Al Jawahar (Jama Masjid) 6/10


Move over Karims, there’s a new kid on the block. And what a kid! Karims may have the branches in Noida and Nizamuddin and the history, but sacrilegious as it may sound,  Al Jawahar is miles ahead.

To add insult to what could be very injurious to Karims’ flow of clientele, its situated right next door. So its the same pushing through the crowded streets of Chandni Chowk, soaking in hundreds of years of history, until the deft rickshawallah brings you the little lane of gastronomic pleasures. One of the first restaurants on the left is Al Jawahar.

Their family room is on the third floor- after a series of confusing staircases. Thankfully its air-conditioned (the first two floors are not). The service is friendly and efficient. They might not ask your opinion as to whether your meal was satisfying, but they will come back to ask if you’d like another naan or roti.

We tried the mutton burra kebab- something that every self-respecting mughlai restaurant will have. Perfect. No other word for it. Wonderfully marinated, charcoal grilled, sticky and almost falling off the bone. Just what every mutton burra kebab aspires to be.  That was followed up by sheermal and the chicken jahangiri- standard items that you would find in every mughlai eatery. While the sheermal was a little on the dry side, the jahangiri was everything that the name makes it out to be- fit for a mughal emperor! I was expecting the gravy to be swathed in oil (which it was to some extent), but surprisingly less compared to other restaurants serving similar food. The lightness of the gravy probably contributed to the fact that the portions could be slightly larger. The firni was just as light and a good finish to a wonderful meal.

Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 4
Ease of access 2
Service 7
Quality of food 9
Value for money 9
Would I go back there? Certainly, although I might think twice about venturing into the Old City
Meal for two INR 600
Serves alcohol No
Credit cards Not accepted

Top Tips:

  • Getting there and getting out is a pain. Forget about taking your car- there’s no place to park and you wouldn’t want to wade through such traffic.
  • The easiest option is to take the Delhi Metro (Yellow Line- towards Jahangirpuri if you’re coming from south Delhi) and get off at Chawri Bazaar (and not Chandni Chowk). An open rickshaw will charge upto INR 20 to take you to Al Jawahar. Just say Jama Masjid or better- Karims. They know where to go.
  • The rickshaw ride can be bumpy- hang on tight!
  • Careful of your belongings. Those are fairly crowded streets.
  • Appreciate the Old City- take a walk down Chawri Bazaar or into the Jama Masjid and soak in hundreds of years of history.
  • I wouldn’t trust the drinking water- even if it comes to you in a ‘sealed’ bottle. Open a bottle of Coke instead.
  • Restrooms aren’t exactly acceptable, but when you gotta go… well, you gotta go.


13 responses »

  1. The sheek kababs! You forgot! Well, the sheek kababs at Al-Jawahar are nothing extraordinary, but I would they are still very good. (They taste way better with lemon and mint sauce served along with, though some of you might find the mint sauce too hot).

  2. Arre, ei blogtar kotha to bolishni kokhono! darun, darun.

    Btw, u seriously felt Al Jawahar is better than Karims (Jama Masjid)? Admittedly, I have tried very limited stuff in Al Jawahar (which included sheermal, which doesn’t compare favorably with the Karim’s counterpart and hence might have coloured my opinion) but wasn’t exactly overwhelmed. On a separate note, talking of sheek kebabs, you may want to try sheek kebabs from a thelawala whose cart is stationed not too far away from the Karim’s lane. He sells the most awesome beef sheek kebabs and is called ‘Munnu Mian Bareillywale’ (If memory serves me right – haven’t been to old delhi in a year!). I always have my starters here when I go to Karims 🙂

    • just started this blog a few days back. And yes, will review vera pizza and route 04 shortly.

      and the next time I head towards the old city, will try out the sheek kebabs. will let you know when we go 🙂

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