Kati Junction Satisifies Kati Roll Cravings Further West
Kati Junction sprung up out of nowhere, as it replaced Labeleca in their spot on 40th. Kati Roll Company has had a lock on the Kati roll game in my neighborhood, so it’s refreshing to see a new competitor pop-up in an even more convenient location. So, armed with a craving for Kati rolls, I made my way over to Kati Junction to see what they were offering.
The inside of Kati Junction is pretty basic. When I walked in, there was just a mob of people. Seeing as most of them were holding receipts, I pushed my way towards the register realizing there was nobody waiting in line at that moment. I went with the Chicken Tikka Roll and the Aloo Masala Roll, these are both items that I have ordered at Kati Roll Company numerous times, so I figured it was a fitting comparison.
Once I had placed my order, I noticed an additional item at the very bottom of their menu – bowls. Using basmati rice as a base, you choose a type of meat topping, then cover it in goodies on your own – think falafel bar toppings. I didn’t see a fully dressed bowl, the toppings look appetizing, but the actual size of the bowl appeared a little too small to justify the price. Now, on to the good stuff…
Aside from the bag they were placed in, I was starting to get a serious case of déjà vu. The rolls looked very similar to Kati Roll Company, were giving off very similar aromas, and seemed almost identical in size. I reached for the Chicken Tikka Roll first and looked inside to see a familiar sight – a nicely charred cube of chicken.
The first bite was very tasty, and very similar to Kati Roll. The meat, and ingredients, are packed with flavor and the char on the chicken provides an accompanying flavor all on its own. I noticed immediately a slight difference in the flat-bread. The flat-bread from Kati Junction felt a little thicker, definitely chewier, and more substantial overall. This is definitely not a bad thing, as I think it managed to fill me up even more.
Opening up the roll, white admittedly not a very appetizing photo, shows us a pretty good amount of chicken and a nicely toasted piece of flat-bread. As the roll came to an end, the thicker flat-bread and sizable portion of chicken really started to fill me up. Fortunately, I still had another roll to go – the Aloo Masala Roll.
I didn’t find the Aloo Masala to be as spicy at Kati Junction as I do at Kati Roll Company, but it was still delicious. Each bite pushed the spicy mashed potatoes rushing out of the open end, but never to the point where it got messy. Again, I feel like the thicker flat-bread does a great job holding everything together.
Overall, I didn’t see any major differences between the food from Kati Roll Company and Kati Junction. Each item I ordered at Kati Junction was exactly 10 cents cheaper than it’s counterpart at Kati Roll Company, bringing me to a grand total of $9.30 – not bad. One difference between the two Kati Roll establishments was overall service. On each of my last few trips to Kati Roll Company, the service has gotten progressively worse. Even when I’m the only person in there, I usually end up waiting twice as long as I did today at Kati Junction. So as long as Kati Junction can continue to fly under the radar, it will remain my 1st choice for Kati rolls (Yes, I realize in writing this post, I am potentially increasing the popularity of Kati Junction). If you are choosing between the Kati Roll Company and Kati Junction for lunch, go to whatever is closer to your office. Midtown is now home to another solid Kati roll lunch spot.
Kati Junction, 200 W. 40th St. (btw. 7+8th)