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Tasting Notes: Taj Indian Cuisine

Taj Indian Cuisine

Cuisine and scene: Taking the Taj Mahal for its logo, Ashland's palace of Indian cuisine aspires to the architectural icon's grace and elegance. In that spirit, flavors strike a delicate balance rather than asserting spiciness, but dishes are prepared to customers' preference for heat. House specialties come from the custom-made tandoor — a traditional, pitcher-shaped clay oven. Service is almost worthy of royalty while prices, particularly the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, are well within most diners' reach.

Recommended: Seekh kabab, minced lamb mildly spiced and cooked in tandoor; saag paneer, homemade cheese cooked in spinach; chicken tikka masala, cooked in tandoor then simmered in cream and "special sauce"; and vegetables cooked in mild, creamy korma sauce.

Alternative diets: Vegetarian entrees constitute the largest portion of the menu. Seafood complements chicken and lamb options.

Beverages: Domestic and imported wines by the glass and bottle; domestic and imported, bottled beers; tea, juice, sodas and yogurt lassis.

Price range: Lunch buffet, $8.95; appetizers, $3.95 to $8.95; entrees, $9.95 to $21.95; soups and salads, $4.95 to $6.45; breads, $2.75 to $3.95; desserts; $3.45 to $4.95.

Extras: No personal checks; 18 percent gratuity added to parties of six or more; convenient to Ashland Plaza; parking in lots on both sides of Water Street between East Main and B streets.

Serving: Lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily; dinner from 5 to 9:30 p.m. daily.

Info: 31 Water St., Ashland; 541-488-5900; www.taj-indiancuisine.com