Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tiger Lilly

A commenter recommended Tiger Lily restaurant, on 86th Street between Meridian and Ditch. Prior to heading to Chicago for the Labor Day weekend, I met a friend there for lunch on Friday. From what I can tell, Tiger Lilly does not have a web page, but instead does have a very active public Facebook page. They also have a nice album of their food, which of course outdoes my self-conscious, quickly-taken iPhone pictures.

Tiger Lily has been open about a month, but it has gained a strong following. In fact, as my friend noted, they've already gained 7 reviews on Urban Spoon, and they're all favorable. That's impressive to me, especially in such a short amount of time.

I've only made one visit so far, but I will definitely be going back to introduce the Better Half to this spot. I really liked the lunch menu, with two of us eating for $14.17 including tax, but with only water to drink. As many other reviewers have noted, the ingredients seem and look fresh, and are not from bags of frozen vegetables. The dining area is modern and well decorated. The sauces are light and yet full of flavor. The management is local and cares, and the wait staff is attentive and efficient. I didn't inquire too much, but our server did mention that these owners used to previously have a restaurant in Brownsburg, and after a move have returned to Indy and opened Tiger Lily.

The special of the day on Friday was the Chicken Bulgogi, which my friend ordered and I sampled. This dish is indicative of a fusion focus within the menu. From the album, they also have a stir-fried pork with kimchi dish that excites me, because I just love the Korean influence. Now, the chicken bulgogi didn't really seem to be the traditional soy-sesame-scallion-sugar concoction, but included more of a chili sauce which may have been the Korean sauce gochujang. Regardless, it was tasty, moist and a nice level of spice.

I had the orange peel chicken, and it had a tasty, tangy sauce over lightly battered, still-moist fried chicken pieces. It was a rather familiar taste, but well prepared and solid execution. I liked the dish, but next time I'll go deeper into the menu (lunch and dinner).

I didn't have a chance to spend a lot of time with the dinner menu, but the lunch prices were very affordable. The serving sizes are ample, but they won't leave you full. For $7 you'll likely get 40% more food at a place like Panda Express. But, the variety of the menu is great at Tiger Lily and the food is a welcome addition to the local Chinese offerings.

The verdict: 4 belly rubs (out of 5). Great taste, well prepared, average sized portions, but good value.


A. said...

When I went last week, our server mentioned the sweet and sour sauce was homemade. It turned out to be some of the best sweet and sour sauce I have ever had! I would go back just for the sauce!

Indy Grub Review said...

We were told that the hot mustard as well as the sweet & sour were homemade.... agreed, very nice....