Astoria is a magical place. Queens is a melting pot… Astoria is the microcosm of that. This northwest section of Queens is different things to different people- It’s a beer lovers paradise, a foodies Mecca, a sweet tooth’s fantasy. It’s culture to a tee. Enter Kurry Qulture.
Restauranteur Sonny Solomon was part of team that opened NYC’s hotspot Devi (Sanskrit word for Goddess). Devi was located in NYC’s Flatiron district and was the first Indian Restaurant in North America to be awarded a Michelin Star- that was in both 2007 and 2008. His next restaurant Tulsi (an aromatic herb similar to basil that is also referred to as holy basil), earned a Michelin start consecutively from 2010 to 2015. In the 2 years Kurry Qulture has been in open it has been recommended by Michelin Guide book for 2017 and 2018. That is 10+ years of fantastic food and service.
Top Straw Art Pot
Sonny Solomon’s Kurry Qulture is one of the top five restaurants I have ever had the pleasure of dining at. The decor is simple and pleasant. Upon entering the store front was completely open, adding a fresh, airy quality. A large bar runs along the right side. Kurry Qulture has a beautiful warm color palette with groups of photos telling a story. Ornate chandeliers hang from the ceiling. In the rear, an exposed brick wall adds to a simple minimalistic approach to fine dining. A small rear patio adds a quant al fresco quality.
Solomon’s mantra is “Cook and serve with love” and that is blatantly obvious. Blend Kettle One Vodka with Fresh Strawberries, bitters and soda and call it Top Straw Arts Pot. Yes please. This was a mellow complex beach drink. It is the drink equivalent of summertime. For something completely different, try Mezcal, Chilis, Pineapple syrup and lime. It’s called the Hex-mex. The play between the hot chilis and the tartness of the lime was amazing. Besides, I’m a sucker for large round ice cubes. I love craft drinks.
Appetizers anyone? How about Coconut shrimp? No, not that Caribbean version served with Malibu. This one is a coconut and pepper shrimp served over a thin brioche toast. Amazing play on flavor and texture. The toast brings out subtle nuances of the shrimp. This was a 9.5/10. KQ Cauliflower- a blend of Cauliflower florets, with a garlic tomato chutney. This is a complex dish full of surprised. I throughly enjoyed it. 8/10. After having these amazing dishes the chicken dish just couldn’t compare. The appetizers were a delicious slice of India. The shrimp was more indicative of Southern India, the cauliflower was more Eastern India.
Entrees included Salmon Kalvaan, tomato rice, beet and carrot Kofta and the BEST Lamb Chops ever. I wasn’t a big fan of the Salmon. It just wasn’t to my palette, but LIB team member Sharon, loved it. The tomato rice was flavorful and deliciously starchy. The surprise of the night was the beet and carrot Kofta in a creamy sauce. These were outstanding! I could not believe it was vegetarian dish. It had that wow factor I wanted. The Beet and carrot Kofta were a 10/10.
Growing up I was never a big fan of lamb. As I got older I realized I never had lamb made properly. It’s always been overcooked or smothered with some minty jelly i don’t know what, or made “Domaci styled.” This is the Croatian word for “Homemade” which in essence is on a spit for hours and served in the most unappetizing way possible. The more I have lamb, the more I enjoy lamb. Especially lamb chops. Kurry Qulture made the best lamb chops I ever had! They were Tandoor grilled and decadent. They were meaty, slightly seasoned and just amazing. Unfortunately the 10 scale doesn’t work here because numbers can’t describe these chops. L
The Best Lamb Chops EVER!
Salmon Kalvaan, Tomato Rice, Beet and Carrot Kofta
Like in many industries using local resources are important. Now NYC isn’t known for it’s farms, or grazing pastures, but it’s greatest resource is it’s people. Sonny Solomon is a resident of Astoria… Kurry Qulture’s chef, Binder Singh, is a Jackson Heights resident. Singh has worked at NYC restaurants like Dawat, Amma, Utsav and the aforementioned Tulsi. At 38 years old he already boasts a 18 year career.
There is always room for dessert
There is magic in Astoria. Food is at the heart of it. Kurry Qulture is going to be a mainstay behind it.