Shiraz Golden (Park Circus – Mullickbazar Crossing, Kolkata)

YUMMRAJ Demystifies the Legend of Shiraz

In a nutshell:

A long History of excellence, sadly struggling to keep up with its earlier Glory – A lunch here left us with a cold feeling & also food that was surely lower than expectations.

the facade

Address & other details: Shiraz Golden

Meal for 2: Rs. 250 onwards

special mutton biryani @ Shiraz

Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & predominantly Nonvegetarian

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

Shiraz as a name rings a bell with Most Calcuttans (since the Days when Kolkata was Calcutta). I have had many good experiences in the past here like many others. Over the years I have seen a decline & had stopped going here & insead to the newly opened Arsalan. Similar experiences cud b heard from others as well. This time around I made it a point to revisit Shiraz & check it out myself…………….

Burrah Kabab @ Shiraz

There are two restaurants at Park Street Mullickbazar area. One is a few shops away from the other. The newer one is closer to the crossing & the older one is a few shops away. The newer one is swankier as well. We decided to go to the Old one.

Menu Card @ Shiraz

The old restaurant has a non airconditioned ground floor & an airconditioned first floor. Furniture, look & ambience of the first floor is much upgraded as compared to the ground floor. The look at first floor was that of an old Eightees restaurant. Cubicles made with set of sofas facing each other. Lighting was dim.

colorful picture studded menu card

The staff of this place need a special mention. Some of them seem to walk out of a 70’s movie. They have been in the same job of waiting tables for decades, have got bored enough & that shows on their face every moment, appear at the tables like robots without any facial expression & at times frown if too many questions are asked. The uniform has quite a ‘Nawabi Khansama’ look. The relatively younger Manager who I guess was the only person in suit, was also quite serious faced. He was continuing to speak to me in English even though I was speaking in Bengali. It was then that I did what I do best – mentally poke. I striked a conversation on ‘what is popular her / what is legendary her, I have come from far to eat here/ what is ‘mash-hoor’ (famous) here etc & within 3 -4 sentences each, the customer – server barrier fell apart. We were talking to each other as two human beings & the interaction was excellent since then for the rest of our stay.

mutton chaap @ Shiraz

The food is surely very good in isolation but as compared to others, this one takes a beating – Straight away from Arsalan Park Circus & surely from Aafreen, Metiabruz. We were unlucky to get stale meat in one of the dishes, very happy to get a replacement after we reported the same & even more disappointed when the replacement turned out to b stale as well.

Raita @ Shiraz

However, inspite of that, people throng to this place in thousands, more due to emotional reasons than pure culinary ones.

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Sheesha Sky Lounge (C21 Mall, Vijaynagar , Indore)

In a nutshell:

Cool hangout place with friends & family, good food in general topped up with some real masterpieces.

Address & other details: Sky Lounge

Sheesha Sky Lounge

Cuisine type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Meal for 2: Rs. 500 onwards

Short description – In case u r in a hurry:

The first time I went to this place I was super impressed. I was pleasantly surprised again on my second visit as well.

A part of the interiors of this Lounge is for obvious reasons, in lounge style with sofas etc in Indian detailing. On another side there are few open cubicles with interesting seating in which a group of five to ten can easily sit around a table & talk to each other face to face while enjoying the food & beverages. There is normal restaurant seating in another section as well.

The first time we went to the restaurant, it was 7.00 pm. The place was quite empty for almost an hour & looked spacious. The second occasion we reached at about 9.00 pm. The place was jam packed & fully alive. Liked both the occasions. Love the lamp shades here as that dramatically livens up the otherwise brown, beige & white interiors.

the cool lamp shades at Sheesha Sky lounge

The waiting staff is quite warm & knowledgeable. Service is reasonably in time. Not too fast , not too late. Both the occasions I found that the ‘order’ in which we ordered the food was followed.

The menu card is very tastefully done.

The menu card

The food is good. There are sure instances of trying to do some things differently. Some of the food I found to be outstanding.

Sheesha was not served due to the new Government regulation.

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to enjoy reading:

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Nafees Restaurant, (30-B, Apollo Avenue, Old Palasia, Indore)

In a nutshell:

Traditional intricate & ornate look interiors, good service & some good kababs, curries & Biryani.

The view from outside

Address & other details: Nafees

Meal for 2: Rs. 300 onwards

Cuisine Type: Nonvegetarian & Vegetarian

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

I was told that this Restaurant is owned by The Uncle of Bollywood star Salman Khan.

The Glass inside the Restaurant & at the entrance has intricate floral design. The Furniture & the interiors look traditional & intricate. It has a feeling of a 19th Century Palace interior. There are separate seating sections for stags & family. A bit crowded but overall, a good ambience.

the interiors

With all that Grandness, the menu card looked quite ‘cheap’. It had bad quality badly edited photographs, strange fonts, inconsistent font sizes & overall a lack of class. I hope they imnprove it going forward.

The service level was beyond expectation – warm, knowledgeable, enthusiastic & friendly. When I told the guy serving us that such ‘passion & involvement’ is rare nowadays, he said – ‘U have come here for the first time. So I am taking special care of u so that u enjoy the experience this evening & remember us for long’.

The food was very enjoyable as well. I usually order three things in my visit to a Mughlai Restaurant – Sheekh, Burrah Kabab & Biryani as this is a test for the restaurant. I usually never revisit restaurants who fail in these basic dishes. On future visits to restaurants that pass the test, I usually try out other food.

cool visual display of accompaniments

The Sheekh kabab passed the test with Flying colors, the Burrah was enjoyable. The Biryani gave me mixed reactions – The rice of the Biryani was awesome. The goat whose meat was in the Biryani seemed to be a fan of Salman Khan – It must have been too muscular – .resulting in stiff, unedible meat pieces of Biryani.

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to enjoy reading:

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Jamil Hotel, near Chatori Gali, Bhopal – Street food

In a nutshell:

Good fish & meat kababs with strong & rustic flavored & taste, some very interesting Biryani that made me rethink my list of ‘best Biryani’ & one of the best Mutton Kormas I have ever had..

best Mutton Korma I ‘ve ever had

Address & other details: Just get into an autorickshaw & ask for Jamil Hotel near Chatori Gali. U will b transported there. In case the auto driver does not know, ask him to take u to Chatori Gali. Once there, just ask for Jamil Hotel situated on a road opposite Chatori Gali.

Meal for 2: Rs. 100 onwards

Cuisine Type: Nonvegetarian

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

Like Chatori Gali, everything here is very chatpata in taste – rustic, robust.

For those of u who rate the look & feel of a restaurant highly, u will b disappointed here. It has quite a shabby appearance, has old metal tables & bench seating. The shop does not even have a signboard. People just know this place.

The interiors

During my chat with the owner, he told us that they will move in to a new bigger building right opposite the existing one & that will b like a regular Restaurant.

For those of u who r frightened to eat fried food or food with fat in them, this is not the right place. BUT, if u r one of those who believe in pampering ur tastebuds & then work out harder to burn those extra calories, then this is the place to be.

the open kitchen

The serving staff at the shop are quite friendly. But as I always say, they do not undergo modern day ‘Hotel Management Training that preaches ‘Customer is the King’ etc. So they behave with u in a person to person basis & treat u as another person they r dealing with & not a ‘Customer’. So if u r friendly, that is reciprocated & vice versa.

We were lucky to have the Chef come up to the table post the serving staff ran out of answers to my questions. The Chef was really nice & explained things. When we ordered an extra Biryani to end the meal, he gave a complimentary ‘gravy of Mutton Do Pyaza’ to taste.

As u enter the shop, u r greeted with the sight of Marinated meats & fishes. These are cooked on request right in front of u. So there is almost nothing that is made & stored. So we had some good kababs, some outstanding Korma & a very very interesting Biryani.

marinades displayed right at the entrance to the shop

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to enjoy reading:

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