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Restaurants & Bars 3

Curry in Hurry - Berkeley opened today

Jonathan King | Dec 31, 200202:52 AM

The long-vacant Burger King space at the corner of Shattuck (northbound) and University has been rapidly transmogrified into Curry In Hurry (no article 'a'), an Indian curry/chaat 'fast food' restaurant. (I saw some stirrings in there yesterday as I drove by, and a new sign on display; today they were serving lunch.) You order at the counter, and food is brought to your table. The only menus were of the yellow takeout variety; before ordering I scanned the steam-table trays of curries, all of which looked gray and unappetizing, and settled on two orders of chaat instead: a bhel puri (familiar to me from versions at Vik's and Chaat Cafe) and a dahi bhalla (unfamiliar to me: described as 'lentil dumplings with sweet yogurt sauce, topped with tamarind chutney'). The bhel puri was very good, with a stronger dose of green chili than I've had elsewhere ... a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the crisp rice puff kernels. The dahi bhalla was nondescript, if that's in fact what I received: the 'dumplings' were snowy white inside, not like any lentil I'm familiar with, and the yogurt sauce was unsweetened.
There are 14 other items under 'Appetizers / Snacks': a few more familiar-sounding chaat dishes (pani puri, aloo tikki), most at $2.50; several pakora and samosa plates, $2.99 and $3.99; and three wraps, including a seekh kabob, the most expensive at $4.99. There are 7 'tandoori delicacies,' ranging from $2.99 (lamb seekh kabab) to tandoori fish ($5.99), lamb chops ($8.99) and tandoori prawns ($11.99). There are also 7 meat curries -- 4 chicken, 3 lamb -- and 13 vegetable curries (all of the latter $3.99 or less). Rounding out the menu are three biryani, and a variety of naan and paratha, plus puri, bhatura, and papadum. Squeeze bottles of tamarind chutney and a greenish (cilantro? mint?) chutney are available for table use.
Seating isn't very comfortable: they haven't replaced the Eat'n'Pay'n'Get Out furnishings installed by the previous tenant. But I'll be back to try the other chaat ... and hey, maybe the curries taste better than they looked today; I'll find out when I'm back at Cal later in the week.

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