I had heard some good things about Kurry & Kabab, none of which had anything to do with its spelling. But every time I drove by the small eatery on East Colonial Drive it was closed. So when I was passing by the other day I barely glanced over to see the open sign was illuminated. I made a quick right-hand turn into the parking lot and went inside.
Kurry & Kabab is an Indian restaurant with counter service. It touts its use of halal certified foods. The menu is displayed on a board on the wall behind the counter. The number of offerings belies the restaurant’s size. There are, of course, kababs, including some described as Afghani, and there are curries, with lamb and goat options listed separately. As we learned recently, some local Indian restaurants offer goat as their mutton.
I was looking over the menu when a man stuck his head out from the back. He was on the phone and he held up a finger to indicate that he would be with me in just a moment. But it was his middle finger that he showed me, and it took just a moment to realize that he wasn’t telling me to get lost.
When he came out, I asked about the soup of the day. Lentil, he said. I love lentil soup, so that was my first order. He asked if I wanted it mild, medium or spicy. Medium, thank you.
For my entree, I requested the lamb shahi korma and I was mildly irritated when he asked again about the spicing. A korma is generally mild, so that’s what I asked for. The term shahi, by the way, means royal, and it’s used to indicate that the dish is more special than everyday fare.
The first disappointment came a moment later when the man came back to inform me that there was no lentil soup. (It was barely noon -- how could they be out?) Instead, he said, there was tomato. I OK’d the substitution.
I got my food to go (I’ll explain why in a moment) and it was all packaged neatly and included a large foam clamshell of basmati rice. And when the man had difficulty with the transaction, he handed me a bottle of water as an apology, which wasn’t really necessary.
I liked my food, including the tomato soup, which had a bit of a fiery note as well as a multitude of spice and flavors that went beyond mere tomato. The korma was good, too, though I don’t think the shahi designation was apt. It might have had some more meat for the $12.99 charge, but I enjoyed the creamy gravy, especially with the fluffy rice.
The reason I decided to enjoy my food as takeout was that the dining area wasn’t very inviting. There was a general unkemptness about the place, and in the restroom there was no hot water, something that is considered necessary for proper hand washing.
I was glad to finally try Kurry & Kabab, and I don’t think my reservations about the place would prevent me from stopping in again if I see the open sign on. But how much nicer it would be if more attention were paid to the neatness of the place -- and the plumbing.
Kurry & Kabab is at 10725 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando. (The address is the same as a large, mostly abandoned strip mall, but K&K is in an outparcel closer to Colonial.) It is open for lunch and dinner, in theory. The phone number is 407-273-2254.