On a Saturday, we stopped for lunch about 12:30. The place had three people in line and four tables of patrons (place sits roughly 8 tables inside and 6 outside). Getting our order in at the counter took about 5 minutes. We ordered two dishes; the combination kabob plate with chicken breast and ground beef, as well as the mantu which is a steamed ground beef dumpling dish. The stream of people who followed behind us were, for the majority, take out orders.
We sat outside because the weather was nice and we aren’t fans of big screen TV’s. The kabob dish took 25 minutes to get and we almost missed it because they yell out your name but it can’t be heard outside. The mantu wasn’t ready and as it turned out, wouldn’t be done for another 12 – 15 minutes. If we had ended up waiting for it, our kabob dish would have been cold.
That aside, the chicken on the kabob plate was flavorful and moist – often other places it’s really dry. The naan was run of the mill, the rice was really tasty and the salad, crisp. The ground beef ovals were moist but not particularly flavorful. In a spiced meatball, ground beef is great but this was just small patties of ground beef, not much flavor even if it was cooked perfectly. The dish came with two sauces; a yogurt sauce and an green
sauce. The naan, the green sauce and the ground beef together made sense, becoming much tastier. With two ice teas, we commented that this was perfect for a light lunch for two, which would have been about $15.
When our mantu came, we really didn’t need it. But it was fabulous. The dumplings were beef filled, steamed wontons with a sauce that had yogurt with tomato, spices and pieces of corn. The flavorings were complex and spicy, which made us wonder again why the beef patties had been so plain. This was something we’d come back for. The prices were reasonable, would feed us both at under $20 and just perfect for a nice weather, light lunch.
Q’s Halal Chicken. 2306 Central Ave, Alameda CA