Review: A Taste of Tandoori at Airways Hotel, Port Moresby


The popular Indian eating style of food cooked in a tandoor has been embraced by Airways Hotel in Port Moresby, where a dedicated tandoori section has been opened in a corner nook at the hotel’s Vue Restaurant and Bar.

Chefs Rohit Verma (in white) and Michael Asko (in black) at the tandoor corner at the Airways Hotel. Credit: Poliap M’Buleau

There are a lot of feel-good vibes in the nook. Great views over Jacksons International Airport are just incidental, because the senses are immediately drawn to the scent of Indian spices in the air and the colourful dishes that are being served.

A tandoor is a clay or metal oven, traditionally fired by charcoal or wood, and ‘tandoori’ refers to the dishes cooked within it.

Executive sous chef Rohit Verma says the style of cooking is to marinate food overnight before cooking it in intense heat of about 300 to 350 degrees Celsius.

‘The star dishes of tandoori menus are often meat based, but there’s a strong offering of seafood and vegetarian-based dishes too.’

He says the tandoori menu was introduced several months ago when the hotel installed an electric tandoor, and it has been very popular.

Credit: Poliap M’Buleau

We’re not surprised. The mouthwatering dishes coming out include tandoori murgh tikka, a dish of boneless charcoal chicken marinated overnight in a delightful mixture of mustard oil, malt vinegar, hung curd and green chillies.

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Another classic is seekh kebab: tender lamb mince, chopped bell peppers, onions and chillies mixed with cheese, mustard oil and Indian spices.

The star dishes of tandoori menus are often meat based, but there’s a strong offering of seafood and vegetarian-based dishes too.

The seafood dishes include fresh boneless fish pieces, called mahi tikka, that have been marinated in mustard, chilli, cumin and coriander paste, as well as achari jheenga, freshly caught prawns seasoned with spicy pickled raw mango, hung curd and spices.

On the vegetarian list, there are homemade fresh cottage cheese cubes and vegetables marinated in mustard and chilli paste called paneer tikka, and mushroom tikka that features button mushrooms and vegetables in spicy red yogurt.

The tandoori menu at Vue Restaurant and Bar is available daily, from 5pm to 9.30pm. It is open to hotel guests as well as casual diners,

This article is taken from the October-December edition of PNG Now, Papua New Guinea’s leading lifestyle magazine, published next week. 

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