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I’ve been reading about Southern Spice in Flushing for a while. I finally decided to try it a couple of weeks ago. It is a southern Indian restaurant that according to the website serves food from Andhra Pradesh (where Hyderbad is located), Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It was interesting because I’ve heard about this Chicken 65 dish for years because I knew a guy from Hyderbad who told me about this dish all the time (it was one of his favorite dishes), but I’d never seen it on the a menu and Southern Spice serves it. So, I figured this was a Hyderbadi restaurant.
It’s located in a somewhat run down area of the Flushing and the outside of the restaurant matches the neighborhood (i.e. it looks way run down). The inside is a bit nicer, but not much décor to speak of either.
Here’s what we got:
- Chicken 65: This was pan sautéed cubes of chicken breast marinated in spicy ground peppers. It’s got a ton of spices all over it; you can really taste the spicy ground peppers and onions. The chicken meat is pretty good, it’s not dried out. It was one of the more spicy dishes here. I highly recommend squeezing the lime all over it; that really made the dish a lot better and tastes completely different with the lime on it. It also tastes a lot better with some rice. Overall it was pretty good although I did find it a bit on the salty side and it wasn’t as transcendent as a lot of reviews made it out to be. 3.75/5
- Lamb Sukka Varuval: The manager recommended this dish. It was boneless lamb dry sautéed with spices and fresh ground peppercorn. I liked this dish, it wasn’t gamey at all. The spicing was nice and it was spicy. The lamb meat wasn’t dried out and if you put some yogurt on it it really took it up a notch. One of the better dishes we had. 4/5
- Channa Masala: This was interesting, it was much different than most channa masala I’ve had. Channa masala is chick peas in a ginger curry sauce. However, the ginger was much more evident than most versions I’ve had and the sauce was much more watery in texture as opposed to being more of a thick gravy. The one downside to the dish was that I felt the chick peas were a bit undercooked, they weren’t bad, but they should be a little softer. 3. 5/5
- Garlic Naan and Onion Kulcha: We got these to eat with our main dishes. Onion kulcha is a naan stuffed with coriander and onions. This was really good, probably the best onion kulcha I’ve had in the US. The garlic naan was just unleavened flat garlic bread. This was also really good. They definitely make some of the best Indian breads I’ve had in NY. 4.5/5
- Hyderbadi Mutton Dum Biriyani: This was also recommended by the manager and I’d read various glowing reviews of it. It is slow cooked basmati rice with mutton, fresh herbs and spices. The rice itself was decent, but I was disappointed in the meat. When I had really good biriyani in India, the meat turned out reasonably tender, but the meat here was pretty dry. The dish was also a bit on the bland side. I had to dump a bunch of yogurt on it to make it better. I was a bit disappointed in this dish. 3.25/5
- Jumbo Prawn Coconut Curry: The manager also recommended this dish. This was awesome by far the best dish we had. It was shrimp in coconut curry gravy. The gravy is slightly sweet and creamy. It was so good and it tasted amazing with the rice. The shrimps were cooked well and not overcooked. I really liked this dish and everyone else agreed that it was definitely the best dish. 4.5/5
Overall, it was a good restaurant although I do not think that it lived up to the hype that I had read on chowhound or yelp. I don’t think I’d come all the way from the city to Flushing for it. Although if I lived in Queens or it was located in the city, I’d go back again. I might come back just for that jumbo prawn coconut curry.