Flatiron Lunch: The Hope of Quail Curry at Lahori Kabab

Every Friday we go south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.

It may just be me, but the sight of signage promoting quail curry on Thursdays got me super excited. (It’s not just me, right?) Where else can you order quail curry in Flatiron or Midtown? (Seriously, is there any place else?) I was excited.

When I went to Lahori Kabab on a Thursday to claim my quail curry, they didn’t have it. Trust me, I was super bummed. They promised me they would have it the next week. When I asked which of the daily specials he preferred, the guy at the counter said his favorite is Friday’s haleem.

Inside, Lahori Kabab is a no-frills buffet counter kinda place. I probably would have visited eventually because every time I walk by it is packed, like normal.

But since I went during Ramadan, it was almost completely empty. (I have since walked by around sunset, and it was packed, especially since they are offering an iftar special meal box for $6.99. Iftar is the evening meal to break the daily fast during Ramadan.)

In additional to string lights hanging inside and two TVs, they have at least two velvet paintings on the wall. On that note, did you know about the museum of velvet paintings, aka the Velveteria? It used to exist in Portland, but is currently closed, but it may reopen in California. We can only hope.

I ordered the mixed platter special ($8.99) with one veg, one meat, rice, raita, and naan. The guy behind the counter listed the options for the day very quickly, so after confirming that they didn’t have the quail curry, I ordered the goat and spinach curry (called palak gosht) and a potato curry with peppers and onions.

The goat meat was on the bone, which meant extra work, but it was very flavorful. I enjoyed how the strong flavor of the spinach stood up to the gaminess of the goat. The veggie curry was good, but not necessarily good enough to order again.

In addition to a naan that came with my meal (and took 5-10 minutes because they make it to order), I was tempted by chicken keema naan ($4.99). While it is a great concept and it tasted good, I am not sure I would order it again given the price.

After trying on three different Thursdays, I am starting to think the quail curry might be a ruse. One time, I was told the delivery of quail didn’t come, but suspiciously, they said if I placed an order for 6 orders, they could make it for me for the next day. Which makes it seem like they can get the delivery, but they aren’t making it unless they can guarantee a bulk sale. And if you are wondering, I absolutely considered inviting a couple friends over for quail curry dinner just so I could try it. Given that every Thursday I have tried to order has been during Ramadan. I have a hypothesis that they aren’t making it now knowing their daytime business is lower and many people might order the iftari meal at night. I guess I will have to wait another week and hope the quail curry comes back into rotation on Thursdays.

THE + (What people who like this place will say)

  • If the normally packed restaurant is any indication, Lahori Kabab has great food.
  • They have lamb AND goat AND quail on the menu.
  • Given their name, I bet the kababs are good too.

THE – (What people who don’t like this place will say)

  • Where is my quail curry?
  • No really, I just want quail curry.
  • Potato, pepper and onion curry wasn’t very exciting.

Lahori Kabab, 124 Lexington Avenue (between 28 and 29 Streets), (212) 400-1166

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