After two years of serving Indian dishes in her downtown Portland Masala food cart, chef Kinder Gill is ready to go brick and mortar, and she and co-owner Navi Kang will throw open the doors to Open Tandoor September 10. One day of 500-degree clay tandoori oven cooking won't be enough, and the grand opening lasts all weekend, with ten percent of sales donated to The Portland Kitchen nonprofit.
Located at 4311 N. Williams Ave., Open Tandoor will be sizable, seating 47 inside and 42 on a patio connected by roll-up doors. Speaking with Eater, Gill said she wants to bring "a lively, fresh, and energetic environment" to Portland's Indian food scene. "With our designers and architect, we worked to create a modern and contemporary design that still links back to our roots from Punjab."
Check out the menu below. Gill tells Eater every dish is based on family recipes. Many dishes will likely be familiar, such as samosas stuffed with potatoes, peas, and spices and butter chicken. "Since before our days at the food cart," says Gill, "we dedicated our time to discovering the perfect balance in taste in each dish. It was really a tremendous learning experience and one that helped us transition to Open Tandoor."
Gill and Kang are looking toward the future of Portland dining, too, and that's why they've teamed up with The Portland Kitchen. "We are passionate about educating kids on Indian food," says Kang. This extends to young chefs, and Open Tandoor wants to hire "local talent and chefs graduating from culinary school" so they can get introduced to a cuisine they might not otherwise work with. "We want to empower the next generation and let them lead the way," says Kang.
Starting September 10, Open Tandoor will be open daily for lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.