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|
|Ease of access||2|
|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|
|Credit cards||Not accepted|
- 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.