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. 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.