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Karimi Restaurant

By Ella Polak Apr. 5, 2023

While perusing through Yelp for a noodle restaurant, my dad and I discovered Karimi Restaurant, which is located in downtown San Jose. The restaurant serves a variety of Indo-Pakistani fusion dishes such as hakka noodles and Sichuan fried rice. When I stepped inside the diner, my eye was immediately drawn toward the interior decorations—metal ornaments suspended on green, red and gray walls—reminiscent of the Indian flag. The large space had plenty of open tables, and I ordered food from a counter on the side.

I found it difficult to decide on just one out of the vast array of vegetarian and meat-based dishes, so I ordered a spread that included a lamb seekh kebab, basmati rice, garlic naan and a mango lassi—a sweet Punjabi yogurt drink traditionally consumed in the summer. However, my main focus was the chicken hakka noodles, an Indo-Chinese concoction that fuses chow mein with chilies and South Asian spices.

After a few minutes, the kebab, rice and naan arrived, and I dove right in. I was pleasantly surprised by the chewy, pillow-like texture of the naan and its subtle taste of char. The chopped fresh garlic on top provided a spicy and flavorful kick. I found the taste of the lamb in the seekh kebab exceptionally rich, but a bit too salty. I had no complaints about the rice’s flavor, but the quantity was barely enough for one person.

Soon after, my noodle dish arrived, garnished with scarlet red peppers and sliced green onions. As I worked through the substantial serving, I detected a mix of spices, including cumin, in the aftertaste of the noodles. The hakka noodles were greasy and too similar to traditional Chinese stir-fry noodles; the South Asian influence was almost unnoticeable. I also found the chicken substandard as it seemed to be precooked and had a very mild flavor.

Overall, I found the restaurant’s dishes to be underwhelming. Still, there were some standout orders—the mango lassi acted as a refreshing palate cleanser and the tender garlic naan was one of the best I have ever tried. I also found myself craving some of their side dishes after I left. Although the hakka noodles were disappointing, Karimi Restaurant is worth giving a try for its other selections.


About the Contributors

Ella Polak

staff writer

Ella Polak is a sophomore at Leland High School and a staff writer for The Charger Account. She enjoys reading, volunteering and gardening in her free time.

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