Restaurant Review: Shalimaar Restaurant in Andheri East, Mumbai

We wanted to eat out last Tuesday night, it being a holiday due to polling the next day. My daughter blurted out that she’d like to eat the Galauti Kebab and Parantha at Kakori House. We thought of Kakori House in Andheri East, and then thought, why not try out a new place? Shalimaar or Persian Darbar. Hadn’t been to both, and wanted to try out one of them for that evening. Settled for Shalimaar.

How is the ambience at Shalimaar, Andheri East? Well, most joints along side the Andheri-Kurla stretch are relatively new, owing to the spurt of commercial complexes that have come up in the last couple of years. That’s why too, most of these joints cater to the office-going crowd.

Shalimaar in Byculla is quite popular for its food. But was never known for hygiene. Shalimaar in Andheri East, however, couldn’t afford to do that. Its clientele was different here. And hence, a well done up, 2-floor restaurant with good lighting. But you will find traces of negligence in a chipped plate or the not-washed dress of the staff or in some of the dishevelled-looking staff themselves. Jayanta asked me to ignore all of these even while I was making a mental note. But when my daughter pointed to a small cockroach that crawled up from under the table, I was upset. The staff, to whom we complained, said that it was very difficult to get rid of the cockroaches from the restaurant. I pointed out to a regular pest control regime. He nodded. What else could he do? We moved to the next table though.

How is the food at Shalimaar, Andheri East? I will be honest. After the cockroach sighting, I had lost my appetite.

We had ordered for a plate of Mutton Shammi Kebab and Mutton Tikka. Didn’t order any drinks – they don’t have liquor license; and silly cocktails is not what we wanted to spend money on. For the main course it was, Mutton Kadhai Gosht with Rumali Roti and Mutton Dum Biryani. For desserts, it was Shahi Tukda and Matka Rabdi. And now for the food review…independent of the cockroach sighting…

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Mutton Shammi Kebab had too much channa daal in it; there was a strong after taste of the dal; not very spicy, actually, pretty bland. The Mutton Tikka had a dangerous red colour, but was nice and soft; very spicy though, my daughter couldn’t eat it. The Mutton Kadhai Gosht came in a, well, kadhai, and had this dangerous red colour that made me write it off as ‘bad’ as soon as I saw it. It turned out to be very mild though. My daughter ate her portion of the roomali with the Kadhai Gosht. The Mutton Dum Biryani was nice, not very greasy, but not great either. The rice was well cooked, but didn’t have the flavour. And the nutton didn’t have much taste. Pretty bland.

The Shahi Tukda was a large triangle of bread in sweetened milk served with cream. Didn’t like it much. They served it piping hot. I am fond of chilled Shahi Tukdas. My fault, I didn’t mention it to them. Jayanta, my daughter and my Mom loved the Matka Rabdi. Found it just the right sweet.

Total bill for all of the above came to INR 1300. Meal for 3 adult and a child.

Final Verdict on Shalimaar, Andheri East: Food isn’t bad. But not great either. Their rates are good for large groups. But average place to eat, if you ask me!