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Cook's Beloved Pondicheri; Ramen at Cafe Kubo's

The counter at Pondicheri.
The counter at Pondicheri.
Gary R. Wise/Flickr

Houston Chronicle critic Alison Cook visits Pondicheri for this week's review. The opened-this-year Indian diner concept from food force chef and owner, Anita Jaisinghani has Cook so hypnotized she claims "I’d be happy to live at Pondicheri."

Cook covers all meals, including the Indian breakfast selections like a cornmeal porridge called uppma, the house-blend chai, a pressed breakfast sandwich with "Indian Velveeta" and more Western selections like French toast, but her favorite seems to be the "Breakfast Frankie." Basically the Indian version of a breakfast burrito with Indian roti bread, "wrapped around a meltingly soft scramble of masala eggs flecked with corn and red bell pepper, then streaked with bright green cilantro chutney" Cook thinks that at $6, it "is one of the best dishes in town."

While she has lots more praise to heap upon Pondicheri's breakfast charms, she also gets to the Thali meals, the Indian version of plate lunches/dinners because they "are the most fun to eat, full of contrast and surprise."

Cook had a few, minor criticisms of the West Avenue restaurant, but ultimately reminisces, "I’ll weave Pondicheri into my everyday life like a fine, bright thread, popping in and out at all hours to grab some of the most interesting food in Houston."

Houston Press food critic, Katharine Shilcutt, headed to Chinatown's Cafe Kubo's and found homey Japanese food and crappy sushi in abundance, but her favorite was the ramen.

She describes the miso ramen as having a "tangy bite and nearly mahogany-tinted broth, filled with noodles that require joyfully loud slurping." And goes on to inform us that "Tonkatsu ramen is made by slowly boiling pork fat, pork bones and pork collagen for hours at a time," with the clarification, "Think of it as the Japanese version of pho."

Shilcutt also revels in the "charmingly manic energy" of the place and appreciates the fact that "You don't just come to Cafe Kubo's for the food, after all; you come for the atmosphere."

· Restaurant Review: Pondicheri [CHRON]
· Slurp Heaven [HP]


2800 Kirby Drive, , TX 77098 (713) 522-2022 Visit Website


2800 Kirby, Ste. B132, Houston, TX