Tandoori Nights: 10312 Willard Way, Fairfax, VA 22030; (703) 865-8800; tandoorinightsfairfax.com.
We visited for the weekday lunch buffet. The restaurant opened last summer, according to a flyer at our front door announcing the May 4 (2018) “Grand Opening” event. There are a couple other locations in the area — Annandale, Bethesda — and while we don’t usually review chain restaurants, there’s no rule against it. My mother-in-law, who is from India by way of Pakistan, is visiting for a couple weeks — from California by way of Indiana — so we finally decided to check out this new neighborhood Indian place.
The only option for lunch on weekdays is the buffet, but it’s a great deal: All you can eat tandoori and buttered chicken, goat curry, vegetable pakora and more — for $8.99.
The signage, menu and website all advertise that this is an “Indian-Spanish-Fusion” place, though only the Indian component was in evidence for the lunch buffet. Apparently the regular menu also offers plates like Churrasco Tandoori, Taco de Camarones Entomatados (shrimp taco with spicy tomato sauce) and less fusion-y options like New York Steak with Shrimp and, as an appetizer, Buffalo Wings.
My mother-in-law, usually underwhelmed by Indian restaurants, is impressed with the authenticity of the dishes here. Everything is fresh, and if they get it right as a buffet, the dinner à la carte dishes are definitely worth a try.
We forgot to count the seating capacity, but this place is huge, with room for at least a hundred people. One could throw a banquet here. But at lunchtime, it was empty — the staff outnumbering us three guests by a multiple. The food was great, the folks were friendly, and we look forward to trying the Spanish-fusion options. A belated welcome to the neighborhood.