Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Nukkad Dhaba

10707 W. Bellfort

I happened to spot this restaurant while I was waiting on my Chicken Shwarma from the Halal 5 food truck across the street. Driving west on West Bellfort from 59/69 at this point the sign for Nukkad Dhaba is almost completely blocked by a tree and I hadn't noticed it.

Nuddad means corner so I understand and dhaba is a term for a roadside eatery in India, particularly one catering to truckers.  This is a counter-service diner type place with booths along one wall and tables along another.  Parking is limited in front (and most of the building is currently unoccupied) but there is an expanded lot in the back, kept watch over by security cameras.  There's even a mostly enclosed patio on the rear of the building, making this one of the very few places in this part of town with al fresco dining.

Reviewers online rave about the Butter Chicken here while others complain about the oiliness of the curries. I've never cared for Butter Chicken so I passed up yet another opportunity to see what I'm missing and went for Chicken Seekh Kabab, Channa Masala, which is one of my favorite dishes from the subcontinent, and naan. The kababs were fine; nothing outstanding but okay.  They came with a very good coriander/chile chutney.  The Channa was both very oily and very tame.  When I make this dish at home, I'm aiming for a spice level like a bowl of Texas Red and this didn't come close.  There are shakers of a masala mix on the tables at the restaurant so I got mine out at home and shook generously.  The naan survived the almost 15 minute ride home tightly wrapped in very thick foil and was excellent for sopping up the oil.

A specialty of the house is Bombay style Chinese food, offered on a separate menu beginning at 5 pm and available until 1:45 am, seven days a week.  I had picked up a package of Ching's Secret Veg Hakka Noodles at Indian Spices and Snacks in Sugar Land recently but didn't realize I needed the Secret Szechuan sauce mix packet, too, so had never done anything with them and here was a version on a restaurant menu staring me in the face.  Well, minus any reference to Szechuan.  This is a stir fried noodle dish that had onions, bell pepper and I believe green beans in it, as I recall.  Interesting, but again very bland. I added the masala spice and some soy sauce to kick it up some.

I also picked up a couple of Keema Samosas which came with a very potent garlic chutney. Compared to this concoction, they might as well put Sriracha in 2.5 oz bottles and slap a Gerber label on it.  I gobbled it like a side dish and regretted it (just a little) the next couple of days.  I think the hole in my stomach has mainly healed, now, though.

My third visit I went just for the snacks - a couple of the Keema Samosas, an Aloo Vada and Chicken Patise

I have seen these Chicken Patise before but never tried one.  From here on, I'll be trying every one I come across.  This was the best thing yet - nicely spiced shredded chicken meat in puff pastry (and I had some of both the coriander and garlic chutneys left over to dress it up a little).

The place is very clean on the inside, better looking than the outside of the building, and the counter people have been friendly and welcoming, energetic even.  I plan to go back to try more of the Chinese food.

Nukkad Dhaba

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