We set out for dinner in between thunderstorms today, without a specific destination in mind. We ended up at Tangra Asian Fusion, on the north side of Queens Blvd by 40th street. The restaurant is intended as a “Chinese restaurant for the Indian palate,” so it’s definitely something I’ve never experienced before, but unfortunately I probably won’t be returning based on my experience tonight. My review here is going to be on the negative side, but I should preface it by noting that I am not a huge fan of Chinese cuisine in general, and that Emilia liked these dishes much more than I did. So as always, it’s ultimately a matter of personal taste and opinion.
The dimly-lit cavernous dining area inside of Asian Fusion makes one feel like on a morbid cruise ship, sailing in a perpetual twilight to the dusk of mankind, and apparently water supplies are running low since the waiter didn’t refill ours throughout the entire meal. The strange decor, with tiled walls, strange ceiling patterns, and random painting and other artwork on the walls, is, I assume, supposed to evoke China in some fashion.
This vegetarian sweet & sour soup ($3.50) was the best part of the meal, and I was happy to see a vegetarian version of this soup (there is quite a large selection of both appetizers and entrees). It was unusually thick, but I think that only made it better.
Unfortunately this chicken dish ($11) didn’t look any more appetizing in person than it does in this picture. There is a whole “sizzling” section on the menu, and although this dish did indeed arrive cracking and popping, the activity died down within a few seconds and we were left with a relatively bland chicken dish in which the quality of the chicken itself seemed surprisingly low. One good thing is that you have a selection of sauces to choose from (this tangra sauce is a mix of chinese herbs and indian spices). But aside from the meat and sauce, there was little more than some onions. I can get a larger and higher quality dish for a lower price from many of the local chinese take-out places (I recommend Ten-Full).
It looks a bit like some sort of squid soup, but it’s actually just a ginger chicken entree ($12). Both this and the sizzling chicken come with a bowl of white rice (which, by the way, didn’t seem sufficiently soft). This dish has a but more variety than the one above, and tasted slightly better, but I would still give it a thumbs down overall. Maybe we just got unlucky with some bad dishes (the menu is huge, and the soup was good after all), but I am not sure I will be returning here. We did see a lot of Indian people apparently enjoying themselves though, so perhaps the restaurant does hit the mark with its intended audience.