In a nutshell:
Outstanding Nihari, nalli & few other traditional Mughal food in a simple setting with warm people & fast service.
How to get there: Get into the lane perpendicular to Gate no. 1 of Jama Masjid. Keep walking till u reach a ‘y’ point. Take the road on the left – almost in the same direction as u were walking. U will an old gate to a Haveli on ur left. Walk into the gate & on ur left is Haji Shabrati Nihariwale.
The smartest thing to do is to take a rickshaw from Chawri Bazar metro station & entrust him with all the above details. U shud be there in not much time.
Meal for 2:Rs. 150 onwards (see rate chart as of July 2012)
Timings: Summers – 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm (best time to go 7.00 to 8.00), Winters 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm. The shop is shut at all other times.
Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:
In case eating out for u includes ‘ambience’ / ‘professional service’ as a must ,pls do not go here. If ‘eating = health food’ for u, I wud strongly advice u not to even think of going here. However, if u r a foodie & believe that there is only one life & we shud make the best out of it, u must give this a try. Ur tastebuds will thank u for taking them to Haji Sharbati. All u will maybe need to do is to increase ur dosage of cardio exercises the following week.
The shop is very old & does not seem to have been renovated for years. Everything there seems to have stood the test of time. Even the signboard outside the shop had almost turned black due to the smoke of the ovens. There are elements that might look messy but no one really cares. People come, wait in queues, eat & go.
As u stand outside the shop u see a huge Handi (metal cooking container) fixed to the oven with clay atop a platform that is almost 2.5 feet high & an elderly gentleman sitting besides it & serving the contents to eating plates. Behind him is a tandoor & a guy sitting there is constantly making tandoori rotis here.
The platform (with the tandoor) covers half the shop & the rest is the sitting area.
The furniture is as basic as it can get.
The guy who serves the food is just another Human being & his responses are exactly like that – unlike trained restaurant waiters who are smiling & polite even when yelled at. My smile & friendly behaviour ensured that he treated us like his personal guest & we really had a good time.
The food rules – This is one of the best Niharis I have had so far. The gravy beats the Karim’s one hands down. The meat at Karim’s is slightly better textured than at Haji Shabrati.
Detailed description – In case u have the time to njoy reading: