The décor featured a room colored in earth tones and orange. Pictures and paintings of Indians wearing traditional clothing hung on the walls of the restaurant. I found the place to be a little too dark; more lighting would have been better. On small televisions located at opposite corners of the room, Bollywood music videos played. The videos are quintessentially Indian in nature: exotic rhythms, Indian dancers, lovers staring for long, very long, times at each other and a rapper, his words occasionally bleeped when he uses Indian profanity. The rap performer, with the censored language, created laughs in our group.
I went India Kabab & Curry to try its lunch special, an all-you-can-eat buffet for $7.99. It’s an everyday deal, bucking the trend of many buffets to charge more on weekends.
The buffet was small, but featured a variety of Indian dishes. Buffets tend to create a few problems. First, unless you know your cuisines, you tend to grab a bit of everything, not knowing what entrée goes with what side dish. The second is that, while eating, it is difficult to cleanse the pallet between dishes.
I started my gastronomic adventure with Daal, a lentil soup. A mellow, almost faint, curry taste served as a gateway food, introducing me to the choices requiring a little more courage. However, it was a little too bland, being the most forgettable part of my meal.
Our waiter served Naan, a flat bread cooked in a tandoor clay oven. It was chewy, but not doughy, with a light garlic taste. Like most breads, I used it as a tool for sopping up the extra sauce on my plate.
A dish of cabbage deep-fried in a chickpea batter surprised me with its light crispy exterior and delicious cabbage center. Unlike many dishes I have had featuring overcooked cabbage, the vegetable still maintained much of its character while cooked just enough to be soft and easy to chew. Of all the dishes I had at India Kabab, this remains my favorite. My grandmother, a Russian, made pirozhki with cabbage and this reminded me of her pirozhki, although a bit lighter.
Having the chicken masala and fish masala over rice, I found both to taste essentially the same. The masala sauce, sweet with hints of ginger and cinnamon, tasted fine with the rice, but remained another bland choice. I enjoyed the fish much more than the chicken, but both had a dry tough texture from sitting too long under the buffet’s heating lamps.
For dessert, I tried the rasgula, a cheese ball soaked in sugar syrup. Although a little too sweet for my taste, I enjoyed the sponge-like texture in my mouth. Others in the group did not like the texture of the rasgula.
I doubt I will return to India Kabab & Curry, but I enjoyed the cabbage fritter and the naan a lot. Some of the other dishes had qualities I liked, but I found them too bland or overcooked. I may search for another Indian restaurant to try and see how it compares to India Kabab.
India Kabab & Curry
1091 S Virginia St
Reno, NV 89502
Phone: (775) 348-6222
Open 7 Days: 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM