Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Restaurant Review: Kabab & Curry's

Kabab & Curry's - lunch on January 10, 2014
My first social eating occasion of the new year was to meet my friend Jenny for lunch after I got back from vacation. As always, I searched yelp for someplace nearby that was a small business and that we've never tried before. Kabab and Curry's had a 4-star rating on yelp based on over 800 reviews so it seemed like a good choice. Surprisingly, I had never heard of them before. I say surprisingly because they're not that far from me, their yelp reviews praised their butter chicken (my favorite dish in any Indian restaurant), and they're not that expensive. I checked out their menu online and decided it'd be a great place to meet.
So, after I had such high expectations, unfortunately they weren't quite met. The place itself is rather modest which is fine, nothing wrong with that. What I hadn't read closely enough is that lunch was an all-you-can-eat buffet. That would've been okay except when we went through the line, none of the dishes laid out were marked so you couldn't tell what you were getting. I'm not the most adventurous eater in the world so it didn't thrill me not to know. I made the mistake of making the observation aloud to Jenny that I wish they had markers that labeled what the dishes were since I couldn't tell. I happened to be in front of a serving dish of what looked like chunks of potato with spinach and the guy in front of me overheard me and told me, "what do you not know? That's spinach and potato." I was more amused than offended because he sounded so offended that I was questioning the establishment.
Another disappointment was that butter chicken wasn't one of the selections at the buffet nor was their chicken tikka masala. They did have tandoori chicken which was good and the lamb meatballs were okay. I did have a small serving of the potato and spinach dish the guy ahead of me was so protective of and they were okay but nothing special. I didn't get much on my first pass so decided to go back in line for the tandoori chicken. I stood in line with the others and the line didn't move as it appeared they were out of the tandoori chicken and everyone was waiting for them to bring more. After almost ten minutes of waiting, I gave up and went back to the table. Didn't seem worth it to keep waiting.
Fortunately, naan came with the meal and they delivered one basket of warm naan after we asked for it when we first sat down. After my thwarted attempt at a second helping of tandoori chicken, I asked for another basket of naan. It took awhile for it to come out but it was warm so maybe they were still baking more because of high demand. The place was pretty busy with a steady stream of customers. For $10, I can see that it would be a good deal and there was a mix of ethnicities, not just Indian folks, coming for lunch so the place was quite popular with a diverse group of diners.

When Jenny and I left, I noticed all the stickers proclaiming the restaurant as Michelin Guide recommended and rated. I have to admit, based on this one lunch visit, I was floored by those accolades. The wait staff was very nice but the service, even for a buffet set up, took too long as there wasn't enough of them to wait on all the people in both large rooms of the restaurant. Not having the buffet table properly stocked during the lunch hour also seemed like a kitchen miss. And frankly, I didn't think the lunch food was that great. I'm going to have to come back for dinner so I can order the butter chicken and maybe understand their devoted customer base a little better.

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