We’d been planning to try Kiran’s for quite some time since it moved to its Highland Village area location. The mood for Indian food just hadn’t struck recently, having been burned at a couple of over the top spicy experiences at Indika. When the mood returned, we ventured over to Kiran’s on a Saturday evening. We had a reservation, and it’s a good thing as the place was full with a multi-cultural clientèle. Although more upscale than we had envisioned, the deep red hued room was very comfortable, and the service was friendly and attentive, although our water glasses could have been filled more frequently. We don’t know the chef-owner, Kiran Verma, but she seemed very engaging as she table hopped among what appeared to be quite a few regulars.
The menu is large and varied. Go with friends so you can sample a number of items. In addition to a variety of appetizers, there were probably twenty vegetarian dishes that can be served as entrées or sides. And a large selection of tandoori items, as well as other Indian dishes. Although more traditional than Indika’s contemporary cuisine, Kiran’s does offer many interesting twists, including Chilean sea bass and lobster tail. True to Indian cuisine, there’s no beef or pork.
The pappadams, the complimentary crispy flatbread common in many Indian restaurants, were very fresh, as was the dipping sauce. We started with the crab samosas, large globes of crab, deep fried in a tasty batter. Who can resist naan? We couldn’t, so we tried a yummy whole wheat, goat cheese stuffed version. We moved on to two of the tandoori items — roasted leg of lamb and chicken. There was enough food for a feast (and lunch the next day). Wonderfully sided, the lamb was served with a spicy red sauce, while the chicken had its own green sauce. (We can’t remember the exact flavors, but we liked them.) We also got beautifully prepared fluffy mushroom biryani (rice) and a fabulously spiced bowl of creamy lentils. And the one of us who can’t resist creamed spinach in any form, found the sag paneer quite delicious. Even the anti-spinach eater thought it was o’kay.
We aren’t particularly knowledgeable about Houston’s many Indian restaurants, but it’s hard to imagine one that’s any better. Some may prefer the cutting edge style of Indika, but, at Kiran’s, without feeling that our mouths had been seared, we actually tasted the many flavors in the food and could enjoy the wine.
4100 Westheimer (at Mid Lane)