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Guest food review by Julie W. Jones–
Char-grilled or baked in a clay oven? That’s the question at Kabab N Tikka, where chefs prepare signature chicken and beef kababs by cooking them on a grill or allowing them to mingle with herbs and spices in a tandoori oven.
The restaurant’s signature skewers headline a menu rife with Pakistani and Indian specialties, including Tikka Masala and Spinach Curry studded with house-made cheese cubes. For dessert, the kitchen spins together Shahi Kheer, a delicate basmati rice pudding flavored with pistachio nuts and raisins
My guest and I recently enjoyed a delicious and filling lunch at Kabab N Tikka Restaurant, located near the corner of Mariposa Avenue and Greenback Lane, across the street from San Juan High School at 7622 Greenback Ln. in Citrus Heights.
Because it was our first time at the restaurant, we wanted to order a variety of menu items to taste the many flavors of the cuisine owner and chef, Shakeel Ahmad creates.
He said the kitchen is his laboratory, in a way, because he’s always putting together just the right combination of spices and flavors from his native region of Punjab in Pakistan. He prefers to grind his own fresh spices to give each dish authenticity. Each menu item is hand selected from his own original recipes.
Ahmad said that most of his clientele prefer his dishes which are full of flavor and many enjoy the fresh fish dishes he offers like the Prawn Masala and the Fish Curry Masala.
Kabab N Tikka opened three years ago in the site of a former Afghan restaurant. Much of his business is take out.
Ahmad said that this restaurant was a gift from God when the location became available. He had been a partner in a restaurant in Elk Grove but when the partnership dissolved, he decided to go out on his own.
To start off our feast, we ordered an appetizer of Vegetable Samosas ($2.99), which are two vegetable-filled triangular-shaped deep-fried pockets. Ours had large peas and seasoned mashed potatoes inside, served with a very spicy green sauce and a sweeter plum sauce.
Some of the other appetizers on the menu are chicken wings, Chapli Kabab, which is a mildly-spiced ground chicken or beef patty, and Paneer Tikka which is cheese marinated in yogurt with herbs, char-grilled on a skewer.
We were presented next with one of their “Specials of the House,” a Tandoori Chicken Boti Kabab Platter ($10.99), which featured eight delectable chunks of Tandoori Chicken served over fragrant Basmati Rice with a side salad. Some of their other house specialties are Lamb Boti Kebab and Beef, as well as chicken Seekh Kababs.
Then came a sizzling platter of Tandoori Chicken Tikka (Leg/Thigh) which was seasoned with yogurt and spices and baked in a clay oven ($3.99).
From their Delectable Curries selection, we chose the Kabab N Tikka Special Boneless Karahi Chicken ($11.99) which is cooked in a sauce of tomatoes, green chilies, ginger and spices. Other curry selections include Chicken Jalfrezi, Chicken Tikka Masala, always a popular dish, Butter Chicken and Chicken Achar.
Kabab N Tikka offers five different breads to choose from. Naan, a traditional clay oven baked bread ($1.50). There’s also four other varieties and we chose their special Aloo Naan, flat fried bread stuffed with potatoes and spices ($2.99).
On the menu’s “Delightful Vegetables,” we chose their Aloo Gobhi which is cauliflower and potatoes cooked in mild spices ($8.99). This was one of my favorites!
From the variety of their Biryanis and Rice dishes, we chose the Vegetable Biryani, which are mixed vegetables cooked in saffron-flavored basmati rice. If you go, be sure to tell your server how spicy you want it.
Although feeling stuffed, we opted to end our delightful meal with one of their desserts, bowlfuls of Shahi Kheer – Basmati Rice Pudding flavored with pistachios, almonds and raisins ($2.99). Kabab N Tikka’s generous portions gave us plenty of leftovers to enjoy once again for dinner.
Kabab N Tikka Restaurant is located at 7622 Greenback Ln. Reservations or takeout orders can be placed by calling (916) 265-5253.
Diners who have visited the location before should note that the restaurant’s lunch buffet has been discontinued.
Current hours are Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Customers can also order online through: www.kababntikkatogo.com, or kababntikka.menufy.com.
Julie W. Jones is a former food columnist for the Pacifica Tribune. After moving to Citrus Heights last year, she now writes guest restaurant reviews for publication in The Sentinel.
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