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Dying for a Curry in Kansas City

I had the best curry twice/week in England last summer and now I'm having a craving. We've been to Touch of Asia (105th & Metcalf) which is pretty good. Is there another authentic Indian restaurant in town we can try?

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  1. I'm no expert on Indian food but Korma Sutra behind Applebees at Metcalf and College is very good.

    Not Indian but the Seafood in Yellow Curry at The Thai Place rules. Generous portions of squid, shrimp, mussels, and "krab" in yellow curry sauce and rice as spicy as you like.

    1. One of my favorites when we lived in KC was Taj Mahal at 75th and Wornall. Don't waste your time with Great India on 39th street.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jojoamelia

        Taj Mahal and Great India had owners in common. I'd liked Great India when it first opened but switched to Taj Mahal when they opened some years later.

        The name Great India has changed within the past year or so and now has Taj Mahal in the name but I can't recall precisely what it is now. I've heard their food is now more like the Waldo location offers. Haven't checked for myself.

        1. re: KCJ

          Just checked the name now used for the old Great India. It's now called Taj Palace. I was out anyhow so just drove by to see. That space will always be Cafe Lulu to me!

      2. There are a couple of places that were not recommended above that you may want to try:

        Kebabesh (119th & US-69)- This is a Pakistani place, and they have a couple of pretty good curry dishes.

        Swagat (Zona Rosa)- I haven't been, but it's all vegetarian. I have friends who swear by this place.

        If you want non-Indian curry, go to Salsa's Mexican Grill on 135th and Nieman on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. I know it doesn't sound like a place to get good curry, but the family that owns it is Malaysian, and on the days mentioned above, there is a Malaysian menu. We went there a couple of weeks ago and I loved it!

        1. I just went to Kababesh's website. I'm definitely going to try it. I haven't seen haleem on a menu anywhere around here. The same with kata kat.
          Swagat didn't used to be vegetarian. Have they changed? They had wonderful lamb vindaloo.
          Both Korma Sutra locations are great. We've never had a mediocre curry at either location. Has anyone tried Taj Palace on 39th Street? It's where Great India used to be.

          1 Reply
          1. re: zataar

            Sawgats is not vegetarian. It is fabulous. However, I've never had the curry. My husband also loves love the lamb vindaloo. (I'm going to have to send him on a scouting mission to Runchi's as he works right around the corner.)

          2. All the local Indian boy and girl transplants as well as many locals I know in KC are ga-ga over Runchi's Indian Cuisine off of College Blvd. and Antioch. This is the only lunchtime Indian Buffet worth visiting . . .the number one reason the buffet isn't made of entirely brown dishes as most Indian cuisine tends to look all brown when placed side by side on a buffet line. Curry galore is found here. This place has a wonderful mix of both Northern Indian and Southern Indian dishes it serves. At dinner, you will find Runchi's private and a quiet place to wind down in the evening. Thai Place, Kababesh Grill and Korma Sutra are all other nice Indian inspired places to visit, but Runchi's is hands down considered the most authentic Indian in Kansas City.
            Ruchi Indian Cuisine
            11168 Antioch Rd
            Overland Park, KS 66210

            1 Reply
            1. re: jvergara

              I agree. I love their varied lunch buffet. Ruchi's is the best I have found.

            2. Thanks everyone! I haven't been to any of those - I can't wait to try them. Runchi's is very close for lunch so I'm there!

              Yes, have had the yellow curry at Thai Palace - it's wonderful. The Gang Dang Red Curry Chicken is awesome as well. I get a craving for that at least twice/month and order take-away.

              1. Agreed. Ruichi and Touch of Asia are the best Indian. If you are open to other curries, definitely Thai Place, but head north for Vienamese in and around the city market and Columbus Park. Also, it is not on the menu anymore, but the chef/owner at Kaiyo (near 119th and Roe) does lovely non-Japanese style dishes and one is a curry. The chefs there used to be at Sushi House and opened their own place.

                1. Hey - I went to Ruichi for lunch today. All I can say is "YUM". Veg. Korma was some of the best I've had. Great lunch buffet! The only thing missing was papadums, but they had everything else I love.
                  Next stop - Kebabesh.

                  1. I totally forgot about Ruichi! I especially enjoy their South Indian menu. We love their potato filled dosas, the really large, thin ones. All of their fresh chutneys are wonderful. I've never been to the buffet. Time to go for sure.

                    Please post your experience with Kababesh. It's been posted about before and their website is nice. If we drive 40 minutes to eat somewhere we hope it's good! It's quite a trek for us to South Johnson County, but if the food is worth it, so is the drive!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: zataar

                      My experience with Kababesh :
                      We moved here recently from NY and have tried many pakistani restaurants. I would say that Kababesh ends up in the top third. Only tried the pakistani food but the Haleem and Nahari were fantastic, and the portions were large. Service was good and everything was very inexpensive. Were accustomed to pakistani food being expensive with little meat since it is usually halal as this place is, but the servings were huge. I do think it is worth the drive if you are a fan of or interested in trying pakistani food. The pakoras are excellent too.

                    2. A quick word about Korma Sutra: they are accomodating and gracious! I also get the idea they aren't doing so well, so we should try to get out and support them. Udipi closed just up the street, and I'd hate to see the Metcalf location of KS close too. (I know there were "issues" with Udipi, but let's not revisit.)

                      We asked for chapati, not noticing it wasn't on the menu, and they said it was "No problem. Chapati is easy!" I'd recommend asking for it, because we found it much more flavorful than the white naan and paratha on the menu. They also ply you with things you didn't order, a taste of lassi, some tea and a few sweets after the meal, wanting you to leave full and happy. Perhaps you'll order lassi next time? wink Lovely servers there...

                      1. OK - finally made it to Korma Sutra for lunch today and it was WONDERFUL. My new favorite restaurant for take away. Not as big of a selection as Ruichi, but I thought the food was better. They asked if we wanted to take a Chai Tea to go, and we said no thanks, paid the bill and were getting in the car when the waiter ran out of the restaurant after us and gave us Teas to go and Naan bread. Can you believe it?
                        Service was really, really good. I'm definitely heading there for lunch at least 2X/month.

                        1. So glad you liked Korma Sutra. We think it is one of the best. I really like goat curry and goat masala, they do it very well. They always have lots of vegetable options, which are my favorite. I'll get a small serving or two of a meat and lots of non meat items and leave very happy. Some of their vegetable offerings are very spicy, we love that.
                          There will come a point in the meal where we tell the server that we need no more mango lassi or naan. It's refilled practically before you've gotten through 25% of the first go round. I love the music they play.

                          1. Had to get out and score some Korma Sutra after reading so many delicious posts about it . . .was told by my Indian friends that this place ranks a close second behind Runchi's. Okay, okay already, I'm going! Visited the Westport location for dinner one weekday night and shared an unbelieveable feast called the Korma Sutra Non-Vegetarian Family Dinner - 7 fantastic courses for two people for $29.00. A steal! We enjoyed Chicken Samosas, Coconut soup, Lamb Saag, Chicken Tika Masala, served with Basamati Rice and the biggest most beautiful Naan, and for dessert Galub Jamun (cheese balls, deep fried, ((oh my god!)) served with a light rose water syrup) and Mango Kulfi (homemade mango ice cream, trust me, like heaven in a cup.) Highly recommend trying this place for lunch or dinner.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jvergara

                              Thanks for that listing/review. I plan to try all of them.

                              I travel to London occasionally and on my first trip I was asked if I liked curry. Thinking of Curry Chicken in the Chinese restaurants, I said "Sure, if there's lots of it." Having once visited Mother India in Overland Park and being more than a little turned off by it (my wife and I likened it to the meal in one of the Indiana Jones movies), imagine my chagrin when we were strolling down Brick Lane.

                              A place was selected at the end of the road and I was quite surprised at how good the food was. My hosts (about a dozen of them -- it was the end of a pub crawl dubbed "Tank the Yanks") ordered for me. When I was nearly done, I asked one of my hosts "Don't these places typically serve really hot, spicy foods?" (I did appreciate the ability-to-see-through-walls hotness of Mother India) and he answered in the affirmative and named a few dishes and I asked which was one hottest. "Phawl" (sp?) was his hesitant reply. I told him I'd like to try that and he and others at the table were asking if I were sure, as it was a culinary inferno. The waiter even seemed concerned, but they brought it on and it was wonderful! Wish I hadn't filled up so much on other items. Only had room for about half of it, but it was the food equivalent of Nirvana. As I told my hosts, I felt like I'd just found the Grail. A dish that was both tasty and hot right up to the limit of my ability to tolerate hot. Had they waved a picture of a habanero over the dish, the additional heat would've exceeded my limits.

                              My concerned-looking hosts, who sounded genuinely worried when they warned me to be careful before my first bite, offered me that cucumber yogurt stuff and I had to tell them that, yeah, it hurt, but it hurt so good! Enjoy the endorphins! Good thing I didn't take the yogurt. My partner, also a Yank, dipped a finger lightly into the sauce, tasted it, turned bright red, and at all the yogurt.

                              It was a wonderful reintroduction to Indian food, and now I call it curry myself. On my most recent trip to London, a few of us went to a more upscale one and I found it nearly as good as the one on Brick Lane, but sadly lacking the home-grown raucousness of the first place. I remember I had the Chicken Vindaloo and really enjoyed it.

                              So, I arrive to my point at long last.

                              Night before last, I took a visiting London associate to Swagat. Had the Chicken Tika for starters and I thought it was wonderful, though my guest commented that the generosity of the serving, especially for a starter, was over-sized as he's always found food to be in the States. (I agree -- if you clean your plate most places and eat out a lot, obesity is guaranteed). He agreed that it was quite good, though.

                              We both ordered Chicken Vindaloo, and were asked whether we wanted it mild, spicy, or extra-spicy, He went with the mild. You know what I went with.

                              The Vindaloo and Phawl I remember from London had a sauce that really was a sauce. Pourable. And fiery. At Swagat it was more like a gravy that'd been kept warm since supper prep. Granted, we got there at 8:30, so my description may be right on the money. It clung to the food in such a way that you couldn't tell chicken from potato until you shoved your fork into it. And mine had perhaps half the heat of what I'd had in London.

                              I'll give them another try earlier in the evening and see if they're any better, but though I generally liked it, I hope it's not the best I can get between London visits.

                              I'm going to try all of the other places on your list. It's been about 2 months since my last trip to London and 2 more to my next, and my wife is starting to get tired of hearing "Dangit. I'm really jonesing for some curry!!!"

                              Will post my thoughts here as I try each one, though each will likely take longer to read than the meal did to consume. :)

                            2. Anyone who says anythig good about Taj Mahal needs to really visit the other places. working close to Taj mahal, their lunch buffet is exactly the same everyday, and having rodered much of their food, it appears they pre-cook the meats and then make a base sauce for the dish and then calling it Korma or Tikka Masala. In the end the flavors are similar and it shoudl not be that way. Here is an honest opinion:

                              Swagat: My personal favorite, the location is brand spanking new as they moved right off of barry road into a super posh and clean new building in Zona Rosa, the staff usually learns your name by the 4th visit and is very engaging, and the food is extremely balaced in seasonings providing distinct tastes. Best in KC

                              Rucci: I agree as the other guy mentioned before, the Indian transplants I know in this city agree Rucci's is their hands down favorite. Large buffet, Mango Lassi is free on the buffet (Nobody else has it free to my knowledge) and they also offer BOTH Masala and chai teas.

                              Korma Sutra: They use more seasonings in their foods than the other places however they still taste amazing and they marry their spices well. the Korma Sutra in Overland Park is horrible for buffets, its very crowded and no elbow space. Try the Korma Sutra in westport as it offers the same exact food, but a much open and less clausterphobic space.

                              Malay Cafe: Driving past it the other day it appears to be closed, however since moving to KC, they were one of my favorite resturants for Chinese/Malay food. Curries are a little more expensive but the flavor is slap your momma good.

                              Kababesh Grill: Pakistani resturant (Basiclly indian with a few differences) I actually worked at this resturant part time through college and got to know the place very well. The kitchen is super clean, and everything is prepared from scratch. Curries and spinach dishes are utterly delicious. however if you go there try the Chicken Briyani. Indian places around town make low quality Briyani (Its a pakistani spacialty oviously) but if you haven't had it at Kababesh then you really havent had the real thing. Super delicious.

                              Thai House: Has a seafood yellow curry at lunch for about 7 bucks and it was stupid delicious. I dont know if their other curry items.

                              Thai Place: Hands down the best Thai resturant in KC, they have a very good red curry seafood, however, give Panang a try. Its a thai coconut/peanut sauce curry with chicken and white rice. that dish is absolutely a slice of heavan.

                              1. I just called malay Cafe and its open! apparantly they have some strange new tint on their glass and makes it very dark. Its on the south side of barry road jsut east of the I-29 exit. Im taking my wife there TOOONIGHT

                                1. The best in town is Masalas which is a brand new restaurant and it close to real indian food. This is located near whole foods 91st & Metcalf corner.
                                  check their website for daily buffet updates http://www.kcmasalas.com

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: Lenilkone

                                    i agree that Masalas is very tasty. My favorite Indian food restaurant in town.

                                    1. re: Lenilkone

                                      I visited Masalas in October. The buffet was large, the service was very good and the decor was the best of any Indian restaurant I have visited in the metro. But the food did not impress me. The chef made choices that I don't care for. In particular, he uses very little dairy in preparing the dishes and the difference in flavor was quite noticeable.

                                      India Cafe, a block away, has little to recommend it. I can't imagine how it will stay open with Masalas right there.

                                      I have long been a fan of Swagat and Ruchi, but feel that Indian Palace on 87th in OP has jumped ahead of them in the past year or so. The last couple of times I have eaten there, my reaction to the food has been "Wow!" All three of these restaurants serve as good of Indian food as I found in London or New York.

                                      Thai Tradition on 151st Street is another "wow!" place. The food is great and they have a large inexpensive lunch menu. Many combination meals are only $7.25 including entree, rice, soup or salad, and appetizers of the day. You do have to be careful how spicy you order. I usually get medium or hot, but their it is strictly mild.

                                      1. re: KansasTravel

                                        I agree with much of what you've said above, but wanted to mention something about India Cafe. I believe that the owners intended this place to be more of a chaat house than a restaurant. They've changed the menu since opening, probably to accomodate diners who expect curries, etc. What they do well there is chaat, snacks or small meals. So, if you order a dosa with sambhar or pooris or samosa smothered in chickpeas, drizzled with chutneys and yogurt, I hope you'd like the food better.

                                        There's a place called the Taj Chaat House further down Metcalf, all the way in Stillwell, i think that specializes in the same kind of dishes. I haven't tried them, but have heard they are good, too. This kind of dining is meant to be more casual than a restaurant, but is fairly new to KC, so I don't think most of us here know what to expect and are a bit thrown off by the atmosphere.

                                        1. re: amyzan

                                          We made the trip way out to Taj Market Chaat House some months back. It is at 149th and Metcalf in a small strip mall. The food was great and the owners and their family were delightful. They even put English subtitles on the movie one of their daughters was watching so we could enjoy it, too. The adjoining market was very nice.

                                          1. re: amyzan

                                            Thanks for you comments, amyzan. Taj Chaat House is new to me.

                                            Last month, I tried most of the items India Cafe had on their lunch buffet. The only things that I felt were average or better were the lentil wafers and masala dosa.

                                            The chai tea was good, but they brought only a half cup and never refilled it.

                                        2. I am picky about Indian Food. I would agree that Masala's at 91st & Metcalf, in the shopping mall on the west side of the street ,is hands down the best Indian food in the area. It is large and able to accommodate groups and families, but it has an intimate feel that lovers will love. The kitchen chef is the real deal - always a good indication. Kababesh runs a neck-in-neck second, and Korma Sutra is good. Taj Majal has gone downhill. Not a fan of Ruichi.