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