Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
With its casual yet trendy decor, Kurry Qulture is the kind of restaurant you wish you had in your neighborhood. Serving authentic Indian cuisine, the dishes there are of the quality of some of the best restaurants in New York, but for reasonable prices, in part thanks to the differential in rent between the Big Apple and Astoria. Well, it might be also because Sonny Solomon, who, with his wife, opened this place a year ago, has an impressive resume, having worked at Devi and Tulsi, two renown Indian restaurants crowned with Michelin stars, thanks to the collaboration with Chef Hemant Mathur who helped create the menu of Kurry Qulture. The menu is now crafted by Chef Gurminder Singh who succeeded in elevating classic dishes.
The restaurant itself is beautiful: not overdone, it is elegant but still casual and accessible to a large crowd. In the back is a small patio with a tree in the center that gives a spiritual touch, as well as a café feel, very relaxing.
I decided to try one of their cocktails and chose the Curry Flavor, made with vodka-infused curry leaves, fresh lime and coconut syrup.
I admit that it was just ok for me, missing a bit of flavor. I definitely preferred their mango lassi or even sweet lassi that were very good.
Then, Sonny proposed to prepare a tasting for us: vegetarian for Jodi, non-vegetarian for me. I should mention that they have a 6-course tasting for $60 on their menu: a pretty good deal. They first brought us Aloo Tikki that is a potato croquette, served with a mint chutney and tamarind. Well, it started well.
Then we each got a tandoori sampler. Vegetarian for Jodi, with Tandoori Mushroom, (made with ginger, garlic and yogurt marinade), Soy kabab (yogurt and coriander marinade, plum chutney) and Kurry Qulture cauliflower (cauliflower florets, garlic and tomato chutney):
On my side, I got: Achari chicken tikka (pickling spice marinade), chicken malai kabab (yogurt and pepper marinade, plum chutney) and Shrimp Chettinad (mustard seeds, coconut and tapioca wafer):
This was sublime! First, everything had incredible flavors. Then, I admit that the vegetarian dishes were as good as the non-vegetarian one and, as Jodi rightly said, they did not look or taste like an after thought. I should mention that the chicken dishes were delicious, the chicken being perfectly cooked and moist, the Achari chicken kabab having a nice char.
Next was the main course. There again, three different dishes, vegetarian for Jodi and non-vegetarian for me. Jodi had Beet carrot kofta (a veggie meatball made with carrot, beet, five spices and served in a tomato gravy), fried okra (a dish not on the menu but served as a side in one of their specialties - you can however ask for it) and sweet and sour eggplant (baby eggplant with tomato and tamarind sauce):
On my side, it was: Murgh Makhni (pulled chicken in a tomato gravy), Lamb chops (tandoor grilled, mashed potatoes and apple chutney) and tandoori salmon (served with a rice salad and a green mango chutney):
I was already amazed by the appetizers, but it was before trying the main courses! It was sublime. My favorites were the lamb chop (perfectly cooked, tender, moist and nicely charred), the murgh makhni that is butter chicken, one of my favorite dishes that I never miss to eat when I go to India, and the fried okra that I discovered at my friend Malini's parents last year in Delhi.
With our meal, we got some rice, as well as some olive and garlic naan, a specialty from Kurry Qulture not found anywhere else.
Last was dessert. We got rasmalai as well as gulab jamun, the later being my all time favorite Indian desserts.
We had a succulent dinner at Kurry Qulture: this place really stands out and I am sure will be very successful. I definitely recommend it and will go back for sure!
Enjoy (I did)!
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