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“Superb food minus the atmosphere and wait”
Review of Ravi Kabob House

Ravi Kabob House
Ranked #212 of 893 Restaurants in Arlington
Price range: $5 - $10
Cuisines: Pakistani
Dining options: Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Reviewed June 26, 2013

Food is great and worth the wait, its authentic and tasty. The place itself is not clean and the service is not fast or good, but apart from all that we loved the taste of the food. The kabob Karahi, the chicken karahi were really good in taste, but my favorite was the chana masala for sure.

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Thank TravelingMomi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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56 - 60 of 98 reviews

Reviewed May 28, 2013

The karahi chicken and chana were great. Nihari was so-so and the chicken kabob was good. We were lucky that it wasn't crazy busy when we got there. Sure it's a hole in the wall but if the food is good it's worth it.

Thank Peacefuladventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

I have been going to Ravi Kabob for the ever since it opened its doors….probably 12-15 years ago. There have been times when I was disappointed, especially with one of their signature Karahi dishes (lamb, chicken). But that can happen at any place. Having said that, it is without a doubt best tasting Kabobs anywhere on the planet, and I can say that because I have travelled to 71 countries and many of them have Kabob centric cultures / cuisine. One of my first acts of duty upon returning home (to USA) is to pay a visit to Ravi. The lamb chops are heavenly so are the chicken with Bone Kabobs. The tandoori Naan or bread is in a class by itself, so is the Raita (yogurt Chutnee). Then there are some ready to serve, prepared food on display, which I don't care much about, except maybe the Channay (chic peas) and Saag (spinach). The Kashmiri Chai (pink tea) is also special. While there are many other tandoori and barbecue dishes, I would suggest ones stick with their top 3 signature dishes (Lamb Karahi, Lamb chops and Chicken with Bone). The place is always crowed and sometimes the wait can be long. All sorts of ethnicities and cultures can be found there. The place is noisy and one has to grab the first chair/table available and the staff will then try to put the tables together for various size groups. This is not a place to lounge around. Just eat and leave and savor the taste for several hours if not days. I actually like the chaos and noise, it all adds to the frontier culture environment from where this food comes from. Now I am giving this place Excellent for Food, Service, Value and Atmosphere, just because it is authentic and reminds you of Northern Areas of Pakistan. Some of you may strongly disagree, probably you may not have experience with old country

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Thank Mirza A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Ravi Kabobs has a terrific chicken boneless kabob platter! The chick peas are especially good with special sauce. Call ahead with your order on take out orders as there is always a long line and a wait.

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1  Thank Alan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2012

Ravi Kabob House
In 2006 my elder brother came from abroad to attend an official course in Washington DC. Since he couldn’t get time off to visit my family in New York, I drove down to DC. It was lunch time and we were hungry. Upon inquiring if there was a good eatery that he knew the front desk clerk told us about Ravi Kabob House. We drove to this small shopping strip, parked and entered the restaurant. Packed and crowded it was. We joined the line and at our turn ordered Lamb Karahi. The owner turned and yelled, “One lamb karahi”, “no more” the cook yelled back. “Oh come on now, we came all the way from New York to eat here” I said. Almost at the same time the cook (we couldn’t see him in the kitchen) yelled, “I can make one, the last one”. “Good” I said and we took two available chairs. Dirty sticky chairs and tables but jam packed restaurant; well food must be good I thought.
Karahi is a wok and this dish is also called Karahi because it’s served in the same wok that it’s cooked in. Karahi arrived after about 30 minutes. We started eating...and eating...and eating till we could only lick the surface of the wok! So delicious it was that we didn’t even talk, just kept eating and looking at each other every other minute.
That karahi had such taste that perplexed me. Being a cook myself, it was puzzling. Well I left DC and after a while when I got a chance I started experimenting. I added different things to lamb meat and adopted different ways of cooking but couldn’t copy the taste. One day I was checking my freezer to see what I had and saw a part of meat. Suddenly I remembered the taste of lamb karahi and voila! So that’s the trick, I thought (I won’t name the thing, because it might hurt his business and that’s not the objective here). Well this is what happened: We ordered Lamb Karahi and the guy in kitchen said he was out of Lamb Karahi and then seconds later he said he could make one last order. He must be having mixed “masalah” already prepared for each order instead of making it to order and he ran out of it when we arrived but he found a little “masalah” of another dish (It’s very yummy too) and he mixed that “masalah” in the Lamb Karahi and made the last order! Turned out to be delicious. I spoke to my brother over the phone and told him the story. When he heard of the part of meat I doubted that was added he right away said, “Oh yes! You’re right, it did taste like that”.
Curiosity took me to Ravi Kabob House again when I happened to be in DC. Went in and ordered Lamb Karahi. Nothing special! All red pepper and no taste.
October 2012 again I went there with a friend, ordered Lamb Karahi, found same taste as the time before, all red pepper and no taste. His naan (The fluffy clay oven fresh round bread) is nowhere near the ones that we get here in NY. We have excellent naans here. All that hype is because the restaurant was established long time ago and there are no good Pakistani restaurants in VA or DC area. I don’t mean to say his food is no good, it’s good but nothing special. I can make much better Karahi than this guy without the help of a ton of red pepper. No, no I don’t own a restaurant; I’m not in business, but anyone who eats my karahi loves it. In NY this restaurant in Jackson Heights makes excellent karahi. Ravi has no class in Karahi business. He’s just better of the few worst.

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2  Thank MirrorMalik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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