The first thought that came to my mind when I heard of this place was, ‘What’ n Kadai? So then I was told that Kuaizi means chopsticks. So KnK is a wholly vegetarian restaurant in Alipore, and their menu is said to have on offer bits of Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian etc. I went there on a lazy weekend afternoon, with fellow food blogger Debjani, on an invitation to KFB.
Though the area is not very big, the space has been used optimally and the seating was very comfortable. Our tasting started with two mocktails, the punchy Mumbai Style Kala Khatta and the sweeter Cosmo Crusta. Both of them were mixed beautifully, and looked pretty, just like mocktails are supposed to be.
For appetizers, we had their Signature Lassoni Paneer Tikka, Corn and Spinach Wonton and the Flat Bread Pizza. Now I personally am not a lover of paneer, but honestly, this was the best paneer thing to have ever entered my mouth. These incredibly soft, thin layers of paneer, sandwiched with their secret filling, tandoored beautifully, without too much of blackened bits, made me fall in love with this place instantly.
Then came the Corp and Spinach Wonton, which were beautiful crisp, golden sheets with a generous, creamy, green filling inside. The plating was aesthetic, and the seasoning was perfect. The Flat Bread Pizza was shaped like a leaf, and the toppings were generous. I love pizza, and more so thin crust ones, and this was definitely up to the mark.
Then entered the soups: The Zuppa De Olata was a thick, tomato soup, but what made it different was the addition of the copious amounts of sweet corn and nachos in it. The former gave bursts of sweetness while the latter added the crunch factor. On the whole it was a good mix of different tastes and textures, and was, in fact, quite filling. The next soup was Tom Kha, which is an eternal favourite of mine. The heat of the chilli and the freshness of lemongrass running through the rich coconut milk based soup, has always defined comfort food for me, and this was no different.
Then came the Indian main course. The Veg Kebab Masala is a wonderful plate of a hearty gravy duo. Very often, in small groups we order only one side gravy, to avoid wastage, but the same taste throughout the meal becomes monotonous. So KnK has the perfect solution for this. The Veg Kebab Masala is a half and half of thick white and red gravies, and chunks of kebab in them. I loved this concept, and found it to be pretty unique. The breads that we tried, the Cheese Mushroom Naan and the Tandoori Pudina Lachcha Paratha, were good, but nothing special to take note of.
Just when I thought that we have come to an end of an amazing meal, we saw another set of main course coming towards the table. The Chinese main course consisted of Hong Kong Noodles and Pak Choi with Exotic Greens. It was good to see that the noodles weren’t the egg noodles generally used, but the vegetarian version of it. The Hakka noodles were well-seasoned, non-gluggy, non-oily and had a clear hint of soya sauce. So it got a thumbs up from me. The greens however, did not impress me that much, because of the simple reason that I am not too fond of greens.
For desserts we had the Triple Layered Chocolate Biscotti which looked spectacular. A warm chocolate brownie, topped with a layer of wafers, and scoops of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice-creams is what a true dessert looks like. The plate was beautifully splashed with chocolate sauce and strawberry syrup and if that wasn’t enough, warm, thick chocolate sauce was poured over the ice-cream mounds to tie all the different elements together. Well, it’s a pity that I had already reached food coma by then, and couldn’t eat anymore. Still I shoved a few mouthfuls inside and I certainly don’t repent doing that.
After a very long time, I had a vegetarian meal where I didn’t miss non-veg even for once. It was wonderful to know that almost everything on the menu (85% according to Nitish) can be tweaked to be Jain food. The amazing flavours, unlike most other places around, were testimony to the fact that they roast and grind their own spices, rather than using packaged ones.
The staff was extremely well-versed about the entire menu and even the ingredients of each dish, not to mention polite and efficient.
Nitish, our host for the day, a foodie himself, has designed the menu. It was great to know that every day he is the first person to reach the kitchen.
So if one is looking for a good ‘family restaurant’ for vegetarian or even Jain foos, KnK is certainly one of the best options around town. I would want to wish Nitish and Team KnK all the best for the future.