Karahi King

By Chris Dias on November 16 2016

As it should be known to many, Karahi King was the recent 2015 winner of the Northern Taste Challenge, where several local restaurants competed in an Iron- Chef-style contest.

The event had the requisite secret ingredients, oversized red clock, and a charismatic celebrity host. In the end, the “king” was… well…King—well, actually queen if one were specific. The win was not just deserved; it was earned. Some of the dishes were epic, like a yogurt kebab—fried yogurt is apparently a thing now. The moment I sampled that, I knew there was genius at work. Yes, your Sherlockian deduction is correct—

I was a judge at said competition, the benefits of being a food critic. So by saying the victory was earned, I speak from firsthand experience. To put it bluntly, Karahi King is not only the best Indian restaurant in town but also one of the best restaurants in the entire city.

The décor, very often postscript with these establishments, is exquisitely ethnic, reaching inches from an echelon reserved for top-end bistros. Tables are topped by red cloth and sandwiched under flawless squares of glass. Napkins are folded fabric in empty glasses, not paper pulled from a cheap tin dispenser. The plates themselves are whimsical. Spotlights accentuate the shadows. Karahi King is one of the few Indian restaurants I’ve been to where I don’t have to excuse its faults. It replicates all the positives of other Indian establishments without repeating any of their mistakes.

And for the curious, those yoghurt kebabs are now a permanent fixture on the menu, referred to as Dahi-Ke-Kebab, and although their most expensive appetizer, the serving size is closer to a full meal. I enjoy the fact that Karahi King doesn’t feel the need to embellish chili powder like so many other places. Jagdish Gill lets the aromas of her homeland take you on a culinary journey, one where you’re introduced to the wonders of fenugreek, cloves and coriander.

The one aspect of Indian food I appreciate is that I’ve never met an Indian chef that phoned it in. Sure, there are those that rely on more westernized expectations, but I don’t’ recall every having a bad experience in an Indian restaurant, and maybe that’s the perch atop I place Karahi King.

The best Indian restaurant is quite bull’s-eye to hit, and Karahi King has most definitely found its mark.

Read my full review at http://princegastronome.tumblr.com/

CHRIS DIAS

Special Contributer to the ScenePG.

A2015Norm Coyne