Hyderabadi Chai and Grill - SW Houston

I first went to this place just before the pandemic hit and am just now getting around to revisting. I think it has changed ownership or maybe just staff. It was one of three places around this block bounded by I-69, Wilcrest and West Bellfort that specialize in Indian versions of Chinese food. I think the other two are still open, too. The Chinese dishes are available only starting at 5 pm here; it’s open till 2 am.

I went for the Paneer Masala which now becomes a favorite dish. The colors in the pic are off - that plate is the color of charcoal, the masala was a dark brick red - there is very little cream in this masala paste. And it was very thick. The Paneer was browned a little and was excellent. This place brings more heat than the other 2 places and I had to eat slowly, but it didn’t cause indigestion later.

The garlic naan was excellent. It was thin, crispy on the edges some, more like the taftoon I’ve had a Bijan or Cafe Caspian than most naans, but who’s complaining?

This pic was supposed to include the Sweet Lassi, which is barely visible on the right. Water bottle should have been moved. The lassi helped deal with the heat. The raw onions dipped in the masala briefly became sweet tasting.

Glad I finally got back over here.

I don’t know if there’s an up-to-date menu available on-line. the menu is slimmer than it was. There is no special lunch menu but Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday daily specials are Beef Haleem on Friday, Yakhni Goat Pulao on Saturday, and Kata Kat on Sunday. Can’t remember Thursday.

My first visit I got to-go, choosing an Indian Chinese dish I had discovered at Bombay Express, around the corner on W. Bellfort - Schezwan Fried Rice.

The version from Bombay was, like this, very visually arresting and addictive but very mildly seasoned - one of the chutney’s was just ketchup. This version has the missing heat and the garlic chutney was too hot for me, and I love garlic.

Prices have gone up as much as 50% on some items I compared. I briefly noticed a Triple Schezwan Chicken Fried Rice on the menu but quickly averted my eyes. If anyone ventures to try that, get back to me on what you think.

ETA: This is right across Wilcrest from Lopez so if you’re in the area and can’t stand the thought of another cheese enchilada ( :face_with_raised_eyebrow:), remember this place.