PNU is scored by clusters of Indian restaurants in its neighborhood. You could probably hit Tajmahal with a stone from Shabana, another Indian restaurant in the area. We'll get to the others in due time.
Tajmahal, as I've been told by friends, has some of the best Indian food in Busan. After eating at Shabana, this posed some high standards for the night. You can't miss the place. It’s located on a busy walking street in PNU and is brightly lit up from the exterior. If, by chance, your gaze is focused on the street, stolen by the god damned army of high heels and neon shoes, have no fear of passing Tajmahal. Let yourself be lured in by the hybrid Indian folk/techno music blaring in the streets. An oddly seductive Indian poster lady welcomes you into the staircase with a look that either says “We have sexy food” or “I will have sex with your food.” Either way you’re guaranteed a treat.
Inside, you have many options for good seating. Most of the tables have a full window view of night life going on outside while other seats are thoughtfully scattered throughout the dining room. We sat near an opened window. The techno and street life outside mixed with the Indian TV drama inside created a trifecta of immense musical confusion.
The menu was simple, understandable and bountiful with options. Vegetarians, have no fear as there were many dishes to choose from. We settled on Paneer Masala, Palak Paneer, garlic and plain nan, and Samosas.
The Samosas were pretty good. The filling, although dominated by cumin, had a nice blend of potatoes, peas and other yummy things. The main dishes were served in yellow ceramic bowls topped off with a swirly design sauce. They were garnished with onion chutney, jalapeño peppers and pickles. The Paneer Masala was very sweet and my dining partner, Bear, likened it to creamy Campbell’s Tomato Soup. A bit harsh but not all too far from the truth. The Palak Paneer was much better. It really embodied the deep richness of the spinach. It had a good and strong “green” (as in chlorophyl) taste to it. Each dish had about 4 to 5 little hunks of homemade paneer cheese. Not nearly enough to satisfy this Wisconsinite. The Nan was good and garlicky. After the meal our server offered some complimentary Indian Tea which we greedily accepted. The Tea was the highlight to the whole meal. It was thick and rich and dark and a bit woody. Mmm.
The main dishes ranged in price from 9,000 won to 18,000won. Our total was about 36,000 won. Sadly I discovered my opinions of Taj Mahal differ greatly from my praise-giving friends. Not bad, though I wouldn’t recommend the masala…
To get to Tajmahal take the subway Line 1 the to PNU and go out exit 1. Walk straight out, perpendicular to the subway tracks. Walk for about 1/2km then continue going straight through the 1st major street. Within 100m it will be on your right on the second floor.
~k Gastric Canvas