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Naan n' Chutney - lower Haight

Joan Kureczka | Mar 20, 200411:08 AM

We decided to scope out this place last evening and were glad we did. We have not yet visited the tandoorloin places, so our frame of reference was the local area competition, Indian Oven. We must say that overall this pleasant Pakistani/Indian place gives them a run for their money, in value if not entirely in quality.

With extremely low prices and no idea of portion sizes, we ended up over-ordering and taking a lot home. The total of 2 orders of seekh kabob, one order chicken tikka, a lamb biryani, palak paneer and garlic naan came to about $24 total. A nice touch was the very good, complementary hot chai.

The seekh kabob was very flavorful, if a bit drier than what we've had at Indian Oven. The chicken while moist and tasty, could have come from any oven rather than the tandoor -- no sense of being barbecued and the onions and peppers came raw, not cooked. I thought this was a toss-up with Indian Oven -- I used to love their chicken tikka but it has been pretty dry the last few occasions we've sampled it.

The palak paneer was an excellent rendition with a hint of heat I've not had in this dish before. Very cremey, but it didn't taste like it was full of butter or oil.

Another winner was the garlic naan (LOTS of garlic), which to our taste could not have been improved.

The biryani was quite good, but not as exceptional. It was also not overly oily -- an Indian guy we talked with at the next table says he finds Naan and Chutney much less oily than Shalimar, for example, especially on the rice dishes.

Given the good to excellent dishes sampled so far, and the really exceptional prices (at least compared to the local competition) there is no wonder this place is already attracting a crowd.

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