeness was the actual bill. If I told any Indian person in India or Toronto that I paid 43$ CDN for this culinary abortion, they would simply laugh at me for picking this place. Obviously the joke is on me … especially, since I have to come back and eat here for a third time … just to be fair.

37.24$ + tip = $43.00 for one person.

You can click and see my other UrbanSpoon reviews … so in the end … here are the bullet points

  • Highly average service
  • Bland Decor
  • Completely poor food … yet the 91% rating from 85 people. I would love to know how many Indian people rated this restaurant

Tajmahal Flavour of India on Urbanspoon

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a PeopleSoft HRMS Project Manager and Oracle Solution Architect. Over the past 10+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 2 major consulting firms. He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at [email protected]
  • trinichamp

    To be fair, being a native born and bred Trini disposes us to having taste buds only for the finest flavours from around the world. As such, we become the most discerning and demanding of foodies to the point that anything that doesn’t originate directly from our shores simply isn’t good enough and you know what? That’s the truth all the way around!

  • RachelSteeves

    This is a very long review with not much being said. Seems as though you are upset at the bill most of all. Paying for good food is costly, you of all people should understand this…since you’re into the whole travelling scene. Going along with money, prices do go up, if food costs go up. Just saying. Also, TajMahal is one of my favourite places to go, they cater to the locals needs of indian food, a food “douche” wouldn’t understand.

    • http://www.rishiray.com Rishiray.com

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Rachel.
      My review wasn’t about the price but rather poor value for money. Good food doesn’t have to be expensive…and good food should educate palates and create curiosity. Taj Mahal’s does neither…now about catering to local “needs” of Indian food, I would say that you’re putting down the Maritime palate. I’m glad that you like their food…but it’s not an accurate representation of how great Indian cuisine can be.

  • The_7th_Samurai

    This has to be the most bizarre review of a restaurant I have ever read. You obviously have no idea what good Indian food tastes like. I’ve been preparing Indian food for years and have eaten at the popular Indian restaurants in most cities in Canada. None of them compare to this little gem of a restaurant in Moncton. You also write with a nasty sort of flare………which immediately makes me question the motives for what you wrote. That having been said, I think I’ve figured it out….and anyone with a smidgen of a discriminating palate would disagree with this review after having eaten at the Tajmahal. I suspect you are a comedian in disguise……as this review is a joke!