Thursday, December 19, 2013

Nikoz Fusion Grill- Similar to Nando's, but much better

Nikoz Fusion Grill
16754 Southwest Freeway #A, Sugar Land, Texas 77479
Buffet or a-la-carte: a-la-carte
Date of visit: 12/18/13


Salam/hey guys! Today, I'm reviewing Nikoz Fusion Grill, which is a Mediter-Asian Cuisine restaurant. In other words, it's a fusion of Greek, Mediterranean, Indian, and Asian cuisine. I was finally free from finals week as I completed my last final earlier today. So I had decided to visit this place. The main reason I came here was because I took Mo Sabri here last Saturday when I dropped him off at his hotel, but I did not eat anything as I was on a rush to drive back on Cypress. If I was allowed to eat that day, then I would have reviewed this restaurant. To top it all, I actually told the owner that I would come and try the food as soon as possible! Today was the only time I had because the next day, I am leaving for Dallas for the holidays. Also, I am no longer taking Saturday classes, so the once a week restaurant trips is reaching its end. Lastly, my schedule for next semester is so tight that if I forget my lunch at my house, I have to either eat halal food on campus (hopefully the food trucks will still be there, as they are delicious), or I have to eat either Jimmy Johns or McAlister's (their vegetarian options are good, but I prefer halal as I am a huge meat eater). So after the exam finished, I embarked on the 25 mile drive to the restaurant.

Let The Experience Begin!
Nikoz Fusion Grill is located off the Sweetwater/First Colony Boulevard exit on the Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land. It is located in a strip mall to the right of the traffic signal. Inside is a very dark ambiance. In the front are drinks and the whole kitchen. The owner actually recognized me from last time and greeted me. After waiting for a while, I was ready to order.

Let's Eat!
I ordered the Piri Piri Chicken as part of the lunch special (picture below). With it came basmati rice and a choice of either soup or salad. I opted for the salad. Piri piri is a pepper that is mainly grown in Africa. Piri Piri means Pepper Pepper in Swahili. So basically piri piri chicken is chicken that is marinated in a pepper sauce and grilled. The salad was a basic vegetarian salad. To drink, I took a glass of water. Altogether, I paid $7.57 (tax included, but tips isn't). The waiting time was a modest 7 minutes and 6 seconds. Everything is cooked fresh, so the quality of the food is good.

Menu (Click to view): AppetizersSalads, Chicken EntreesMeat (Beef and Goat) EntreesSeafood,  SidesKids MenuDessertsBeverages
Now this place does serve alcohol, but it doesn't mean that this restaurant should be avoided. Many people say that it is forbidden for Muslims to go to places that serve alcohol, or, to put it in a more subtle way, they tell us to "avoid such places". Going to nightclubs and bars are forbidden, no doubt, but going to a restaurant is a completely different story. This is because there are a lot of halal things occurring in restaurants, such as ordering food, eating and talking, and drinking water or soda. The truth is that as long as you do not order any alcohol, or you do not sit in a table where people are consuming alcohol, you are not sinning.And don't start the whole "it's better to avoid because of temptations". I think it's known worldwide, whether Muslim or not, that Muslims are forbidden to drink alcohol. Had that logic been true, then the average Muslim would shun themselves from the rest of the world and avoid anyone that is not Muslim because of the belief that "they will try to get you to drink".
Back to the menu. This menu actually resembles Nando's. For those who don't know, Nando's is a popular restaurant that is mainly seen outside North America. In North America, there are locations only in DC and Virginia in the US, and Alberta and British Columbia in Canada. They are also well known for their peri-peri chicken. I had it before when I was visiting Bahrain from Saudi Arabia, and it tasted really good! It will be interesting to compare these two restaurants. Based on the menu, this is a truly fusion restaurant, as there are dishes that represent a country. Like souvlaki represents Greece, koobideh represents Iran, Biryani represents India and Pakistan, and Curry Khausa represents Burma. Oh, and if you order the gyro, be sure to ask for the halal one as there is a non-halal one that is popular with the non-Muslim customers. But do not worry as they are cooked separately.

Lunch Special (Click the Picture to View)

Piri Piri Chicken and Rice

The Verdict:
Remember when I said that I had peri peri chicken at Nando's in Bahrain and liked it? Well, this definitely triumphs it! This was definitely one of the best chicken dishes I have ever had in my entire life! The meat was marinated and grilled to perfection and it definitely did not taste like hot peppers! The rice was really flavorful and delicious, and the salad had the perfect amount of dressing! The food was washed down by a nice glass of water. Overall, two thumbs up for the food!
The service was also great! The owner was one of the nicest guys I've met in a restaurant. He was always smiling and he was willing to help people choose what to choose to eat when other customers came in and told him it was their first time eating at the restaurant. When I came for the first time with Mo Sabri, he helped me decide what to order when I would come back and try the restaurant since I was in a hurry to get home. It was also a good thing that he told about the availability of the non-halal gyro, as many businesses would mislead customers about halal food to try and get more customers. Overall, two thumbs up.

I'll definitely make more visits to Nikoz Fusion Grill. Great food and great service, what more do you want? I'd recommend this to anyone that visits Sugar Land. I'm glad to see a restaurant that can successfully replicate a well known dish (Peri-Peri Chicken) and make a better version of it. I really hope this restaurant succeeds in the future. I hope that when I come back, the quality of food will be the same. 

Service: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Waiting Time: 10/10
Overall: 30/30 = 100% (A)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$

Restaurant Information:
Nikoz Fusion Grill
16754 Southwest Freeway #A, Sugar Land, Texas 77479
Phone: (281) 313-0325
Twitter: @NikozGrill
Timings: Mon: closed; Tue-Thu: 11 AM - 9:30 PM; Fri-Sat: 11 AM - 10:30 PM; Sun: 11 AM - 9 PM
Caters: Yes
SpotOn rewards available. Private room also available

Feel free to comment below!

Zain Mohammed

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