Tandoori Tikka Dog

by KimHo on July 20, 2009 · 16 comments under: British Columbia,Food,Restaurant

Tandoori Tikka Dog
Waterfront Skytrain Station
601 West Cordova Street
Vancouver, BC
Tandoori Tikka Dog on Urbanspoon

Thanks to Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, almost everybody has heard about Japadog – I myself have blogged their three locations in Vancouver, here, here and here. Last week, some local news sources wrote articles on the new kid on the block (hot dog-wise): Tandoori Tikka Dog. You can find these articles here (24 Hours Vancouver) and here (The Province). While I am not a news source, it does not mean I can’t eat some dogs so, here I go!

I am not sure if it was a bad decision I went on one of the sunniest and warmest day in summer so far in Vancouver. In my case, a long walk from the West End to Burrard Skytrain Skytation and then a quick hop to Waterfront Station. I could have walked the last part but, hey. :P When I was walking out of Waterfront, I was a bit hesitant: would there be a long queue similar to the ones in Japadog during lunch time? Fortunately, there was a small queue and had to wait 5 minutes at most. I initially ordered the Chicken Tandoori but then he mentioned there was also had the all-beef version. OK, that sounds good so that was what I ended up getting.

According to the articles above, these dogs are basted in a tandoori sauce so I was not sure what I would get. When I got mine after a couple of minutes, I was a bit unimpressed, specially after my experiences with Japadog. In a way, it was naked, i.e., aside from the wurst/smokie and some onions, there was nothing else. Could it be that this place is trying to keep it simple and letting their tandoori sauce (which, according to the articles above, used to baste these dogs) do all the talking? Well, I wasn’t that sure so I added some mustard myself (by default, yellow mustard, otherwise, dijon – never catsup!).

After my first bite, I was not really convinced. I did not taste anything special. In fact, if I compare it to the other hot dog shops in Metro Vancouver, it would be pretty average. And I am not talking about the dog/tandoori sauce itself, I am talking about the overall dog. For example, in other stands, they would usually “toast” the bun a bit along with the wurst/smokie. Here, that was not the case (or at least that was not done with mine).

From this picture, I am sure you would notice that reddish/orange-y colour in the wurst so I will assume that was the result of the tandoori sauce. If that was the case, it worked in the colour side, not on the taste side. Could it be it was such a hot day that I couldn’t really “taste” the tandoori sauce? Hmmmmm….

Overall, I must say I was dissatisfied with the hot dog. I am sure there would be lots of potential but I did not feel it delivered. As mentioned in my posts on Japadog, it is about the toppings that make Japadog different, not to mention they manage to create a contrast between taste (savoury vs. sweet) and texture. Here, there was no such effect. As a result, unless somebody points me where/what I missed, if I am looking for a hot dog, there are a lot of other stands nearby/in-between.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dave July 20, 2009 at 11:06 am

Whaaat? That hot dog actually looked pretty good… To me at least. Too bad it wasn’t as satisfying as it looked.

2 Dan July 20, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Bout time someone else capitalized on the ethnic flavored hot dog idea. Anyone else think Sweet & Sour Pork hot dogs are not too far away?

3 Sherman July 20, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Kim, I trust your palate and it to me it looked plain as well. They would have been better served it they put a “Tandoori” sauce on it instead.

Dan, I’ve been thinking of that… How about a Black Bean Dog? Wait, that sounds like a dish they’d serve in China…

4 KimHo July 20, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Dave, if you visually compare it to Japadog offerings, unfortunately, you will have to say it looks “plain”…

Dan, sweet and sour? Why stop there! How about bulgogi style dog, with banchan rather than your regular toppings (some bean sprout would sound “unique”)? Or, hell, can somebody just make a currywurst? :D

Sherman, I thought the same – tandoori sauce on the top to give it something “more” to the dog. Black Bean Dog? Why I had some wacky food thoughts when I read it? ;)

5 koji July 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm

when i was in mexico 10 years ago, i loved the street vendor’s hot dog, basically, the dog was wrapped with bacon, mayo squirted on and crumbled ripple chips to top it off…..it was great

……maybe cuz i was drunk when i had it.

6 raidar July 20, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Why not soak the dogs in a yogurt/masala mix before hitting the grill. Plus, there could be a side of slightly warmed sauce on the side. Butter chicken hot dogs!!

I sense a Van City hot dog side project for a few of you….I love the idea of banchan toppings…kimchi, sprouts, garlic stems…Fantastic.

While your vice might be a pile of sweet, soft mushrooms..I can’t help salivate for a huge pile of caramelized onions!

7 Jessica July 20, 2009 at 8:33 pm

This makes me ALMOST want to try hotdogs again. I haven’t since I bit in to a bone in one when I was a kid!

8 KimHo July 20, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Koji, hey, that is cheating. What does NOT taste better with bacon on/in it? :P

Raidar, I was thinking something similar, too. Sure, it could end up being a really sloppy dog but, hey, when things taste good and it is messy…! :D

Jessica, c’mon, give it another chance! ;)

9 Danny July 21, 2009 at 8:37 am

I would rather have the tandoori sauce infused into the hot dog. Great find!

10 raidar July 21, 2009 at 10:47 am

Agreed Kim. Chili dogs get quite sloppy..why not a butter chicken(or lamb, beef, pork) dog.

11 Mia July 27, 2009 at 7:21 pm

This reminds me of when my grandmother first moved to Canada. She cheerfully sliced up the chicken weiners in the fridge, and sauteed then with onions and curry spices. It was actually pretty good and went well with rice.

Hopefully this vendor becomes more creative, I could see some chutney sauces to top off the hotdogs or even raita, and perhaps some other Indian inspired sauces and toppings like cilantro and slivered green chili’s. If they looked into producing a specialty hotdog flavoured with spices to begin with that would be cool too.

12 KimHo July 28, 2009 at 8:40 am

Mia, actually, I was wishing for something similar but, alas, I couldn’t find any (or if he had any, it was not in the public eye). If they have had *something* to make it stand out from the regular hot dog stand… Chutney and, as you mentioned, other Indian inspired sauces, would have been a really good idea; however, not sure about raita, given it its dairy based. VCH would give him hell…

13 drea August 4, 2009 at 11:59 pm

omg. Must. Eat.

14 Will September 3, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Superstore sells Presidents Choice Tandoori Sausages and they are awesome! If you couldn’t taste the Tandoori at this hot dog stand might I suggest you check out what PC has these days. Ketchup/Catsup is also just fine on a Tandoori dog. Also recommend their Hoison flavoured sausage.

15 Mijune October 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Wow how did I not know about this?!? An Indian style hot dog? I guess I can’t be surprised…Japadog looks way better, although this doesn’t look that bad either. I’d want a chicken hot dog with butter chicken sauce…I wonder if they’ll do that.

Yeah in terms of creativity Japadog probably kills them.

I’d still try this though.

16 KimHo October 29, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Mijune, you won’t believe the extent I would go through for a meal! No creamy sauce (or at least not when I went there earlier in summer), though that would be a good idea, hehehehe.

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