The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Tilak Review: Cozy Indian Restaurant with Takeout Vibes

Geoffrey Franc
Geoffrey’s Butter Chicken with a side of Garlic Naan. Staff photo: Geoffrey Franc

Right in Menlo’s backyard, next to the Starbucks crowded with middle schoolers each afternoon, sits Tilak, the closest spot to get your Indian food fix. We decided to check it out on a cold, stormy, Sunday night, hoping the warmth of chicken tikka would diminish our shivers.


Food Satisfaction: 8/10

Geoffrey: I loved Tilak’s Garlic Naan. Granted, it got crunchy at the ends, but in the middle there was just barely enough softness. So, could it have been a little more doughy and less crusty: yes. But compared to garlic naan I’ve had at other South Asian restaurants, Tilak’s naan didn’t allow the garlic to overpower and ruin the experience of warm bread melting in my mouth. However, I’m not a connoisseur of Indian cuisine, so I’ll defer to the others on comparing the rest of the food. That said, I enjoyed my Butter Chicken (I was relieved they could take the cashews out), and the garlic naan paired well with it. It wasn’t life-changing, but I’ll definitely be back.


Sonia: I ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala and Saffron Rice, and found the two went together perfectly. The portion sizes were excellent, and the tomato and cream sauce warmed my soul on a chilly, stormy night. I agree with Geoffrey that the naan was tasty; however, it’s worth noting that the naan was cut into quarters. I eat my Indian food the way it should be consumed, using my fingers and the naan as a scoop of sorts (it’s worth my hands getting extremely dirty). I found that the smaller naan pieces left me struggling to wrap this delicious bread around the pieces of chicken. 


Atmosphere: 5/10

Geoffrey: While dining here, I could definitely feel the ghost of the Baja Fresh that used to occupy the space, and it felt more like a takeout Indian restaurant than a sit-down one. The stately blue ceramic dishes and heavy cutlery were luxuries that did not vibe with the PowerPoint-orange walls and wood-veneered flooring. Not to mention the koala videos…


Sonia: There was certainly a steady stream of DoorDash drivers picking up takeout orders throughout our meal at Tilak. I was also thrown off by the animal videos shown on a constant loop on the screen directly in my view. As it was the same night as the Grammys and a slew of NBA games, I was disappointed to instead be watching swans slowly gliding across a placid lake.

Tilak’s Garlic Naan. Staff photo: Sonia Dholakia (Sonia Dholakia)

Service: 4/10

Geoffrey: The service left a little to be desired. It felt transactional, with the waiter’s eyes hurriedly darting around the near-empty restaurant as he took our orders. He also used minimal words, demonstrated especially when our friend Navya was ordering her Chicken Biriyani. She asked how hot the “hot” option for spice level was, and the waiter replied, “hot is spicy.” This description did not help Navya make her decision. At this price point, I would expect some more words and smiles.


Sonia: My main gripe with the service was the neglect I felt from the waitstaff. I frequently attempted to make eye contact with anyone who could take my order or bring another pitcher of water. At least they brought me the food as soon as it was ready, but it was certainly a slow dining experience. 


Value: 7/10

Sonia: For the price point, I was incredibly pleased with the portion sizes. Yes, $18.00 for Chicken Tikka is nothing to sneeze at, but I received a bowl large enough to provide me with enough food for dinner and leftovers for nights to come. The saffron rice we ordered was $3.00 and large enough to share with our table, and three orders of $3.00 naan was more than sufficient. 


Geoffrey: Although my $18.00 Butter Chicken and $3.00 worth of Garlic Naan didn’t leave me any leftovers, it was the perfect portion size: I was full but not stuffed. For this price point, though, I would expect a slightly more upscale atmosphere and attentive service. But with a small interior design fix and more verbose service, Tilak would get a gold star here.


Uniqueness (bonus point): /1

Aside from the koala videos, to call Tilak “unique” is definitely a stretch.


TLDR: 24/40

Leaving Tilak we felt satisfied with our meals, although the restaurant experience itself was not anything to write home about. However, we would consider returning to Tilak in the future for more delicious naan.

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About the Contributors
Geoffrey Franc
Geoffrey Franc, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: Telling people's stories and learning about the world through them.

Interests outside of school: history, running, and Mock Trial

Class of 2025

Sonia Dholakia
Sonia Dholakia, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: Working with the entire staff to create a great product and becoming friends along the way.

Interests outside of school: Mock trial, traveling, and listening to Taylor Swift.

Class of 2025

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