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New in Hicksville: The Curry Club

Chooza kebab, tender chunks of dark-meat chicken, was

Chooza kebab, tender chunks of dark-meat chicken, was a specialty at the Curry Club in Hicksville. (August 10, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

It’s been a couple of days of disappointing meals — too much balsamic vinaigrette at a vaunted Huntington haunt, salad dressing forgotten in yesterday’s takeout lunch — so I was really wishing for something good last night when I came upon the month-old Curry Club in Hicksville. Wish granted.

The Curry Club is the Nassau offshoot of the 15-year-old Setauket institution and is owned by Mohinder Singh.  (The Setauket restaurant was managed by Chani Singh, recently moved to London, who also was the force behind the former Chani’s Unique Indian Restaurant in Islip, Sen Spice in Sag Harbor and the fleetingly extant Tandoori Truck parked outside Costco in Melville.)

I started out with the alu papri chaat  ($5.99), a big pile of snack crisps made from potato and rice interspersed with potatoes, peas, chickpeas, tomato, herbs and drizzled with tamarind sauce and green chutney. If you can imagine a salad whose main ingredient is savory breakfast cereal ... that’s alu papri chaat.

I asked my friendly server to recommend a main dish that Curry Club did especially well, and he suggested chooza kebab ($15.99, includes rice), which the menu described as “very tender boneless pieces of dark-meat chicken marinated with low-fat yogurt and amazing spices to bring out the real flavor of what a kebab should be.” This is a pretty good description, but I should add that the chicken was incredibly moist and the seasoning had a clarity — cilantro, lemon, chilies — that you don’t ordinarily find in Indian food. The chicken came on a screaming-hot platter on top of sliced white onion. Some of the onions softened and mellowed in the heat, some remained sharp and raw. A beautiful counterpoint to the bird.

The Curry Club is at 96 N. Broadway, Hicksville; 516-719-2888.

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