Hello fellow food enthusiasts and booty admirers. I’m Deena, the woman behind this post’s buns. When the opportunity came up to write about one of my favorite restaurants in Providence while simultaneously partnering with my favorite local food blog, my excitement went from 0 to 100 real quick. Huge thanks to Buns and Bites for letting me be a part of something so awesome.
Behold, Thayer Street. For decades now this street has been home to many restaurants, shops, and bars; some of which can cut it, and some of which cannot. Restaurants fizzle quicker than your latest Tinder flame on this street due to very high rent (with it being on the East Side and all), menus that are trendy and can’t diversify themselves enough to appeal to multiple generations, and overpriced menu offerings. But through all of the competition that came and went, Kabob and Curry has stuck around, and dare I say it, is better than ever. Since 1987 owners Sanjiv and Vandana Dhar have been cranking out authentic Indian classics to warm the hearts and bellies of locals and visitors alike.
The history of the restaurant is cool and all, but let’s not kid ourselves, we’re all here to talk about the food. No trip to Kabob and Curry would be complete without a nice warm cup of coconut mushroom soup. Guys, this soup. Hot damn. Every time I eat this soup I have an out of body experience- and by that I mean I eat mine in 2 minutes flat and then wish I could jump into someone else’s body and eat theirs too. It has everything your palate wants- it’s creamy from the coconut, it has big pieces of meaty, succulent mushrooms, it has an amazing amount of tang from mustard seeds and a whole laundry list of spices, plus it has some heat to it from whole pieces of dried chillies, and it’s finished with a touch of cilantro for some freshness. And, did I mention it’s vegan?! *wipes drool off of keyboard* I may or may not have (I definitely have, more than once) fallen asleep thinking about this soup and woken up still dreaming of it. Seriously, don’t miss it.
After the soup we continued on to some more apps. I mean are appetizers really even optional because I feel like they are more of a necessity tbh. First, the cauliflower 65. Cauliflower florets that have been battered, perfectly fried and tossed in a tangy, indian-bbq-esque sauce. These little nuggets of delight are like the vegetarian cousin of general tso’s chicken. They’ve got that insanely awesome coating that’s sweet, spicy, sour, and sticks to your teeth in the best possible way. A sprinkling of scallions rounds out the dish and adds a very welcomed pop of color.
Because 2 starters isn’t enough (judge if you must) we went on to enjoy the samosa as chaat. The base of this dish is of course the samosa- a triangular pastry filled with savory vegetables or meat- that are beyond delicious just on their own. For this dish the samosas were stuffed with potato and peas before being covered with masala chickpeas, yogurt, and chutneys. This dish is so hearty and complex it could be a meal. Well, not for us, but you know, like for normal people. For me, the crispy turnover dough with the different chutneys are what really make this dish awesome. There are three varieties of chutney that they serve at good ol’ K&C- one is tamarind based, one is mint and cilantro, and the other is a spicy pickled onion. These chutneys are the trifecta. Eat them separately or top your fave indian dish with all three, but either way, try them. You’ll thank me later.
After blowing through our appetizers embarrassingly fast, I was relieved to see that our entrees were approaching. I mean come on, I’m withering away over here! We obviously had to get the chicken tikka masala since it’s the most well known indian dish around- and for good reason. Big chunks of white meat chicken are marinated in yogurt and spices, baked in a tandoor oven, and then simmered in a creamy tomato sauce. The acid from the tomatoes, the velvety feel of the cream, and the sweetness of the fenugreek leaves make this dish an all around knockout. And as a vehicle for all that orgasmic sauce, each dish comes with a side of basmati rice that is so aromatic and tender, it’s more than just your average side. This is the dish that you tell your close minded friend who’s afraid to try indian food to order. Indian food for beginners and veterans alike.
Then came the lamb chops kabob. These meaty little lollipop chops are marinated in yogurt with garlic, cloves, cilantro, cumin, and ginger before being grilled to perfection on the tandoor oven. Exquisitely tender with deep flavors and just the right amount of char made these lamb chops a knock-out. 3 lollipop chops and a heap of that astounding basmati rice made this a generous lunch portion. Don’t kid yourselves though, we still ate it all and continued to gnaw on the bones until it became inappropriate.
Last, but CERTAINLY not least, the onion and chili naan. Naan is a truly amazing thing. It’s a flat, chewy bread that is baked super quickly along the screaming hot sides of the tandoor oven. Cooking at such a high temperature creates those little brown bubbles along the top that you can’t help peeling off and eating immediately. Naan comes in a huge variety of flavors ranging from plain to garlic and honey ginger- even stuffed naan! The onion and chilli was a great way to go. It came out super hot, chewy, and covered with fresh onion, cilantro, and a touch of dried chillies for some spice. We dipped that naan in everything that we possibly could. We dipped that naan all night long.
As usual, Kabob and Curry didn’t disappoint. It continues to be one of my favorite spots in Providence because it’s consistent, inexpensive, and made with high quality ingredients. They recently renovated and and the bar is a great spot to grab a beer or lassi while watching the game. Do yourself a favor and stop by one of their sister restaurants too- Rasoi at the end of Hope street and Rasa on Main Street in East Greenwich.