Kanak India is a new Indian restaurant brought to you by the same family who owns Baba India, which is housed in the former Hardee's restaurant near Oakley Square. Kanak brings virtually the same menu to the Montgomery area; it bared no discernible difference to Baba's. That fact seemed to bode well for the newly opened establishment, as Baba is one of our favorites in town.
Kanak is located on the end of a strip mall across from Montgomery Square. There were no less than three "We're open" signs attracting one's attention, making the place hard to miss.
Once inside, we were quickly greeted by our host and seated at an available booth. There was plenty of space in here: the tables were positioned well apart from one another, with room to spare. The walls were adorned with hangings typical of an Indian restaurant: paintings of white elephants and ethnic figures, offset by the deep maroon paint. Candles were alit at each table.
I ordered the Chicken Vindaloo, a tried and true favorite of mine consisting of steaming hunks of tender chicken and potatoes in a spicy, chili pepper sauce. Accompanying the Vindaloo was the Chef's Special, Nan-a-Tandoori Bread stuffed with small bits of chicken, potato, onions and garlic.
My girlfriend ordered the Chicken Tikka, large cubes of marinated chicken served on a sizzling platter with onions, green peppers, tomatoes and slices of lemon. The meal also came with the customary heaping platter of rice pilaf for us to share.
The quality of Kanak India's food was easily on par with that of our beloved Baba India restaurant in Hyde Park. My girlfriend thought her Chicken Tikka was perhaps marinated using a slightly different recipe, which she proclaimed tastier than Baba's. My Vindaloo was an automatic "5" on the restaurant's 1-6 spiciness scale, packing a tasty and appropriate punch of heat.
There were a few dessert options on the menu, including Kheer, a rice pudding served with pistachios, but my mind had already been set on visiting the Aglamesis Brothers across the street for a frosty milkshake.
Service was good, especially considering the sudden rush of customers soon after our own arrival. The water glasses were kept perpetually full and the food was served inside of 10-12 minutes. The only lull in service was a minor delay after the meal, in which we waited about 10 minutes to get the check.
Kanak India is a welcome and much needed addition to the Kenwood and Montgomery area, which had previously been lacking in quality Indian food options.
Price: Moderately Expensive ($11 - $16 per person)