It wasn’t even a year ago that I told you about a new restaurant on Curry Ford Road called Forever Naan.
Unfortunate name, that.
It was doing full versions of classic Indian dishes – Butter Chicken, Lamb Curry – and doing them good enough, but for whatever reason it closed.
In its place now is Kathi Rolls, named for a food made popular by street vendors in Kolkata. A kathi roll, sometimes spelled kati though it’s pronounced kha-thee, is essentially a kebab served in a folded paratha. So it’s basically an Indian wrap sandwich. Or a subcontinental taco. As served at this eponymous restaurant, it’s also very good.
Particularly the Lamb Tikka and especially if you order it with egg. Egg is typical part of a traditional kathi roll but is an option here for a $1 upcharge. The egg is beaten and cooked on the paratha, a flaky sort of flatbread, so that it looks like a thin omelet in the wrap. No need to worry about yolk oozing out while you eat it.
You may need to worry about other juices, however. The small cubes of lamb were marinated in yogurt and spices and skewered for grilling, then served in the wrap with slices of red onion, peppers and a sprinkling of cilantro. A bit of mint chutney added just the right note.
On another visit I tried the Paneer Tikka kathi but without the egg, and it didn’t seem as satisfying. But we’re also talking about cubes of cheese rather than juicy meat, so there’s that.
I also ordered the Lamb Basmati Bowl, a base of fluffy white rice (you can have brown rice, too, if you prefer) topped with the same ingredient that went into the kathi and a sauce of your choice. I selected the palak, a creamy spinach sauce, and I think I chose wisely. There were a few too many raw onions on top for my taste, but once I plucked most of them off I loved what was underneath.
I also liked the Samosa appetizer, two big and plump turnovers filled with potatoes and peas. Delicious with the tamarind chutney that accompanied.
The Roti/Prata starter was just a bit of the bread to tear and eat, but I really liked the coconut milk and cashew based korma sauce that came with it.
Kathi Rolls is a quick-serve operation. Place your order with one of the friendly people who will undoubtedly greet you warmly, then take a seat or wait for your takeout order.
The space isn’t large so seating is limited. There have been a couple of changes since the last tenant. There is still a bright red wall covered with pictures but those photos no longer have a Bollywood theme. Also, a large window was cut along the wall that separates the hall leading to the restrooms and the kitchen, allowing you to see into the space where chef Shantanu Sen and his crew work (and wok). Sen is a native of Kolkata but has worked in California, Bermuda and with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in Miami over his 37-year career.
Perhaps he’ll stay in Orlando for a while. Forever, maybe?
Kathi Rolls is at 4205 Curry Ford Road, Orlando. It is open for lunch and early dinner Tuesday through Sunday, closing at 7:30 weeknights and 7 Saturdays and Sundays. The phone number is 407-866-0007.