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Nawab marks 15th anniversary

May. 16, 2012 @ 07:31 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Nawab, which is celebrating its 15th year in downtown Huntington, is getting ready for some minor changes.

The family-owned restaurant will be rolling out a new menu soon.

"We are currently trying out some new dishes on the buffet to see how people respond to them," said Gulshan Kumar, co-owner and manager.

Kumar was originally trained to cook in India and previously worked as the head chef of an Indian restaurant in Atlanta.

"The changes won't be that major but we will have some new chicken and vegetarian dishes," he said. "We made some changes on the inside last year to make the dining area more open for the customers."

The restaurant is part of a small chain with most of its locations in Virginia, including Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News, and Williamsburg. There is also one in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Huntington location was established in 1997 by Raj K. Arora (Kumar's cousin). Arora decided that Huntington had an untapped market for Indian food and opened the restaurant in a former Rax location, an unlikely spot for a full service restaurant. The gamble paid off, and through positive word of mouth Nawab continues to attract a loyal base of customers.

"I think part of the reason for our success is the spices," Kumar said. "Indian food is completely different from American or Mexican food. There was recently a report on the BBC that said that there were some health benefits to some of the spices we use. So some people who saw the report have come in to try the food.

"The food in India differs depending on which region of the country you're in," Kumar added. "They use different ingredients and spices. We're from the northern part of the country, so most of the dishes we prepare are northern style."

Nawab offers a lunch buffet every day. Lunch hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 Monday through Friday and noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The lunch buffet is $8.05 on weekdays and $9.15 on weekends. In the evening hours the restaurant has a full service menu. One of the things that makes Nawab unique to the area is the use of a Tandoor, a clay oven which is heated using charcoal. The restaurant offers Tandoori Chicken ($11.50), Fish Tikka ($16), and Boti (lamb) Kebabs ($17).

The restaurant offers an assortment of vegetarian dishes (a staple of Northern Indian cuisine) such as Vegetable Korma ($11.50), Eggplant Bhartha ($11.50), and Chana Masala ($11.50). For seafood lovers there is Goan Shrimp Curry ($17) and Salmon Makni ($17). There are also a wide selection of chicken and lamb dishes.

Dinner hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Cash and all major credit cards are accepted. For carry-out, parties, or more information, call 304-525-8500.

If you go: Nawab

Type of food: Indian

Address: 600 4th Ave., Huntington

Phone number: 304-525-8500

Payments accepted: Cash and all major credit cards

Lunch hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 Monday through Friday, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Dinner hours: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Website: www.nawabhuntington.com/.