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Oct 4, 2009 04:36 AM

Kabob 'n' Karahi -- Better than Ravi Kabob?

I could have just added to the existing thread, with Dean's raves, but I thought such an eye-catching -- but well-deserved -- header might draw new readers. Tried it today for the first time, and it was really fantastic. The lamb chops were perhaps the best I've had in the area, the chicken-on-bone was great, too, the chickpeas better than that (earthier than the also-terrific Ravi K. variation) and the samosa chat and mango lassi first-rate. Perhaps more importantly, the karahis looked delicious; the family at the next table said they'd been looking far and wide
for great karahis, and that this one was the platonic ideal, better even than Ravi's. Can't wait to try it next time. This could be the best Pakistani restaurant in the area. If only it were more centrally located . . . .

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    1. re: sekelmaan

      Yes. Although I haven't tried their Kahari or lamb chops, I've tried much of their other menu items. The naan, chickpeas, and definitely the lamb kabobs are better than Ravi's (I) - way less gristle. Don't care much for the mango lassi, though - too sweet and watery. The haleem is outstanding at both places. Overall, I'd give the edge to K 'n K.

      1. re: comestibles

        I was just looking at the menu. I am going today. Goat karahi and nihari are calling.

        1. re: sekelmaan

          They were sold out of the Lamb Karahi last weekend when i was there (Sunday around 7pm) so we had the Goat instead.




          sekelmaan, it's supposed to be a serving for 2 people, but I recommend not eating lunch and not sharing with anyone. It was absolutely amazing.

          I've only been to Ravi twice, and the visits were over a year ago, but I don't remember the food being this good there.

          Oh, and what everyone else said about the chickpeas, and the boneless chicken kabob was fantastic as well. I thought the bread needed about 10 more seconds in the oven - it was appropriately chewy, but a few seconds short of blistered.

          And when they ask, make sure you say "yes, I really mean spicy".

    2. We live just down the road from Kabob 'n' Karahi. When it first opened I went in and introduced myself to the two main guys Rajah and Rejah(?)
      The food is OK but the service is PAINFULLY slow. We always got take-out, and the process is like watching paint dry. The guys behind the counter are blissfully unaware of what's going on in front of them, the customer. While a counter guy was packing up my order, he stopped right in the middle, picked up a dine in order and proceeded to deliver it to a table. Of course they engaged him in conversation and he never came back to finish my order.
      We regularly go to Maiwand Kabob in Burtonsville, and Moby Kabob in Olney. The specials are great in both places.

      3 Replies
      1. re: phatface

        In the dozens of times I have been to K 'n K I have never had anything but great service. The Kahari and the Kebabs are all made to order and served up as soon as completed. It does take time to get your food when they are busy as they only have two cooks and they can only turn out so many dishes at once. Never has it ever approached painfully slow. Our experiences couldn't be more different.

        1. re: deangold

          I had never had "bad" service, but it sometimes is like watching paint dry. I have been there as the only customer, and watched my buddy Raj (tall, good looking, beard, ball cap) not have the items on hand, like pans, ingredients, etc. Having worked in a place where two of us turned out 70-80 lunches in an hour, t just pains me. Even the review from the Post, which was quite favorable said it required patience. Just hard to watch a line cook walk to the back and have to wash his own pans before he can start your order as two dishwashers stand there looking at him doing nada.

        2. re: phatface

          We have received painfully slow service, too, on more than one occasion. The running joke at most Pakistani restaurants is to pay a non-Pakistani to place our order for us because we are prejudiced against our own people. ;)

          The food is good, though. Many (most?) Pakistanis forgive (expect?) bad service as long as the food is good.

        3. In all the times I have been to KnK (once, 30 mins ago) I too have never received bad service, then again, if I did, I wouldn't care a place like that is about the food. So here is what happened...

          We ordered the goat karahi and they were out and so we had the lamb karahi (last one, woot!!). We ordered it spicy. While that was cooking, we (wife and I) shared a nihari which is a mughol spicy beef curry. It was far better than Ravi's. Ravi's I find quite bland and the meat flavorless. KnK's nihari was excellent. I have had spicier version in other states, but that was the most flavorful one I have tried in the DC metro area. The bonus was the meat. It was the best beef I have ever had in a nihari. Not just falling apart tender with some fat on it, but delicious, well seasoned and really flavorful. Usually at mughol places we get more sauce and just sop naan in it and skip the meat, but KnK did it right. We ate every last bite.

          Then the lamb karahi came. I can only describe it in the words of Mr. K. OH. MY. GOD. Yes, it was great. Not spicy enough, but the lamb was tender and there was a lot of oil and chilis and other things we couldn't recognize. But awesome. I talked to the guy at the counter and he said that in the future to ask for it extra spicy and he will make it like he prefers it.

          The only negative was the mango lassi. It was the worst one I have ever tasted. Flavorless, watered down, runny, foul. Neither of us took more than one sip.

          Thanks for pointing this place out. It is definately staying in the GPS.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sekelmaan

            Sometimes thay pre make the Mango Lassi and then it can vary. But if they make then to order they are good. They can vary the heat on the Kahari with the shake of the spice mix they add after its cooked. The chickpeas are addictive. I stay away from the samosas.

          2. We used to go to Ravi every few months for their Kabob Karahi. The version at Kabob N Karahi is as good so we don't have to make the trek to Virginia anymore. That would make sense since one of the cooks from Ravi Kabob started Kabob N Karahi. As for the mango lassi, you can ask them to make it fresh for you. Yes, it will take forever for a fresh one, but sometimes it's the only thing that will cool you down. The only item I've tried I would not recommend is the Chapli Kabob.

            4 Replies
            1. re: bmorecupcake

              I agree on the Chapli Kabob. Very disappointing compared to the rest of my orders. I switch off between the lamb kabob, the lamb chops and the beef kebab. Kay usually gets one of the chicken's, the one with the bone is better but a lot of work to eat. I have had three different Kahari's and since we eat there late at night usually, they are a little on the rich side for eating at midnight. The goat, lamb and kebab Kahari have all been fantastic. They really recommend the chicken kahari but we have yet to try it. I love their bread and the yogurt sauce/raita. We rarely spend more than $25 for two there.

              1. re: deangold

                I had the chicken Kahari a few nights ago and it was superb. Because Geri doesn't like dark meat, i ate the entire thing myself. No problem....

                1. re: JeffCraddock

                  Finally tried the lamb karahi yesterday. Yes, it is all that. (Also tried the haleem -- good, but so rich I can't imagine anyone having more than a few bites). This is one of the better restaurants in the DC area, I think. But what's it doing way the hell out in Cloverly? Is there a large Pakistani community out there?

                  1. re: MartyL

                    It is right next to the Muslim Center and there is another large mosque inthe near area on Good Hope I believe. We were there at 11:30 last night and there were two large family groups when we arrived and a father mom & daughter arrived just after. There were 5 tables plus us. We had the goat Karahi and it was superb. We cold barely finish it! $31 including tip, two lassi and a hige amount of food for dinner. I have not been to Ravi so I cannot compare.

            2. I got an order of the chicken karahi and the goat karahi here. Ok, but I'm not sure I can tell a difference between this and several places in NoVa like Shiney's or Ravi Kabob. In fact, I probably prefer the meat at those.. I also think the karahi is just as good, if not better, at La Jawab on Lee Hwy. I suppose I've never met a karahi I didn't like.....