It takes a fair bit of effort to impress me. When an invite to try this restaurant came through a friend, I was underwhelmed after learning it was located in a fairly minor mall in the suburbs.
I should learn not to judge on location and appearance because Kababs & Kurries has been a surprise hit for me.
I arrived solo on a recent Saturday afternoon, having battled traffic, heat , dust and my usual hysteria that comes from trying to pack two many errands at disparate ends of the city into a six hour period).
What greeted me was a technicolor oasis. The interiors are a little on the garish side, but with family sanctioned curtained booths, I could recover my composure with a cold towel and a long tall glass of water.
It was a good thing I did.
Let me just say that I was kind of expecting a pretty run of the Indian food. Again…I should really keep my assumptions in check.
Placated with poppadams and a selection of dipping sauces, I threw myself at the mercy of the kitchen. Smartest thing I have done in a while.
A sample platter of kebabs landed on my table, smelling of grilled goodness. The two chicken kebabs were moist, tender and perfectly spiced while the tandoori style prawn was spicy yet well cooked.
The Veg platter was full of surprises including a spicy tandoori style broccoli and a deliciously morish paneer. Special mention must go to the dahi ke kebab which is hung curb (cheese people!), ginger, chilli and spices fashioned into a patty and fried. The texture was a little off-putting at first (its very soft), but after one bite you will be hooked.
At this stage I was pretty happy I only had time for a banana for breakfast because the selection of breads and curries brought for me to try was a knockout.
The saag paneer (spinach and cottage cheese) had texture and a beautiful bright green color as opposed to other versions I have had in Doha which have been mushy and a little slimy.The house speciality of daal was creamy comfort food at its best.
But the butter chicken was a revelation. Don’t settle for the sickly sweet concoctions so common here – this is the real deal. Rich with tomatoes and not a drop of red food coloring in sight, the chicken was tender and cooked by someone who knew their trade. Accompanied by a well spiced prawn biryani served “dum” style with a pastry shell as well as a selection if parathas and other breads, this meal would have me wishing I lived closer.
This outlet, hailing from Abu Dhabi has apparently been an open secret amongst those who live in the area. As usual, I am l ate to the party.
The chef is from India’s north and this is evident from the rich yet fresh tasting gravies.
Prices are pocket friendly, servings fresh and service is well informed and approachable. On the Saturday I visited, locals and expats happily dined out, enjoying their fresh made juices. Word is they will start to deliver soon and have other outlets planned around the city.
The moral for me was never judge a restaurant by its surroundings because being open minded might just land you a gem like this one.
*You can get two for one main courses at Kebabs & Kurries and a range of other dining, spa and travel deals by joining The Advantage Club.
**Life on the Wedge was a guest of Kababs & Kurries but seriously I would pay several times over for food this good.
Kababs & Kurries
Upstairs at 01 Mall
Wadi Al Shaheeniya Street, Ain Khalid, Doha
Phone: +974 44440133