Mouthful

Kababish Cafe opens soon in downtown Cary

The tandoori fish served at Kababish Cafe, which is hopefully opening July 24 on West Chatham Street in downtown Cary.
The tandoori fish served at Kababish Cafe, which is hopefully opening July 24 on West Chatham Street in downtown Cary. Lee Booker

“We’re not just another Indian restaurant in Cary.”

Samreen Nawaz, who hopes to open Kababish Cafe on July 24 with her husband, executive chef Syed Yousuf, is surely not the first restaurateur to utter those words. But she’s got some pretty convincing evidence to back them up.

Granted, the menu contains many of the traditional dishes of India and the couple’s native Pakistan, including 14 variations on the restaurant’s namesake kebabs and tandoori dishes. There’s a solid selection of vegetarian classics, too, from saag paneer to malai kofta.

But Yousuf, whose varied resume includes catering in Florida and cooking locally at Biryani House and Olive Green, has a few surprises up his sleeve. Fusion pasta dishes, for one, such as shrimp masala pasta, featuring jumbo shrimp in a curry cream sauce. Burgers, for another, with options ranging from the All American — served with fries, naturally — to the Kababish burger, with cream cheese, sautéed mushrooms, onions, avocados and mint sauce. And what other Indian restaurant do you know of that serves Buffalo wings? Or a beverage selection that includes smoothies?

A changing gallery of local art hanging on the dining room atmosphere will further set Kababish Cafe apart from the crowd.

“We’re in the same building as the Cary School of Music,” Nawaz adds, “and we’re working with them to set up a live music schedule. We really want to be a part of the local community.” Looks like they’re off to a good start.

Kababish Cafe (201-103 W. Chatham St., Cary; 919-377-8794; kababishcafe.com) is located in the former UnVine’d wine bar space in Olde Cary Commons.

Greg Cox, the longtime N&O restaurant critic, also covers restaurant news. Tune in to hear his radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF. Reach him at ggcox@bellsouth.net.

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