Feast from the East
India Kabab and Curry Restaurant1091 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89502
I’d been eyeballing this place for quite some time. It’s in the long vacant location where Vassar Street intersects with Virginia Street that was once, years ago, The Blue Heron. A tantalizing “Coming Soon: Indian Restaurant” sign in the window made my stomach growl with anticipation for what seemed like eons (though it was really only two or three months).
Finally, Danielle called to tell me she had noticed it had opened. Now, it might seem that professional courtesy would prevent me from going to review a restaurant on opening weekend—and if the place hadn’t quite gotten its act together, I might have come up with some sort of Plan B. But it wasn’t at all an issue. Everything was so smooth and professional that, if it wasn’t for the balloons floating around, you’d never have known that the place had just opened. And besides, professional courtesy has never been my forte.
The menu offers a seemingly endless array of delectable goodies. Danielle and I both had dinner specials, so we could try the soup, somosas, naan bread and desserts along with our entrees. I had the India Kabab curry special dinner for one ($17.95), and she had India Kabab curry vegetable thali ($13.95).
My entree choice was the lamb tikka saagwala, barbequed lamb cooked with spinach and coriander. The meat was tender and flavorful. Danielle’s vegetarian dinner special came with two entrees; she chose a mixed vegetable curry and aloo chole, a chickpea and potato dish.
Everything was fan-frigging-tastic but a couple of things really caught my tongue: The onion chutney was really excellent, the tandoori chicken was some of the best I’ve ever had, and the mango lassi ($2.75), a mango yogurt shake, was sweet and refreshing.
The naan is a little airy, but it’s fair enough, they give you a lot, and they have garlic naan and other spiced and flavored Indian breads.
The prices strike me as a bit steep, but you do get a lot of food for your money (enough for two meals of leftovers, I’d say) and, if you’re prudent, you can stop by for the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet ($6.95, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. daily).
The service is polite and efficient. The atmosphere is slightly confusing; the lighting and decorations are quite elegant, but the music was bad Indian top-40 type stuff and way too loud.
Our waiter asked if we would like the food mild, medium or hot. I asked that my food be somewhere between medium and hot. I was then slightly frustrated throughout the meal because my food was a bit wimpy. It’s hard to know what kind of scale an Indian restaurant is on. Sometimes “medium” is what I’d call “making-out with a dragon,” and other times “medium” is close to what I call “ice-cube-sucking.”
India Kabab is good eating but a little tame and safe overall—so if you like full flavor, I’d suggest opting for “hot.” Danielle, however, is a wimp and was quite happy with her purposefully mild food.