Clay Oven Chef Manohar Sharma brings the authentic street flavours of tandoor cooking to Winnipeg’s north and south end.
The ever popular Thali platters are hard to beat when you’re talking value for dollar and variety. But the a la carte menu offers an equally intriguing world of experience, if you’re willing to pay a little extra.
Tandoori Chicken is a perennial favourite of mine, but over several visits it has tended to be under-flavoured and over-cooked.
Chicken Biryani is a kaleidoscopic feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Portions are generous and I routinely have to to pack up my leftovers. On one occasion, however, I swear I was served a re-heated from frozen portion.
The chili chicken would seem to speak for itself but was disappointing. It had the sweet, but not the heat. The mild spice one would expect was completely absent, not helped by the fact that the dish was luke-warm upon arrival. The accompanying mix of peppers (bell) and what apppeared to be red cabbage, was practically raw.
Goat curry in a mild spiced gravy is served in a traditional distressed copper bowl and remains a favourite of mine and fellow diners.
Naan is made fresh upon ordering and there’s no better vehicle for absorbing every last drop of flavour from your plate, platter or bowl.
And Clay Oven makes some of the best samosas in town! Offered for sale by the dozen, I typically leave with a bag. Get the tamarind sauce!
Although expensive, the mixed grill of chicken tikka is served on a skewar right from the tandoor. Perched upon a bed of salad and basmati rice, it’s a sinfully delicious carnival of meat.
Service is generally courteous and prompt and staff are knowledgeable. But when I mentioned the minor problems I had experienced, the proprietress was more intersted in arguing the point than ensuring my satisfaction.
Clay Oven has two locations. The original at 1825 Inkster Boulevard, just off Keewatin, and a newly opened flagship restaurant at 1600 Kenaston, just north of the McGilvary intersection.
A Keewatin Street commissary offers pre-packaged meals, and I’ve seen these popping up in local grocery stores.
Clay Oven Restaurant
1825 Inkster Boulevard
I have noticed a SIGNIFICANT difference between the Kenaston and Inkster locations. I have sworn never to return to the Kenaston location, as I had exceptionally poor service (had to ask three times for water), was ignored after being seated for over 20 minutes, and had the same experience – the proprietress was far more interested in arguing than listening to my complaints and finding a resolution.
HOWEVER, the Inkster location has exceptionally prompt, friendly service. While it does not have the fancier decor of the Kenaston location, the food speaks for itself. I return here FREQUENTLY for both eat-in and takeout meals.
Excellent feedback Bre. My exprience as you’ve read was shockingly similar although the locations were flipped. The one common factor between locations and experience seems to be that proprietor. Does she think she’s doing the restaurant any favours by defending it so vehemently?
I have to agree with Bre. The Kenaston location certainly has all the glitter but the ‘quality’ of the food and service varies. I enjoyed much more at the Inkster location and the food there tasted better.
I thought I was the only one until I read Bre’s review. I guess its a common occurrence.