Review: Khan Baba (Newtown)

It’s been a while since I posted something on the blog. It feels like months, actually. My life has been a bit (more) hectic lately; I officially started uni on the 5th of March and went to a Buddhist course on the 7th, missing a whole week of classes. “Not a problem”, I thought, and I brough my netbook along to catch up with the material. In reality I spent more time cooking and waiting to serve food (I was in charge of feeding my Lama and his crew) than reading or listening to online lectures. Oh, well…

It feels about a month when I ate at Khan Baba, which is good in a sense. Wait and see. Alvaro and I went to try indoor climbing for the first time ever at St Peters. We decided to walk home the long way (via King Street) to grab some dinner. Choice #1 was Good Wok, but they were super busy making takeaway orders; they told us there would be a 30 to 40-minute wait.

A couple of new places had popped up since I last walked on that side on King Street: a crepe shop (not a possibility for us) and Khan Baba, described as Taka Tak BBQ & Shisha Cafe (whatever that means), and as the first Pakistani & Indian style cafe (not sure if the claim is true).

Alvaro hates everything Indian but this time he wasn’t very hungry so he didn’t complain too much. The place has an upper market takeaway kind of vibe, like a food court fast food joint. The staff is very attentive, which is always a big bonus in my book. We were immediately served bottled water.

Khan Baba

Alvaro chose his “meal” straight away: a mango lassi, which he visibly enjoyed.

Mango lassi

Mango lassi ($3.90)

I was intrigued by the names of some of the stuff in the menu but finding out about the ingredients discouraged me of ordering them. However, one of the dishes that sounded appetizing was gluten and dairy free: Nihari, which consisted in cooked for long hours to make an extremely tender morsels of meat, including the flavourful bone marrow & shank. I ordered one, plus something known, just in case: Lamb Seekh Kebab (their spelling, not mine), described as a special kebab cooked in Lahori style in clay oven, and a green salad. We were offered bread or rice, we declined. “Are you going to eat it with a spoon or what?”, the waiter asked. “Yep”. “Ok…”

The Nihari arrived in a pretty unsymmetrical bowl. I stirred it up with my spoon and noticed its thickness: it had flour in it. I tasted it, I think it had chickpea flour. I was about to complain when Alvaro reminded me I had asked for no gluten, not for no flour. My mistake. The flavour was good, although too hot for Alvaro. While we ate it from the bowl with our spoons the waitress approached us with horror in her face and informed us the meal is supposed to be eaten with naan bread. We know.

Nihari

Nihari ($14.90)

The Lamb Seekh Kebab was a bit too dry for my taste and nothing special taste-wise.

Lamb seehk kebab

Lamb Seekh Kebab ($11.90)

The green salad was good, with fresh lettuce and cucumber, complemented by slices of red onion that weren’t too strong.

Green salad

Green salad ($3.90)

Overall I wouldn’t say it was a bad dinner, but I can’t say it was great either. Something in the meal made me extremely gassy, I don’t know if it was the chickpea flour or the raw onions or the combination of both. I think I don’t want to find out.

Khan Baba
453 King St, Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 8065 0712
newtown@khanbaba.com.au
www.khanbaba.com.au


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