After hearing so many good things about this restaurant from my friends I made the decision to give Shalimar Cuisine of India an opportunity on Friday. It’s normal to order an Indian curry at the local takeaway however, this? It should be a different experience. It certainly did not disappoint.
The moment I stepped into Shalimar was an experience that felt strangely familiar. It was like I had been transported back to the tiny cafe that I discovered on my India trip several years ago. The rustic charm, antique Bollywood posters and the hum of Lata Mangeshkar’s golden oldies playing in the background were an experience to the past.
Sat at our table was an elderly man who was probably in his 70s or 80s, taking his time eating. We had a chat about Shalimar and he told us that he’s been frequenting Shalimar since it first opened. “Their masala chai,” he said, “reminds me of my mother’s.” When he realized that it was my first time visiting the restaurant, he demanded that I go for the lamb Korma. Was I able to refuse?
Each bite was authentic. Samosas were crisp and had the perfect taste of mint, just as I remembered the street sellers in Mumbai. Dal makhani? Delicious and packed with flavor. The highlight was lamb korma as the gentleman suggested. The tender lamb chunks were cooked with a spicy, rich gravy. It felt like grandma was cooking at the back of the kitchen, making her heartfelt effort into every dish.
It’s difficult to find a spot for Shalimar Cuisine of India nowadays. A place where dishes are as full of story as it is in flavors. When we finished this evening it seemed less like a place to eat but more like a communal gathering, with food serving as a bridge between everyone. If you’re in search of authentic Indian food, and some warm conversation, then you’re in the right place to go this weekend.