Location: 36-05 30th Avenue
Best Dish: The olive garlic naan was sensational but the Bhuna Goat was the star. The meat was fork tender smothered in the sauce for a luxurious mouth feel. If you don’t do goat you may want to reconsider, or just go with the Goan Shrimp. The shrimp were just as tasty.
Overall: A casual but trendy space for your next foodie adventure. Kurry Qulture is the space to expose a novice to the flavors of India. The food is straightforward and some dishes can be customized to your spice tolerance. A great advantage when exploring new things. Most importantly it is the best in the boro, why not start at the top?
Astoria has enjoyed a renaissance over the last few years. As Millenials make a mass exodus to the outer boroughs, many are finding their way to the now bustling neighborhood. The area is growing rapidly with shops and eateries popping up regularly. 30th Avenue, for example, is quickly becoming a foodie destination with restaurants, not fast food chains, lining each block. We visited the area on a lazy Saturday for a lovely dinner in one of the top rated Indian Restaurants in the area. Kurry Qulture has the unique distinction of winning several awards for taste quality and overall excellence. In fact, it has won the highly coveted Michelin Star and the Best in the Boro Award for the best Indian Restaurant in all of Queens, NY. MAJOR!
Kurry Qulture is where owner Sonny Solomon combines his fine dining background and creativity to offer intricately spiced and artfully plated, progressive Indian cuisine that foregoes the heavy cream sauces of India’s north and instead represents elements of southern coastal India.
With such high accolades, we simply had to give this place a try. The contemporary decor is both chic and casual. The neutral walls are decorated with an assortment of charming photos of India. We found seats in a rear booth of the space overlooking their seasonal outdoor seating, which we are looking forward to checking out when the temperature rises a little.
Our first cocktail of the evening was The Diya cocktail. The Diya is part of their “Light Cocktail” menu and is made with bourbon, ginger beer, and fresh ginger. The Diya was quite refreshing and a good way to start our dinner. The bourbon was just right.
The menu at Kurry Qulture is an ever-evolving combination of fresh local ingredients classic Indian flavors. The menu changes with the seasons and our visit coincided with the tail end of the winter menu. As such some of the items we enjoyed may not be available for Spring and Summer. For example, we were dying to try the KQ Wings we saw on their social media and were heartbroken to find them unavailable. We opted instead for the Masala Fried Calamari and the Shrimp Chettinad. We weren’t disappointed, both starters were excellent. The calamari is unlike any other we’ve had before it was crisp and well seasoned then drizzled with a spicy aioli. We could snack on it all day.
The Shrimp Chettinad is a tasty dish of shrimp sauteed in aromatic spices served atop a crisp tapioca wafer. The sauce seeped into the wafer adding a smooth velvety texture to some bites. This alone was worth the trip to Astoria.
While waiting for our entrees we enjoyed another round of drinks. The mixologists at KQ have cultivated a fun assortment of beverages to compliment the savory cuisine. We enjoyed the Phone on the Range, a bright citrusy mix of tequila mango and orange liqueur.
If you’re into whiskey you’ll love the Blurry SOS, a very berry mixture of whiskey and blackberry syrup topped with soda. Both the Blurry SOS and Phone on the Range are cocktails we hope will stick around throughout the warmer seasons.
The Executive Chef Binder Saini at Kurry Qulture draws inspirations from local and global sources. This broad mindset led to the creation of Garlic Olive Naan. We have enjoyed garlic naan for years but the Naan at Kurry Qulture is the only place we’ve ever experienced Olive and Garlic Naan. The bits of chunky black olive added a briny sweetness to the bread. The distinctive flavor was inspired by the Greek heritage of the surrounding neighborhood.
The bread was enjoyed with rice and a trio of curry dishes; Murgh Makhni, Bhuna Goat, and Goan Shrimp Curry. Each curry held similar but unique flavor. The Murgh Makhni is a chicken dish made with pulled chicken and spicy tomato gravy. The Goan Shrimp Curry was warm and savory; the shrimp were succulent and juicy. The Goat was our favorite of the three. The meat was luscious and tender.
Our last dish of the evening was the Tandoori Prawn. The Tandoori Prawn is served with a side of crispy okra. Having had fried okra on several occasions, we expected heavily battered bits of okra. We were presented with a lovely tray of crispy julienned okra. The texture was light and crunchy without the sliminess usually associated okra. After the rich curries, the tandoori style prawn and crackling okra were a welcome shift.
We ended dinner with one more cocktail. This last drink was an ode to Queens, the Astoria Of My Life is a strong mixture of bourbon, sweet vermouth, thyme, and fig. Much like the neighborhood, it is a combination of flavors that are good separately but combined meld into something extraordinary. The wine list includes global varietals, from California Chardonnay and Oregon Pinot Noir to Spanish Garnacha and Argentine Malbec, as well as various old- and new-world wines by the bottle, including rarer selections from South Africa, Australia and Greece. Beers on tap includes Kingfisher, Montauk IPA and Stella Artois.
Kurry Qulture is one of many Indian restaurants in Queens. If it had been known as the best in a two block radius that would be have been a great honor, but is the best in the boro which is no easy task. The staff at KQ have cultivated an enticing menu and welcoming atmosphere that continues to propel their venue to new heights. The accolades are well deserved, the food is amazing, the space is beautiful, and the service is impeccable. Do yourself a favor and venture off the beaten path and take a trip to Astoria for some of the city’s best Indian food, at Kurry Qulture.
Kurry Qulture is located at 3605 30th Ave., Astoria, Queens 11103. 718-674- 1212. Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 5 p.m.-10 p.m, Friday 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday lunch noon to 3 p.m. dinner 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m. and Sunday lunch noon to 3 p.m. dinner 5 p.m.-10 p.m. KurryQulture.com.