Late-Night Indian Food in Jackson Heights...
While there were at least two other options (Kebab Cafe & Roti Boti), I was REALLY hungry late last night at decided to go for the late night buffet at the newish 'Khan Baba Restaurant' on
7415 Roosevelt Ave (right outside the 74th Street exit).
Now, it's no Mina--not by any stretch--but it seemed better to me than the other, sorta samey buffets that litter Jackson Heights.
Just from the physical layout of the place, it's much brighter than pretty much all the dingy, dark buffets out there.
Foodwise, they had a tray of freshly cut ginger, garlic, and hot peppers (so I was able to spice up my food)--I haven't seen that at any of the other places. And sure, at 2:00AM, most of the food was lukewarm, but they have a larger selection than any of the other restaurants out there. More specifically, they offered three different kinds of bread, three different kinds of rice (including 'sweet rice'), over a dozen main dishes, and a half dozen desserts. The late night price is just $7.99, and it really hit the spot... I definitely don't think it's worth the dinner price (something like $13!), and it's not worth going out of your way for, but if you have a buffet craving and it's not dinner, it's a much nicer place to eat than all the other cramped buffets out there.
The other night I stopped by and went to the back of the restaurant down steps to the take out. I ordered 4 chicken kebabs. You get one free when you order two. So I left with 6 kebabs for $6. The best I've had anywhere in Jackson Heights and so cheap. Incredibly moist with lots of flavor and very spicy.
For kebabs or things you order in the back restaurant area, they may be ok, but the one time I tried the buffett (on a weekend late afternoon) at Khan Baba Restaurant' was the worst I've had in Jackson Heights. The clean bright dining area may seem attractive but my experience was near tramatic at the taste level.
For late nights, Kababishi on 74th is good (I think they are open 24 hours). Service is disjointed but the flavor is there. You make your order at the counter and depending on the circumstances it will be delivered to you at your table or not. I got the best tandoor chicken I've ever had from there this weekend for take out. Much more piquant than any I've had before. They also have a distinctive variety of naan. The garlic and the sesame are my fave. Their food all tends to be highly spiced, which to me is a good thing.
I was just at Kababish on 74th and 37th Road for supper around 11:00 last night. Although I wish the avuncular waiter was a bit more assiduous in wiping the tables, it is generally tolerable in the area of cleanliness. My Indian companion was frustrated to find that they had no kormas left, and the fish tikka I wanted to try was also out. However, we did have the garlic naan which was different and tasty and a big chunk of fish that was spicy and fried (not breaded). It might have been raho, but whatever it was, it was really tasty, our favorite. The goat dish was nothing special, but we had a kind of flat beef kabab that was tasty, and kheer for dessert. The kheer was satisfying, a cross between cream of wheat and the tasty white sour cream dessert they serve in Senegalese restaurants. When we finished, we were content, not too full and without leftovers, and the whole bill with a soda was $21.50. That left us feeling quite good.
Overall, it's a satisfying late-night alternative. In the past I have tried the quail and especially liked another fish dish. I think they are particularly good with fish.
Yes, beside the breads it seems they do well with spit or tandoor roasted fowl or fish (fried too, I guess). Although I had fish one time that was on the dry side. It is a funky informal place but I go for taste.