Ravi Kabob I, Arlington, VA

(See the December 9, 2010 Ravi Kabob I review here.)

Let us dispel the false notion that ethnic “mom and pops” in suburbia do not face similar consistency problems as more expensive, downtown restaurants; my experiences have proven otherwise.

Ravi Kabob has organically morphed into a holiday tradition with me: I had my Thanksgiving, 2010 dinner here, as well as my last two Christmas dinners, all as carryout. And I’m willing to bet that this Christmas was Ravi’s single busiest day of 2010 – it was standing-room only packed, and the gentleman who answered the phone warned that it would be at least a 45-minute wait (this, at around 5:30 PM). He was right.

It is not Ravi’s fault that they were so busy, but there’s also no question that the quality of the food was severely compromised on this day. For example, my beloved Chicken Karahi ($19.99 for two) was unrecognizable as being from Ravi Kabob except for the spices used. They were slammed, there are a limited number of karahi stations, and it was painfully clear that this dish didn’t see long-enough cooking time (and was perhaps cooked on too high of a heat in order to get it the hell off the burner and make way for the next order). There was no penetration of spices in the chicken meat, and most of it went uneaten.

The chicken karahi was the most blatant example, but the normally glorious Champ Tandoori ($13.99) was also sub-par, with the spicing muted, the lamb tough and uninteresting, and the dish simply not worth the price.

Let me say something good about this meal: although I didn’t try either the Chicken Kabob ($9.50) or the Chapal Kabob ($9.50), the good people at Ravi volunteered to ensure that both dishes were prepared mild, as there were people dining that were not spice fans. Both dishes looked well-cooked and very appealing.

My takeaway? When Ravi is backed up, that is the worst time to go.

And my trivia: the owner’s license plate says “RAVI786,” 786 being a lucky number for certain Muslims (controversial in some circles).

This entry was posted in Restaurants, VA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.