Cafe Tandoor marks 26 years in CH
Just before New Year’s Eve in 1992, Raj Singh put the finishing touches on what would become a local legend—Cleveland Height’s long-lived Cafe Tandoor. As another new year approaches, the restaurant is wrapping up its 26th year of business.
Seeing a niche opportunity in the 1990s, Singh wanted to open an Indian restaurant as, back then, there was only one Cleveland restaurant serving Indian food.
Singh said he chose to open his restaurant in Cleveland Heights because of its metropolitan and open-minded nature. To craft a rich menu with fine ingredients, Singh relied heavily on Chef Satpal Kashyap, a five-star chef from Mubai, India, and Kashyap's brother in-law, Chef Pishori Lal, who remains Cafe Tandoor’s head chef today.
Singh attributes Cafe Tandoor’s longevity to the quality of the food and the commitment of the chef—the same chef since its opening. Citing customers who travel from as far as Youngstown for a Cafe Tandoor meal, Singh said he is grateful to his patrons for their continued loyalty: “We’ve had great support from the community.”
Cafe Tandoor customer Laura Robbins, of Cleveland Heights, said, “We go there so often. It’s the most comfortable place, with fabulous food. We know everything will be perfect.” She noted that the menu’s variety is a draw, especially for vegetarians. Robbins and her husband like going to a friendly and accommodating place, and Robbins said they feel known at Cafe Tandoor—to the degree that the staff knows their standard order before asking.
Singh agreed that the diverse and well-organized menu is one of the things that customers most enjoy about Cafe Tandoor. He explained that the kitchen uses nine different sauces, allowing for a variety of flavors across the ample menu.
The menu changes every few years, though that often brings customer laments. Favorite dishes are a comfort food, Singh observed, noting, “People want what they know.”
Cafe Tandoor’s Cleveland Heights location serves sit-down meals and offers carry-out service. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 5:30–10 p.m.; and Sunday 3–9 p.m.
Visit www.cafetandoorcleveland.com for menu details, and for hours at the Aurora and West Lake locations.
Mostly a mom, Shari Nacson, LISW-S, is a freelance editor, child development specialist, and nonprofit consultant who makes her home in Cleveland Heights. More than anything, Nacson is inspired by kids and adults who build connection through kindness.