Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Annakoot - Chicken Tikka Masala & Samosas

There is a lot of competition between food trucks in San Francisco, so that means you either need to offer something original, or you need to be fantastic. Unfortunately, Annakoot did neither. Today I tried their Chicken Tikka Masala, which was served with a salad, basmati rice, naan and a chutney. It had all the potential for being a great meal, but it fell way short.

Annakoot's proprietor, Rao Rohit Singh, also owns Breads of India and Gourmet Curries, a restaurant with three East Bay locations. Their truck, which was situated outside of the Japanese Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park offers up healthy, organic Indian meals, with an emphasis on sourcing from local vendors. The menu consists of both Indian street foods and slow-cooked traditional dishes.

The highlight of the meal was definitely the naan bread, which was soft and buttery and soaked up the masala sauce without becoming soggy. You'd expect that quality with a Breads of India pedigree. I was also pleased with the quality of the ingredients - the salad was fresh, and the chicken was tender. But the overall flavor and intricate spiciness that I expect from Indian dishes was lacking. The masala sauce was buttery, but it wasn't very complex and certainly lacked that "wow" factor. I had high hopes for this because it was a more traditional offering compared to a cart like Curry Up Now's twist on Indian food, but I was left disappointed. It wasn't bad, but merely just okay. And for $10, which is a relatively high price point for truck food it should have been great.

The low point of the meal was definitely the Samosas, though there was nothing in their outward appearance to indicate they wouldn't be good. They had a nice crispy brown shell, and they were served with a combination of two chutneys. Their taste, however, left a lot to be desired. The shell was much too doughy, and the filling was mushy without have any distinct flavors. It was too heavy on the pepper, which was the dominant spice, and the texture wasn't typical of samosas. They didn't taste freshly made to me. Either they had been sitting for awhile and reheated, or they were not freshly made to begin with. I actually didn't even finish them, and I love samosas!

Annakoot is relatively new, so I am hoping that they will work out the kinks of being a mobile food vendor and their dishes will improve.

Rating: 2/5 (ratings guide)

Annkoot, $10.00 for meal, $4.00 for two samosas

Does reading this make you want to try this vendor? Tell them that you saw them at I Left My Cart in San Francisco and support San Francisco street cuisine!

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