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Qutoom Indian aiming to impress Tonawanda with healthier curry

North Indian cuisine with a Bangladeshi accent is the newest Tonawanda restaurant offering, with the opening of Qutoom on Kenmore Avenue.

Located at 687 Kenmore Ave., site of the late, lamented Balkan Dining, Qutoom is named after the Bengali word for “special guest,” said Akm Husen, who owns the place with Moinul Haque.

“Compared to any Indian restaurant in Buffalo, quality food at a reasonable price, I will take that challenge,” said Husen, who opened the doors Feb. 7. “If I cannot beat everyone, I’m at least going to be in the top five.”

His edge is healthier recipes – with less fat – and better spices, Husen said.

The former pharmacy tech at Buffalo General Hospital decided to open a restaurant because he saw an opening in the marketplace, he said.

When sampling the area’s Indian restaurants with his wife, “I did not find that many places with what I wanted in terms of healthy options, neat and clean,” he said. “The places that I found had prices that were way higher than I thought was affordable.”

So he found a chef with 15 years’ experience in Jackson Heights, Queens, and started looking for a space.

The restaurant offers dishes made with chicken, lamb and goat, but not beef or pork. It also offers vegetarian and halal dishes, with vegan food – made with no dairy or meat products – available on request, including freshly baked naan flatbread ($2).

Soups (hot and sour, egg drop, chicken noodle, corn, $4) are available, and potato-stuffed deep-fried samosa turnovers (2/$3). Lunches of vegetable or meat curries, or grilled meats, go for $7-$10. Most entrees top out at $12.

As the name signals, the partners are eager to welcome the neighborhood to their restaurant, Husen said. “I welcome anyone anytime into my kitchen, that’s how clean I keep it.”

Hours: noon-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, noon-11 p.m. Friday, Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday. Phone: 436-3000.

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