Boston Restaurant Blog -- July, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
A little over two months ago, we dined at an Indian restaurant in Providence called, well, India Restaurant. The place was terrific, with outdoor dining, a romantic and exotic interior, and food that was quite good. Well, about a week ago we returned to Providence for more Indian food, and while the atmosphere at Kabob and Curry was much more plain and simple than that of India Restaurant, I thought that the food was better, possibly being about the best food of its kind that I've had in a long time.
Kabob and Curry is a few minutes south of India Restaurant (which is in a quiet, pleasant area near the Pawtucket border), in the heart of College Hill and within walking distance of the downtown section of the city. Like many businesses on bustling Thayer Street, the restaurant is rather small, though it does have two floors of dining, giving it a bit more space than some of the other nearby eateries. The first floor of Kabob and Curry is set in an enclosed four-season porch with a slanted ceiling and large windows affording views out over the street, while the upstairs section is a basic dining room with a handful of tables. The first floor, which is where we were seated, is definitely the preferred spot if you like to people-watch, though folks looking for a quieter, more intimate meal are probably better off in the upstairs area.
The menu at Kabob and Curry features a mix of familiar and not-so-familiar Indian items. On our recent visit there, we did a mix of both, starting with a delicious naan stuffed with a mild homemade cheese and an absolutely sublime idli sambar, which is a plate of steamed rice and lentil dumplings. This latter dish featured breadlike dumplings smothered in a rich lentil sauce and seasoned with various spices, including mustard seeds. The slightly hot chutney that came with the dish gave the dumplings a little boost, though they were so flavorful (mainly from the lentil sauce) that they almost didn't need the chutney. Our entrees were similarly satisfying, with the chicken korma featuring perfectly cooked white meat chicken in a creamy sauce and a sweet and savory mix of raisins and nuts, while the chicken tikka masala had a richer sauce than many others I've tried, and the herbs and spices mixed into the dish only added to the goodness of it. Drinks included a very pulpy mango lassi (smoothie) and a lychee drink that had a floral sweetness to it. Service was low-key and friendly, while prices were about where they should have been.
I would have to say that our dinner at Kabob and Curry ranked among the top five I've had so far in 2010, with the idli sambar being perhaps the best individual food item I've had all year. If only this place were in the Boston area, I'd probably go there every week or two, but it is perhaps just as well that it is located in Providence, giving me yet another reason to head down to this fun and interesting city less than an hour from Beantown.
For those who want the address for Kabob and Curry, here it is: Kabob and Curry, 261 Thayer Street, Providence, RI, 02906. The phone number is (401) 273-8844.
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