Kinara II disappoints

Last week we announced the sighting and impending opening up of a new Indian restaurant in the neighborhood. Kinara II promised a lot. However it turned out to be not as I had hoped it would.

The missus and I decided to try it out for dinner yesterday, the first day of the restaurant.

The restaurant was only a quarter full around 8:15 pm, but while we were there, a lot of people came in for take outs, so my guess is they did fairly well on the first day.

The décor of the restaurant is as tacky and kitsch as all Indian restaurants of this type. Funny rope lights, and the ubiquitous pictures of the Taj Mahal adors the walls.

The waiters were friendly and the services prompt and fast. However the food was disappointing.

We ordered

1) Paneer Tikka: Tough and bland, the chunks were too big and tough. They lacked spice and marinade. Paneer (cottage cheese) is a very tricky dish to get correct. For the simple reason that it needs to be made fresh and daily. This was clearly frozen paneer and it lacked taste.

2) Cheese and Garlic Parathas: The parathas were warm and freshly baked. However the cheese and garlic were spread over them as an afterthought and not something that should have been integrated in the dough of the bread before baking it.

3) Chicken Makhani: The missus loves this, so we had to order it ! This was the only dish that got passing grades. The curry sauce was too smooth and lacked texture. It was also too sweet. However the chicken was cooked properly and not overdone.

4) Shrimp Biryani: This was another disappointment. Frozen shrimp used in any cooking leaves a very distinct taste. Also in most Indian restaurants they prepare the rice en masse and then just add the meat/chicken/seafood as per order. Therefore the tastes never gel. This was the case here too. Also it came with a smattering of sliced almonds, cashews and raisins on top. That left us both confused as to whether it was Biryani or Pulao.

Verdict: The restaurant was pretty average. It is slightly better than Amin, the other Indian restaurant on Dekalb. However a point to be noted. Both these “Indian” restaurants are run by Bangladeshi cooks. Nothing against Bangladeshi chefs, but frankly they should stick to cooking Bangla food and not tamper with Indian food. Its like asking an Mexican cook to make New England Clam Chowder. You get the point.

If you crave good authentic Indian food, stick to restaurants in Manhattan. There are none in Brooklyn that make the mark. If you are lazy and want a take out, or delivery, then once in a while, Kinara II will serve the purpose. But in any case, do not go in and think that you are getting authentic Indian food. Believe me, I am Indian, and I know what I am talking about.

A view of the interior

Ropelights, Taj Mahal and what have you!


6 responses to “Kinara II disappoints”

  1. Bangladeshis Give Indian Food A Bad Name…

    Yesterday the missus and I went to an Indian restaurant for dinner. Our neighborhood has many wonderful restaurants. However it lacks a good Indian restaurant. The one Indian restaurant that was there was a sham. We had come out having a big fight ther…!!

  2. Hello narrow minded snobby Indian man,

    You’ve obviously never been in the kitchen of a restaurant before!

    Kinara is great and compared to Amin (not fit for swill) and going to Kennedy Fried Chicken for Indian Food (huh?), we are very lucky to have them move into the neighborhood so I think you should take off your Bengali hating glasses and give them the praise they deserve.

  3. It’s a shame that the review is based on a small sampling of dishes tried once at Kinara2 on their opening night.

    I’ve had takeout about a dozen times from Kinara2 as well as the original south slope location.

    The Saag Panir & the samosas are amongst the best I’ve had, and all of their chicken dishes are great.

    Kinara2 beats the pants off anything I’ve had in Brooklyn, it is quality food prepared with care.

    Clinton Hill blog I’m not feeling the disrespectful comments towards Mexicans & Bengalis by the author of this piece and the justification “I am Indian, and I know what I am talking about” is lame, it’s up there with a recent review I read on one of the neighborhood blogs about chez lola where the author starts out the review by describing their disdain for French food! Give Kinara2 the same break you gave bonita by sending a reviewer who doesn’t have a chip on their shoulder.

  4. While my experience is somewhat limited (I only order Tikka Masala, I love Tikka Masala, if Tikka Masala was a religion I would be its jesus), I’ve ordered delivery from Kinara II twice now and haven’t been very impressed. I went back to ordering from Amin.

    My main complaint with Kinara’s Tikka is that they include the fatty nubby somewhat-gross parts of chicken meat, i.e. the parts I immediately cut off when I buy chicken breast from the grocery store. Amin on the other hand always has nice clean cuts of chicken in the Tikka Masala.

    Otherwise in terms of taste, etc., the Tikka at Amin & Kinara II weren’t all that different. Ditto the nan and samosas.

    Delivery-wise, the first time I ordered from Kinara it took about 1 hr 20 mins for delivery, the second time was a more reasonable 30 mins. Amin, on the other hand, constantly shocks me with how quickly the food arrives. Granted that’s probably because I’m ordering a very simple, common dish (tikka), however getting a hot meal delivered in 12 minutes (frequently the actual delivery time) is always appreciated.

  5. I’m surprised…the original Kinara is my favorite Indian in the Slope (added bonus: it’s INCREDIBLY cheap if you do the take-out specials or go during lunch). Didn’t know they were opening another

  6. The Kinara in Park Slope is actually really excellent. It’s one of the best avergae/cheap priced Indian restaurants in the US- usually Indian restaurant food here is more of the same, tired Punjabi recipes. But at Kinara everything is fresh and not uniformly creamy or spicy.