Taaj Jordanstown- award winning restaurant

When Manjeev (partner and chef) and Pradeep (partner) arrived from India in 2004 and 2006 respectively, they never could have guessed that they would be the proud owners of two award winning, authentic and genuine Indian restaurants!! I spent a bit of time with Manjeev and here’s what I gleaned……

After arriving in NI, Manjeev worked in The Thunderdome in Glengormley for a couple of years before joining Crawfordsburn Inn restaurant in 2006 til 2013. He had a good education in India studying Hotel Management. He then worked for some high level hotels such as the Five Star Maurya Sheraton in New Delhi, this hotel is one of Delhi’s finest- I’ve eaten there and it is truly magnificent. The lure of the U.K. Was too strong and he arrived in NI in 2004. Along with his partner Pradeep they opened The Taaj in Magherafelt in 2013 and then in 2014 they opened the 75 seater Taaj in Jordanstown. They have been nominated for 2015 Irish Restaurant Awards and won The Best World Cuisine in Ulster as part of the 2016 Irish Restaurant Awards. They are one of my joint favourites in the category of Best Newcomer in the upcoming Irish Curry Awards 2016…. Vote here: http://www.irishcurryawards.com

When I met Manjeev on Monday in Jordanstown he had donned the chefs hat and was at the coal face!! The regular chef Nirmal Rana had a well deserved day off!! Chef Rana came to NI in 2007 after being head chef at the 5 Star Oberoi in Shimla. He then worked in Spice in Lisburn before joining Taaj. Top quality chefs are very hard to come by (thanks to the EU immigration laws-that’s a whole new post!!) and command top salaries!!!

The Taaj has a very strong, characteristic logo of the Lion’s head and is very memorable-that’s just the decor. The service is top quality and the food standard, portion size and taste makes for very good value for money. I have eaten here before on numerous occasions as well as having food at outside catered events and private parties and at all times the food was special. Good, wholesome, authentic North Indian food. Manjeev was telling me that they are diversifying the menu and he let me try some crispy chilli chicken with Thai dressing on lettuce served with fries. Whilst being very tasty I got chef to rustle up a side of madras sauce-that really made all the difference. I’m certainly going to pay another visit very soon!!!

Fantastic Fish Feast For Four

Yep you read right….our meals last night were some of the best fish dishes We’ve had for some time!!!
We (my wife and two girls) arrived about 5pm. We were shown to our table by the general manager, Lauren, and served by a lovely, bubbly, pleasant young lady.

Whilst we sipped our chilled bottled water we ordered two kids meals of haddock and chips, bottle juice, ice cream (£6 each),

Strangford Mussels in creamy veloute and toast,

Bread selection and oils and tapenade,

Salmon, scallops, mash, broccoli, crayfish butter sauce (for my wife)

Sea bass, scallops, parsley mash, broccoli, crayfish butter sauce (me)

Onion rings £2.95

White creme brûlée with berry compote.(2 course £17.95, 3 course £22.95).

The haddock was crispy outside and the fish was flaky and kids loved it!! The mussels were superb-kids also loved them. Our mains of salmon and sea bass were perfectly crisped on the skin and the flesh was flaky and really good and the scallops and butter crayfish complimented it very well. My wife had plain madh anI had the parsley mash-staff and chef were very accommodating and made our trip very special!!

I was so pleased to have the food served on plain white crockery so the food was seen in all its glory .

The dessert of ice cream for the kids and our creme brûlée rounded off a perfect meal and experience. Will definitely be back to try out the A La Carte and possibly the Italian night or Christmas-check directly with Ivory for details.