100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes: No. 94, Mulligatawny Soup at the Queen Vic

This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

Of all the dishes on the menu at the new restaurant from Shiva Patel and Richard Di Virgilio -- their second after Oporto -- it's the Mulligatawny soup that best represents the cross-cultural British-Indian bent of the Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen.

Mulligatawny soup has a long and rich history, having originated in India during colonial British occupation and translated literally from two Tamil words meaning "pepper" and "water." This can be somewhat misleading as Mulligatawny soup usually has a rich broth that's not at all watery.

This rich broth gets even heartier at the Queen Vic, where it has a base of coconut milk and tropical flavors that aren't unlike tom yum. But the British and Indian influences are still there, with lentils in place of the more traditional rice and chicken mixing with the fresh bite of apples and turmeric. It's not at all the harsh or overpowering curry-like dish that can sometimes be served as Mulligatawny soup at other restaurants, and instead makes a brilliantly light summer soup -- even served hot.

The list so far:

No. 100: Dumplings at Heights Asian Cafe No. 99: Mixta Pizza at Friends Pizzeria No. 98: Veggie tacos from Radical Eats No. 97: Bean pie from Conscious Cafe No. 96: Swiss chard crepes from Giacomo's Cibo e Vino No. 95: Eggs Mia Bella at Mia Bella

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Katharine Shilcutt