More kebabs: Spice makes the difference

Dish has counted at least three new kebab shops that have opened in Charlottesville recently, and we got to wondering: how do they differ?

According to Nasir Sahti, owner of Kabab and Curry, the new restaurant that opened a month ago in the space that used to house Semolina on West Main Street near Baja Bean Co., kebabs (spelled in a variety of ways) vary based on the ethnic heritage they represent. “There are few Afghani kebab places in this area, and not many that are Pakistani,” notes Sahti, who says the difference is in the seasoning.  “When you eat our food you will see the taste is different," Sahti promises. "It’s spicier.”

His restaurant also features Middle Eastern, Pakistani, and Indian dishes, offering a bigger variety of combinations and dishes than, say, a restaurant that features only Middle Eastern cuisine.

Dish tried the tandoori chicken with brown rice and a side of potatoes—perfectly spicy topped with cilantro and served with a big basket of freshly baked naan bread, along with the lamb, beef, and chicken kebab.

“We have a little kick in there, a little flavor," says Sahti, "because we, Pakistani people, use a little more spice to give a little kick to the kebab." Dish agrees, the spice is hard to miss, and the basket of naan balances out the spiciness of the meat.

The space lends itself to take-out that's fast and easy, and also to a pleasant dining experience if you have time to sit and relax. The restaurant is split into two levels, and the second floor opens up to a wide dining area lined with empty buffet trays in the back, which, Sahti assures, will be filled soon as he plans to start serving a lunch buffet.

The vegetarian options are plentiful and include a veggie combo with rice, spinach, or dal– a lentil, pea or bean stew– and vegetable kurma served with yogurt sauce and naan bread.

For Sahti, cooking is a way to transport customers to another culture. “We use Indian and Pakistani spices," he says. "We cook like we cook at home.”

Kabab and Curry is open from 11:30am-10:00pm for lunch and dinner.

Read more on: Kabab and Curry

1 comment

Mouth is watering... can't wait to try it.

Alright so we got Afghan, Pakistani, and Turkish kebab... now we just need some Persians to open up shop. I miss Sorrento Grill in Herndon, VA...