An Austin-based, fast-casual restaurant is bringing naan, curries, and kebabs to Upper Kirby. Tarka Indian Kitchen will open its third Houston-area location in early 2020, the restaurant announced.
“We couldn’t be more excited to expand in Houston and there’s no better place to do it than in the thriving Upper Kirby neighborhood,” said Tarka CEO and co-founder Tinku Saini in a statement. “At Tarka, our primary mission is to serve healthy, affordable, customizable Indian food in a welcoming environment where people love to gather, all while running an operation that is environmentally conscious. This is exactly what guests at our Upper Kirby restaurant can expect to experience when we open in January. It’s also important for us to be involved in the neighborhoods we serve, so we can’t wait to become an integral part of this community.”
Similar in style to Chipotle, diners select a protein and spice level for each item on Tarka’s menu of curries, kabobs, biryanis, and flatbreads. Signature items include pressed naan sandwiches and masala fries. High-quality ingredients, including hormone free chicken and grass-fed lamb, make it an appealing choice for the health-conscious. The menu is affordable (nothing costs more than $10), and the dishes arrive quickly. All of those qualities earned Tarka a spot on QSR magazine's list of Austin's 15 most-exciting fast casual restaurants.
A family-friend environment and an appealing selection of wine and craft beer have made the first Houston location in The Heights a neighborhood staple. Of course, the market for Indian food in Upper Kirby is more competitive thanks to veteran establishments like Pondicheri and Khyber.
Located at 3701 S. Shepherd Dr., Tarka replaces a shuttered Zoe's Kitchen. The location is scheduled to open in mid-January.