Kandas - Morrisville, NC - Great Indian Food
Kandas Indian Restaurant occupies a relatively small space off NC54 between Durham and Cary. I finally got around to checking it out on Saturday night, and it was much better than expected. Even after one meal, it is my new favorite Triangle Indian restaurant (NB - I have yet to try Saffron), especially given the prices are very affordable ($9-$13 for most entrees).
We opted for the "Kandas Feast". For $38 a couple, you get a 6-course meal, and everything on the menu is fair game! I thought for sure they would exclude the more expensive entrees like the Mixed Tandoor Grill, but they don't.
First Course - Chai.
Subtle flavor, very pleasing. Not the best Chai I've ever had, but that's only because I like it stronger than the way Kandas serves it.
Second Course - Soup/Salad
I had the mutton soup, which was fantastic. Really spicy - great to clear out the sinuses. Little chunks of goat meat dispersed throughout made this an unusual soup to eat, but I would definitely order it again.
My wife had the house salad, which was as you would expect. Nothing fancy.
Third Course - Appetizers.
The menu says that you choose 2 appetizers as part of the Kandas feast, but our server allowed us to choose the Appetizer sampler instead, which includes a small portion of 5 different appetizers. Fried cheese sticks were ok - needed a bit more spice. Fried banana peppers were very spicy but enjoyable. Tandoor chicken cubes were a little dry but nicely flavored. Meat Samosas were satisfying, as were the Veggie Samosas.
Fourth Course - Naan.
This isn't really it's own course, but I wanted to mention it anyway. As the entrees are served, you get a huge basket of different types of Naan. In our basket, we got the standard Naan, some garlic Naan, and some roti. The Garlic Naan was unbelievably addictive, but the other 2 were very good as well. I suspect if we had asked, they would have let us try some of the other varieties (10 in total), but this basket was their default.
Fifth Course - Entrees.
I had the Lamb Curry. Awesome, just awesome. Very powerful spices, big chunks of lamb and potato...I was in heaven on this one. My only complaint is with the rice served - it looked to be a standard white basmati, rather than a more aromatic Basmati that you might expect at an Indian restuarant.
My wife had the Butter Chicken. She enjoyed it quite a bit, but the sauce was a bit too rich for her - she couldn't finish it.
Sixth Course - Desert.
By this point we were stuffed, but the deserts looked too good to pass up.
I had the carrot halwa. Pretty standard, but tasty. Good enough to not leave any leftovers.
My wife had the Gulab Jamun, which was incredible. I am glad they only served a small portion of this, as we both could have eaten a ton of this dessert if it had been presented. My best description would be deep fried balls of dough, covered in honey - at least I think that's what it was.
All of the above was covered under the $38 Kandas Feast. An amazing meal, and I will definitely be back.
Only big negative I would point out is how empty the place was. At 6:30 on a Saturday night, you would expect the place to be hopping, but there was only one other couple in the restuarant the entire time we were there. Hoping they are able to survive, as there really isn't a better trade-off between value and quality among the Indian restaurants that I've tried.
Check it out:
I live near both Kandas and Saffron and am glad to have so many great Indian places nearby. If you haven't tried Saffron, check it out. In my humble opinion it is the best Indian restaurant in the Triangle (I'm a NY foodie who also happened to own an Indian restaurant so I have some point of reference:) ). I too worry about Kandas. My wife and I went there for lunch on Saturday when you would think people would be taking advantage of the buffet and there were just a couple of other tables. I hope they do well, but I just don't see them getting the volume they need. Hopefully the runoff from Neomonde will help. Thanks for the review. I hadn't tried the dishes you mentioned but will definitely have them now!
Another great restaurant in morrisville you should try is Inchin Bamboo Garden. It is an Indian chinese restaurant and the food is fantastic. Indian -chinese is a cuisine that alot of americans haven't been exposed to and they should. the cauliflower appetizer is great as well as the chilli chicken and hakka noodles.
I'm not sure exactly where it is but if you google it, you can find it.
Another place available serving that style cuisine is Pao Lim in durham. I have not eaten there, however I Have tried the owner's other restaurant in Winston-Salem , NC called Sechuan Palace. They have the best garlic sauce for dipping the crispy noodles in as an appetizer and they have the best chilli chicken I have ever eaten. They are located in a strip mall on Healey Drive off Stratford road. Give it a try you will like it.
I couldn't agree more about this being a great restaurant. I wish you could have tried the Chicken Tikka Masala because it is AMAZING! The staff is extremely friendly and often joking with our 2 year old daughter--they really couldn't be more accomodating and hospitable. I highly higly recommend this restaurant as it has become our favorite Indian restaurant in the Triangle.
We went *again* for lunch yesterday. Tried 4 different things off the menu. The only disappointment was the Saag Paneer, which the vegitarian in our group noted was plain and lacking flavor. Our Indian Food Newbie tried the Tandoor Chicken, which he loved. The other 2 entrees were Chicken Tikka, and Chicken Tikka Masala, since we wanted to see the difference. TKest, you are right - the Chicken Tikka Masala was unbelievable - well worth ordering again, and a bargain at $11 (at least by Triangle standards).
Too bad they don't have a seperate lunch menu/prices though. The buffet is cheap ($8), but fairly limited (only 14 items by my count). Unlimited Gulab Jamun almost makes it worthwhile though ;-)
My husband and I went last night and loved it. We too had the Kandas Feast for $39.
For our appetizers we had the meat samosas and veggie samosas. Both were good, but the veggie far better.
My husband really liked the mutton soup, mainly because it was spicy, I think. I had the mulligatawny soup and liked it, but wasn't blown away.
The naan was awesome. We too had plain, garlic, and roti. My husband, surprisingly, preferred the roti over the others. He was wild about it. I loved all of them -- probably the garlic the best. We will definitely try some of the many other types when we go back.
For my entree, I had the kadai lamb. It was delicious, but a bit too spicy for my tastes (disclaimer: I am a wimp). Very nice flavor, though, and not fatty or greasy. My husband had the fish moilee and loved it. It was very mild, which he usually isn't a fan of, but the flavor was so nice, so all was forgiven. I loved it too, though I don't like fish much, so much so that I would definitely consider ordering it when we go back.
For dessert, I got kulfi (ice cream) and my husband got gulab jamun, and we split them. They tasted great together. The gulab jamun was very good, but extremely sweet. The ice cream was much less sweet than American ice cream, so it paired well.
The place itself is nicely decorated but nothing fancy, and clean. At the end of dinner, though, there were a couple flies buzzing around, which wasn't pleasant. Service was so-so; I don't think our server understood much English, and we didn't see much of him.
I was actually pretty impressed at the turnout for a Monday night. When we got there at 6:30, no one else was there, but a couple tables showed up shortly after us, and by the time we left (two hours later), it was probably 80% full. Lots of Indian people there, which is always a good sign.
All in all, we will definitely go back, even though it's a 30 minute drive for us in Carrboro. There's no way I can squeeze the Kandas Feast into my belly again, but it was fun to try a bunch of stuff, and I have lots of ideas for what I'd like to have next time we go (including the chicken tikka masala!).
Kanda's Indian Restaurant
10255 Chapel Hill Rd, Morrisville, NC 27560