Friday, June 22, 2012

Green Chicken at Soho Road Naan Kebabs

Soho Road Naan Kebab on UrbanspoonIt looks like yummy green martian meat, but the Hariyali chicken at Soho Road Naan Kebab is just tandoor oven baked chicken with a mint and cilantro marinade.

A full naan wrap (using an approximately 6" naan) is $10 (exactly, tax included, so it's actually more like $8.92). It's pricey compared to, say, a donair. However, as street food goes, it's probably par as you can expect food carts to be pricier than sit-down restaurants.
In comparison, it's about the size of two moderately sized burgers, but with somewhat more meat involved. A half order is $6.

Value-added features of eating at Soho Road Naan Kebab is that their oven is inside the food cart. The day begins early with cooking the meat inside the cart. Naans are continuously made, and you can expect a hot, fresh, naan with a decent amount of charring for flavour (but not overdone to bitterness) to be used to make your wrap.
Also, if you watch them make the wrap, you will notice that it is folded tightly, so while it looks small, there's a decent amount of meat there, maybe just over 1 burger patty worth.

The meat is theoretically hot, fresh from the oven, but after they apply various condiments during assembly, you can't expect steaming hot meat in your naan.

It's also NOT spicy-hot. Which is understandable when you have to cater to the lower common denominator as a street food cart, but it's also disappointing that it didn't have more kick to it.
Depending on how quickly you eat it, it can also end up lacking in sauce. They can't put too much sauce because it would soggy up your naan and could also make a mess while you're eating it. But if you wait too long, because the wraps are not closed at one end (which would in turn mean they couldn't fit in the same amount of meat), the sauce starts to slowly trickle down anyway. They carefully double-wrap it, so it won't drip all over you, but do eat it quickly not just to have it while it's hot, but also while it's still soaked in the flavourful sauce.

On Thursday I tried the Hariyali Chicken, and the Butter Chicken.

  • Hariyali Chicken
    • This clearly has a mintiness, but not enough to give you any sort of buzz in your mouth or take over the flavour of everything. It's different and worth a try, but if you're looking for a richer experience, just go with the Butter Chicken.
  • Butter Chicken
    • A safe and delicious choice. Compared to having butter chicken curry in a sit-down restaurant, you're missing out on rich sauce. If that's all you're really after, then you're looking in the wrong place. At Soho Road Naan Kebab, it's about the marinated chicken meat, and they make sure that stands out clearly in flavour.
The rush hour is around Noon, and if you get there even just 20 minutes earlier, you can probably beat the crowd. If you are there super-early and the meat isn't quite ready yet, they do accept pre-orders.

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