Ever heard the word “Tandoori” before? If you think it vaguely refers to an Indian spice or recipe, you’re close, but no cigar. It’s actually a style of cooking where marinated meats, vegetables and breads are cooked over a very hot charcoal fire in a small pit inside a clay oven and controlled by the amount of oxygen let in or out. Temperatures can reach 600 degrees, quickly sealing flavor and juices inside the food.
NAANZ is a new Indian-inspired restaurant in SLU that features these Tandoori ovens, and the mouth-watering foods that emerge from them. You can design your own meal with a variety of options, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. Whatever you pick, you’re going to wonder how you missed something so simple, but so spectacular. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Pick a platform for your meal— a “Naanwich,” rice bowl, or salad bowl. Choose a fluffy leavened naan, or a flat chapati bread, and add curry if you like.
Step 2: Pick a taste—chicken, lamb, veggie, or cilantro-marinated paneer cheese.
Step 3: Get ready to be wowed.
That’s just for starters. These offerings are delicious, healthy, and arrive lickety split… accompanied by an adult beverage from the fully stocked bar, if you fancy it. Dine in, surrounded by NAANZ’s sun-colored walls with Ganesh illustrations, or take your goodies on the go; but once you’re here, you’ll realize this particular arrangement of yummy and fast Indian fare is a brand-new combo plate.
Unique, Delicious, Fast—the Winning Recipe
Larry Hamlin of The Hamlin Group is part of the dream team behind NAANZ. In the summer of 2013, he helped kick-start the envisioning process for Gaurika Bhatia, principle owner of NAANZ. Hamlin says countless hours of consideration and taste-testing were spent by ownership in order to arrive at its current incarnation—a modern Indian-inspired restaurant that reflects a strong connection to Indian heritage and cuisine, combined with American subtleties. Seeing as there was nothing in the area that fused these elements, they thought it a winning formula to bring to SLU.
But why South Lake Union? Hamlin said, “Naanz is a brand-new concept and we wanted to be in a brand-new neighborhood to launch it. We chose the new residential area near the main Amazon campus because we felt that a residential area, along with a strong day component, would be a plus over time.”
Three months after opening, Naanz has raked in rave reviews and high hopes for the future, with an eye towards expansion. “Today, in order to succeed, you have to clearly differentiate yourself,” Hamlin said, “but never forget you have to serve delicious food. And in today's marketplace, value is very important. Naanz wants people to come often.”
That philosophy meshes well with the motto on the restaurant’s website: “People come first—our business does well when our customers are happy.”
NAANZ Kitchen + Bar
1256 Republican St, Seattle
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Dine in, take-out, delivery. Coming soon: weekend brunch
Parking garage on Pontius Ave