In a nutshell: Eating out here is not only memorable due to the outstanding food but the experience of extreme pandemonium that one goes thru to first receive the food & then eat it.
Address & other details: Kallu Nihariwale
Meal for 2: Rs. 200 onwards
Cuisine type : only nonvegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
They do not give a receipt. So unable to produce that here.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
Our first attempt to go to this eatery was 9 years back after reading the comments of my favorite food critic Late Sabina Sehgal Saikia. Those days google maps were not as good. Neither was there Zomato. Mobile gps devices were not common. Getting information was way more cumbersome. We had taken a rickshaw from jama masjid and after a lot of asking around we had managed to reach this place. I remember being told that they wud start serving Nihari two hours later (than when we reached). Hence we gave it a pass and went somewhere else.
Have been hearing about it over the years but never really managed to get there – inertia problem. An acquaintance who has been eating around in delhi streets for many years told us that he loved kallu’s Nihari the best and that is what led us to break the inertia and get going .
We searched in google and were pleasantly surprised to find a location and 1 review of Kallu Nihariwale. So happily we went to that place (as per google map) and walked into the lane. The look and feel in the lane was very different from what I feebly remembered from last time.
Oops. No food shop in exactly the same location pointed by map. We asked a bunch of boys. They laughed and said ‘you hv to go to opposite side of road. Take the road beside Golcha cinema and ask. We did that & after a few failed attempts, we managed to reach using Indian gps ‘bhai Kallu nihari kidhar hai.’
As we reached the shop, we found a boy fiddling around with steel bowls in an empty shop without a signboard. I checked ‘ is this Kallu Nihari’. He said yes, with a straight face as if someone had asked him ‘is modi the prime minister’?
It was 4.15 pm. He said Nihari starts at 5.15. We were stumped. What to do for one hr. Seeing our expression he said ‘come at 5. The stuff will come at 5’. We took a walk to Dilli darwaza, increased our hunger & came back at 4.45 to find about 12 customers. I asked ‘is this a queue’. They smiled at me as if I were PK:).
No one had any intention to queue – b it the shop guys or the customers. So we also joined the randomness. As the shop started selling Nihari at around 5.10, hell broke loose. Pandemonium wud b an under statement .
Situation was like the stock markets of earlier days / old horse race betting / like some low moments in parliament – people jumping over one another to get his thing done first. Dozens of hands flinging up in the air , pointed towards the shop boy, pleading ‘pls take this money. Give me my meal’. People were saying ‘800 ka de do, 200 ka de do etc & also 4 plate de do, 1 plate de do etc.
The counter boy showed no particular pattern of selecting his ‘lucky customer’. His choice seemed to b random. After about 10 minutes of struggle, by God’s grace, we were lucky to have been selected to b worthy to get our food (in exchange of money).
The shop serves nihari in steel bowls. Rotis r given in hand, on old newspaper. So one is expected to hold the bread in one hand and eat the meat and curry from the plate. They do not give any spoons. U need to carry spoons from home if u r not used to eating with hands.
Needless to say there is no tissue paper and no tap to wash hands. So we bought tissue paper from a nearby shop. Three of us decided to get our stuff in Tupperware bowls that we carried from home. We stacked the bowls one on another and one of us held the same.
The second one held the roti. Third person had tissues, spoons etc. The next 20 minutes were memorable. We were eating , while standing in the side of a super busy road. The narrow road had its share of pedestrians, carts, cycles, rickshaws & even cars. Every 5th second we were getting pokes & pushes from something / someone who was trying to beat the crowd on the road.
The area also had mammoth goats walking around. Those were sizes of cow calves. Some special species I believe. Those goats were being reared to b slaughtered. The goats were also freely running around, giving us a push or two as we ate.
A very unique eating experience I which 90% attention was on food & 10% on what was happening around.
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
They serve only two items – nihari & nalli. Both r beef.
Nalli is a curry made from bone marrow. We wanted to eat but it finished b4 we got our turn.
Nihari was mind blowing & just the best I have ever had.
For the uninitiated, Nihari is meat cooked with spices & herbs in low fire overnight, resulting in amalgamation of flavors of meat & masalas and super soft ‘melt in the mouth’ meat.
The nihari at Kallu was bursting with flavors of the spices & herbs but no one spice / herb dominated the flavor. The gravy was thicker than the one at Karims & was super awesome to taste & we finished it till the last drop.
They had sprinkled juliennes of raw ginger & thinly sliced green chilles on the top. That spiced up the gravy a bit. Sans it, the gravy was not so hot.
The meat pieces were melt in the mouth & excellent to taste as well. Rate this dish 4.75/5
Overall rating of food at Kallu becomes 4.75/5.
Will update this after we manage to taste nalli next time.
Expert comment (after going thru the drill) – The best way to enjoy food is to park the car at Asaf ali road.
Take the road beside Delite Cinema, turn right from T point, look out for ‘A one chicken corner’ shop.
Turn left into the road adjacent to ‘A one’ & keep walking till u get a signboard less shop with a vodafone advertisement. The shop beside that is kallu. Ask anyone in that lane if u struggle. Pack the food in vessels that u get from home, get back to the car & NJOY the YUMM nihari & nalli. I will keep going here. What r u thinking?