Indian Flavors and Modern Techniques at Kurry Qulture

General food news

Kurry Qulture opened in 2015 in Astoria, Queens, from owner Sonny Solomon, who combines his fine dining background and creativity to offer intricately spiced and artfully plated, progressive Indian cuisine that foregoes the heavy cream sauces of India’s north and instead represents elements of southern coastal India. Solomon began his career as a server at Dawat and worked his way through the ranks of the fine dining restaurant scene in New York City, serving at renowned restaurants, such as 1 CPS by David Burke, Artisanal Fromagerie, Mercer Kitchen by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Town by Geoffrey Zakarian. Solomon was also part of the team that opened Tamarind, he worked with Chef Hemant Mathur to help Devi achieve the first Michelin star by an Indian restaurant in the U.S., and also helped Tulsi garner Michelin stars four years in a row.  Solomon’s experience in upscale dining extends beyond the menu, a fact which becomes clear the moment you step into the elegantly designed interior complete with an extended bar area ideal for snacking and drinking. Textured white walls are decorated with colorful art pieces that showcase the vibrant and diverse culture of India, like an ornately dressed Maharajah, vivid street carts of Calcutta and a colorful scene from the merry celebration Holi in Rajasthan. A quaint back patio offers al fresco dining during the warmer months. The experience is enhanced by atmospheric Bollywood beats that play with exceptional clarity and depth through Bose speakers.Executive Chef Binder Saini discovered his passion for cooking while working at Indian restaurant Amma. He sought to develop and master his craft, learning from chefs at fine Indian establishments Dawat, Tulsi, and Bukhara Grill. Saini and Solomon combine forces to create delicately plated dishes with unusual and unique flavor combinations and layers of spices.The Kurry Qulture dining experience begins with an amuse bouche, a nod to Solomon’s history in fine dining. Signature starters are the KQ kababs with specifically tailored sauces for each iteration, like turkey, ground and marinated with coriander and cucumber, topped with a cranberry chutney, and chicken bukhni, marinated in three chili peppers and paired with pineapple chutney. Another standout selection is Beet Carrot Kofta, tender spiced patties coated in onion tomato gravy. KQ Cauliflower is flash-fried for a tender-crisp texture and coated in a flavorful garlic tomato chutney. Creatively executed vegetarian entrées are the Sweet & Sour Eggplant sautéed in a zesty tomato-tamarind sauce. Slow-cooked selections from the non-vegetarian section are Tandoori Prawns with crispy okra and sweet lime pickles, and Chicken Kali Mirch, tender chunks of chicken in a fragrant sauce of black pepper and garam masala. A $60 six-course chef’s tasting menu is also available with signature selections from the seasonal menu, designed according to taste preferences.The menu also offers traditional biryanis, available in jackfruit, goat, chicken and coconut shrimp, and a varied bread basket with options including traditional roti and parathas, and selections that honor the Mediterranean culture of Astoria, like olive and garlic and the Greek spanakopita flavors of spinach and goat cheese. To pair with the naan, choose from house-made chutneys of cranberry, pineapple, plum, tomato and apple.Dessert is in keeping with the menu’s uniquely plated, elegant offerings, with shahi tukda, a version of bread pudding with a thin cracker-like brioche crisp, condensed milk and cinnamon.The bar program is led by mixologist Vaibhav Dhale from Bombay, India, who developed his understanding of wine and spirits during his tenure at Devi and Tamarind, before immersing himself in accessible alcohol culture at Irish bar Rosie O’Grady’s for five years. The cocktail selection is named after puns and plays on words, divided into bright, light and tight. Bright selections combine sparkling wine and fresh juice, like the No Fire Engine with rosemary-infused gin and passion fruit juice. The light selections combine liquor, house-made syrups and juices, such as the Blurry S.O.S. with whiskey, homemade blackberry syrup and soda. The tight offerings highlight alcohol-forward cocktails like the Hex-Mex with mezcal, house-made pineapple and chili syrups and fresh-squeezed lime juice.The wine list includes global varietals, from California Chardonnay and Oregon Pinot Noir to Spanish Garnacha and Argentine Malbec, as well as various old- and new-world wines by the bottle, including rarer selections from South Africa, Australia and Greece. Beers on tap include Kingfisher, Montauk IPA and Stella Artois.


Kurry Qulture is located at 3605 30th Ave., Astoria, Queens 11103. 718-674-1212. Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 5 p.m.-10 p.m, Friday 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday lunch noon to 3 p.m. dinner 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m. and Sunday lunch noon to 3 p.m. dinner 5 p.m.-10 p.m.