Monday, April 29, 2013

CLOSED: Kublai Khan Stir Fry a.k.a. the Halal Genghis Grill

Restaurant: Kublai Khan Crazy Mongolian Stir Fry
10001 Westheimer Rd. Houston, Texas 77042
Date of Visit: 4/21/2013


UPDATE 4/12/15: In a shocking turn of events, Kublai Khan has closed down. So sad to see it go :(


Background:
Salam/ hello everyone and welcome to my newest review! Today I will be reviewing Kublai Khan, a halal Mongolian style restaurant. Sorry for the long wait, as school was very hectic. I had a long day at college, as finals were on the corner. I had to start studying hard for them if I wanted to keep up that 4.0 GPA I had achieved last semester. So I decided to take a quick break from studying for the finals and eat somewhere. I wanted to find somewhere that would fill me up. I also wanted a place where the food was not reheated and instead made fresh. So I had looked up online and tirelessly searched for a place that was near to UH and on my way back to my house. I had stumbled upon Kublai Khan and immediately found out that it served halal meat! This was perfect for me as I could finally avoid eating vegetables or seafood at Genghis Grill. Eager to try it out, I jotted off to the restaurant.

 Let the Experience Begin!
After 30 minutes on the exhilarating Houston traffic (even for a Sunday!), I arrived at the restaurant. It is located in the midst of one of the busiest roads in all of Houston. Restaurants were next door to each other, hoping to win customers who are primarily business workers. For example, next to the restaurant is a Thai restaurant, which has nearly the same cuisine as Kublai Khan. I stepped inside the restaurant and it made me feel like I was in a sports themed restaurant. There were TVs everywhere, in the middle of the restaurant and the bar. This would be perfect for anyone who would see the Rockets play in the playoffs. There is also a patio that viewed the many office buildings present. To my delight, a halal certificate was displayed at the entrance of the restaurant. Two thumbs up there. The waiter noticed me and guided me to the next free table

Let's Eat!
The waiter then asked me what I wanted to drink, and I had requested water as I do not drink alcohol (duh!) or Coke products. He then gave me a bowl and directed me to the food station, where I picked the meat, vegetables, spices, and sauces that I wanted. In other words, YOU ARE THE CHEF! As you get in line, there are a set of cards that tell you how to make the perfect specific dish. For example, to make Sweet and Sour Chicken, you add chicken, some vegetables, and Sweet and Sour Sauce. Kudos to them for doing that. So I picked out every single thing that was halal along with many vegetables (carrots, peas, potatoes, beans, etc.) and made my own dish. You get a choice of either fried rice, white rice, Udon noodles, Pad Thai noodles, Shanghai noodles, and Naan bread. It was fairly priced, $9.99 for one bowl and $11.99 for unlimited. To be specific about my dish, I had Szechaun Triple Meat with bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, peas, potatoes, onions, celery, and beans. For you to wait, there are free rice crackers that you can take alongside with some mozzarella cheese.

Menu: YOU ARE THE CHEF!! However, if you want takeout or something else, here is the website for the menu --> http://www.kublaikhanstirfry.com/menus/Westheimer.pdf

IMPORTANT: There is a specific halal section in the food items. Pork products are also served in this restaurant alongside with alcohol. Only eat from the sections that say "Halal Chicken", "Halal Beef", and "Halal Lamb". Also, please tell the people that you have halal meat and they will cook it for you separately. No sake (Japanese Rice Wine) is added to the rice .

The Halal Certificate


The Halal Station


The Rice Crackers and Mozzarella Cheese


The OWNER cooking my food separately


My custom made plate

The Verdict:
After taking the first bite, I knew I made the perfect decision . However, there are some areas of improvement. The rice can improve in taste and portion, as the rice could be more fresh and placed on the side of the Szechuan chicken. The rice was somewhat bland, as more soy sauce could be added to the fried rice while cooking (I did not cook the rice!). Also, the rice could be placed next to the dish as many people find it easier to eat the rice when it is next to the chicken (not everyone here eats with chopsticks!). Finally, the rice could come in a bigger portion to accommodate the huge meat dish. It could also makeup for the sauce in the dish. Besides that, the dish was very delicious and it was so big that I was full after the first plate. And it was also much better than my lone trip to Genghis Grill.

Conclusion:
Forget crap like Panda Express, Genghis Grill or Pei Wei, Kublai Khan would be a best bet if you are looking for a place to eat your butt out with halal meat. You could be sure of the halal meat that would be served. The people are nice, the food is freshly made, and the atmosphere is great! If you are a seafood lover, the restaurant has many seafood items such as scallops, crab, salmon, snapper, and octopus. I also liked the perks such as a guide to making the perfect dish, the halal certificate displayed, and the rice crackers. The only downside was the rice, but there are three different types of noodles that you can enjoy with. So if you want to devour yourselves or come and chill with your friends, this would be a great place.

Grading:

Service: 9/10 (Portions could increase, but people were friendly and helpful)
Food: 8/10 (Rice was bland, but overall great)
Overall: 17/20 = 85% (B)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$

Restaurant Info:
Kublai Khan Crazy Mongolian Stir Fry
10001 Westheimer Rd. Houston Texas 77042
Other locations: found on this website --> http://www.kublaikhanstirfry.com/#/locations
Phone: (713) 532-2927
Website: www.kublaikhanstirfry.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KublaiKhanStirFry
Timings: Sun-Thu --> 11 AM - 10 PM ; Fri-Sat --> 11 AM - 10:30 PM
This Restaurant Caters.

Feel Free to Comment Below!!

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed


2 comments:

  1. Wow!. This restaurant is truly great and amazing. This is my first time to know about this Halal Genghis Grill and I want to try there Recipes For Stir Fry. I will bring my family in this place and we will enjoy the food offer here. Thank you for posting this.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting and I hope you and your family enjoy eating there! However, Kublai Khan restaurant and Genghis Grill are two completely different restaurants. Kublai Khan is a local Mongolian grill with stores in Houston, while Genghis Grill has stores all over the country. Also, Genghis Grill does not serve halal meat. The "Halal Genghis Grill" is a nickname for the restaurant because it functions exactly like the Genghis Grill stores but with halal meat available. Happy eating!

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