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Jan 23, 2009 05:14 AM

Hyderabadi-style restaurant in Birmingham

The local paper highlighted a new restaurant, Kohinoor, in the paper today. They called it an Indo-Pak place (which I take to mean Indian-Pakistani). They mentioned the cooking style was slow and ceremonially based, but didn't really elaborate too much beyond that. The dishes listed (butter chicken, tandoori chicken) sound like standard Indian fare. So what REALLY establishes the difference between traditional Indian food and Hyderabadi food?

Just trying to broaden my knowledge of ethnic cuisine . . .

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  1. I ate there on Sunday evening. First off, I thought it was good. It was a different menu than I've ever seen although that may not be saying to much. I didn't recognize a single dish off of the dinner menu by name. The descriptions were very good though so it wasn't hard to order at all. They did have some kabobs and a couple of other dishes on the appetizer menu also. They didn't have a togo menu so I'll just have to describe what I had.

    We started out w/ an appetizer that was awesome! It was fried spinach(onion was also an option) w/ a kind of sweet/spicy dipping sauce. Just fantastic!

    For dinner I had a sort of beef chunk soup/stew. It had ginger, garlic, mint and cilantro along w/ a bunch of spices. The meat was a bit fatty, but very tender. The broth was sweet, but packed a pretty good punch. I really enjoyed it. My one real complaint was that the cilantro contained to many stems. I know cilantro stems are edible, but it was somewhat annoying b/c there were so many. Overall, a good dish that I would eat again.

    We also had a sort of soup that was ground up lentils w/ tomato chunks, cilantro and spices. It was very good and very flavorful. Would recommend this to someone that wants to try the place, but isn't quite ready to jump in with mutton.

    One of the things that made this meal so good was the naan bread! It was perfect. Soft, slightly chewy cooked to perfection! As I mentioned both meals were on the brothy side, so the bread was perfect for soaking up the sauces! Southern style sopping!

    Overall, my experience was very good. I will be back to try other items very soon! The dishes appear to be highly seasoned and on the spicy side, but it all seemed to work very well together. I hope this helped!

    Oh yeah, to answer your original question about what the difference is b/t this style restaurant and regular indian food...I have no idea. sorry! ;-)

    3 Replies
      1. re: mwr0978

        Thanks for the link. I love spicy food so I'll definitely have to give them a try. Since I work at UAB, it's an easy lunch trip. Now if I could only persuade my coworkers to try this kind of food . . .

      2. re: mwr0978

        I had lunch there before Christmas and really enjoyed it. I can't remember specifically what we ordered, but do remember really liking everything my friend and I ordered except the eggplant. (I think it was based in some sort of very heavy beef broth.) But as said above, the naan was great. The best I have had in town.


        Here is one blog entry on it which I assume is the one sheilal references. This sounds like a good opportunity for a group outing to eat family-style and try lots of different dishes. I may give it a run this weekend.

        Regarding the article, I wonder about comments such as "we were put off by the regular sequencing of the arrival of the dishes - entrees before appetizers, one missed order and different (plastic) plates arriving every five minutes or so with no organization to the meal." While the missed order comment is understandable, I find lots of Asian, Indian, etc. restaurants in the US do not necessarily serve in the traditional Western order of apps then entres and serving family style can seem chaotic. While I'm not familiar with the order of serving in the native countries (yet!), I have to assume the natives from these countries that opened US restaurants did not change any order arbitrarily? I would think an author with "a year in up-country Thailand and additional experience along the Thai-Malaysian border" would understand this? Like today I ate lunch with a friend at Red Pearl and the salt and pepper squid didn't come out until we were almost done with the beef and jalapenos and sauteed green beans (awesome) but that kind of pacing doesn't matter much to me. I'd rather them not sit under a heat lamp waiting for the rest of the order. Whatever, minor quibble.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Dax

          I went for lunch today and just ordered the chicken 65 (ordered spicy, but it wasn't particularly, just very tender boneless chicken dyed red by all of the various ingredients to the marinade/coating?) and some excellent naan and a mango lassi. I'll definitely return to try the mutton dishes.

          No takeout menus were available.