Hello Al Noor!

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.

Hello birthday celebration @ Addi’s Tandoor!

Hello birthday celebration @ Addi’s Tandoor!

A couple months ago, thanks to my good friend and coworker, my mom and I got to try Addi’s Tandoor, an amazing Indian restaurant in Redondo Beach. I loved it so much that I shared my experience on South Bay Foodies, the food and travel website that I write for. I also made a note that that I wanted to share this place with my friends in the future.

Fast forward to September and my birthday. Thanks again to my good friend and coworker, I was able to once again have one amazing dining experience at Addi’s Tandoor via a birthday dinner there with my friends.

From my first trip here, I was already impressed with the overall simple yet elegant decor of the restaurant. During my birthday event, the place did not disappoint with it’s lovely atmosphere. Nicely set up tables, clean white table clothes and pretty white and gold polka dot candles made for such a beautiful setting for a birthday dinner.

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The night’s fabulous foodie festivities started with appetizers. We were served fried papadum. They’re thin, circular lentil wafers that were served with two dips, one cilantro based and one jalapeno based. Roasted and crispy, they made for a perfect, light little starter. The dips each had a spicy, fiery kick.

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Along side with our appetizers, we were served our drinks. Many chose to get the mango lassi. It’s a sweet, refreshing and fruity beverage.
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Up next for us was a great salad that turned into a crowd favorite of the night. We were served the chicken tikka salad. It’s a colorful salad filled with mixed organic greens, tomatoes, carrots and chicken tikka. The dressing was a very flavorful mango and garlic based dressing. As a big fan of mango, I loved the slightly sweet and light dressing. I also liked the tender white chicken meat on top of the salad.

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Our next dish was the mixed tandoori platter. It’s a great platter that showcases the restaurant’s Tandoori specialities. In this platter was tandoori shrimp marinated in garlic and spices, tandoori chicken pieces marinated with fresh garlic ginger, yogurt and mild slices, chicken tikka marinated in yogurt, garlic and mild spices and lamb sheek kabab marinated with spices, fresh herbs, onions and cilantro.

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After the appetizer, salad and tandoori platter, the entrees came next. The chicken tikka masala was the first dish. With it’s tender chicken and flavorful tomato and ginger sauce, it was another favorite for many that night.

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The next dish, saag paneer has been my favorite ever since my first trip at Addi’s Tandoori. The creamy spinach base and the soft, homemade cottage cheese cubes always makes for such a melt in your mouth, velvety smooth delicious dish.

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Our third entree was the beef khorma. It was my first time trying this beef dish that was in a cashew nut sauce. There were chunks of beef in a tasty curry base.

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All of the entrees went perfect with the well seasoned basmati rice pilaf. The rice paired with the entrees made for very hearty and tasty combos.

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We also had baskets full of nan, garlic nan and paratha. All of the bread was came out fresh and hot. The garlic nan was so aromatic and pleasing.

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From the appetizers to the salad and to the entrees, it was such a flavorful feast full of tasty treats!

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Last but not least, a little surprise came out at the end when I got a served a beautiful birthday carrot pudding. Unique tasting and so soft, it was a perfect way to end the delicious dinner.

I was so happy to celebrate my birthday here. Everything came together for such a beautiful celebration filled with smiles and memories to last for a lifetime.

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For more smiles, please read my 700th yelp review about this very special place and my wonderful birthday celebration :).