Hello Al Noor!

Featured on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” Al Noor was the perfect place for this Hello Kitty Foodie to try Pakistani food for the first time. As a big fan of Indian food, I was curious to see the differences between Indian food and Pakistani food. Al Noor had many similar dishes to my favorites in Indian Cuisine such as  chicken tikka masala. Upon closer look at the menu though, I noticed there were definitely more meat dishes versus vegetarian dishes. After a little research, I did find out this is one of the main differences in Indian versus Pakistani food. The Pakistani diet has more meat while the Indian one is more vegetarian.

Here at Al Noor, they start off the meals with a little complimentary appetizer consisting of sliced up cucumbers, onions, lime and green sauce. This starter is supposed to cleanse the palate and prepare visitors for the bold and rich dishes to come.

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On my first trip to Al Noor, I decided to try one of my favorite Indian dishes, chicken tikka masala. This is one of the most popular dishes at Al Noor and I wanted to try the Pakistani version of it. When it was served, I noticed right away the big chunks of boneless chicken pieces. Meat definitely defined this dish but sauce was not lacking. It had lots of sauce that was garnished with fresh cilantro.

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I loved the rich and creamy sauce in this dish. The herbs and spices in the sauce along with the tender chicken pieces made for one great tikka masala dish. Top it off with Al Noor’s steamed saffron rice, and one is sure to be pleased.

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In fact I was so impressed with the chicken tikka masala, that I came here again with my mom. My first trip was with some friends and I just had to share this restaurant with my mom.

For this second trip, I decided to try another dish that is a favorite of mine at Indian restaurants. Whenever I go to any Indian restaurant, the spinach dish, saag paneer is one that I always order. It is almost like my measuring stick on how good an Indian restaurant is because it is my absolute favorite. Call me Popeye Kitty, I like my spinach. Here at Al Noor I was intrigued to see they have a similar dish not vegetarian. They have chicken palak.

Similar to Indian restaurant’s saag paneer, the chicken palak is spinach based. Al Noor’s version has pieces of chicken and spices along with the spinach.

Once again i was a fan of the large pieces of boneless chicken in this dish. It is true Pakistani restaurants like their meat. I was pleased with the creamy spinach and this again was a perfect pair to the rice.

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The other dish that I tried at Al Noor was the chicken tala gosht. It is one of Al Noor’s special authentic dishes. This dish had pieces of chicken fried and cooked with green chillies and fresh tomatoes. It’s a great tomato based dish.

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It was here at Al Noor that I learned about Pakisitani food. The Pakistani food emphasizes more on the chicken, the beef etc but still has the same good flavor and sauces found in Indian cuisine. Both Indian cuisine and Pakistani cuisine give this Hello Kitty Foodie plenty to smile about. Creamy dishes full of flavor, perfect for dipping in naan, how can I not smile.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Al Noor.

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