A Tasting Tour of Tamasha

Shaking up the Raleigh culinary scene, Tamasha Modern Indian opened the doors to its primo North Hills locale back in February. And, as expected, they delivered an almost immediate success story, with reservations quickly booked to the brim and glowing reviews pouring in on everything from its appetizing and artfully presented fare to the carefully designed elegant ambiance. 

A rising star still in its infancy, Tamasha is a concept I’ve been looking forward to trying since I first penned an article about its upcoming debut back in December. Ahead of its opening, I had a chance to sit down with executive chef Bhavin Chhatwani and owners Mike Kathrani and Tina Vora to discuss their vision for Tamasha, from the authentic and complex menu to its elevated ambiance. And trust me when I tell you: It exceeded all my already-high expectations. 

True to its name, the just-opened Indian oasis is a grand performance (the literal translation) from the moment you step inside the door up until you take your last bite. The lush, sophisticated surrounds communicate a tasteful flair of glitz and glamor, while the moody yet green-accented decor feat. touches of gold round out the restaurant’s boujee environs. 

Tamasha Preview

As for the food, I have one word: wow. I would be remiss not to cast a spotlight on the lamb kheema kulcha, an app stuffed with minced lamb, goat cheese and roast garlic butter that I could’ve easily finished by myself (if not for my “sharing is caring” motto when eating out with friends). As for the slow-cooked kerala pork belly bao, the meat was so tender I swear it almost melted in my mouth on impact. 

Per a fellow foodie recommendation, I ordered a plate of the purple sweet potato, crunchy kale and shiso chaat—and I was not disappointed. The dish’s textures alone earned it a shoutout—NTM the underlying flavor of mint present in each bite. 

On to the main event, every single one of chef Chhatwani’s decadent mains were a hit, from his iteration on the fan-fave/OG Indian staple butter chicken—which the chef claims to be “the best butter chicken” (spoiler: He’s right!)—to the rich and creamy dakhini saag to the Mushroom’s Paradise, which one of my mushroom-averse dining companions declared to be delicious. And take it from me, you’ll want to add the winter black truffle to the dish… it is *chef’s kiss.*

Although I was convinced my stomach was much too full for dessert, we couldn’t pass up a plate of Tamasha’s final grand performance: the North Meets South, a mouthwatering coconut pudding featuring rose, hibiscus and coconut jellies. Essentially, art in dessert form. 

In essence, Tamasha achieved—and far surpassed—its mission of executing a “grand performance” from beginning to end, transforming a dinner out into a perfectly executed experience of sights, surrounds and flavor. And I’m already counting down the days until my next visit. 

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.