I decided to write about this place after my second visit there a couple of days ago. Shahi Qila is a little Pakistani restaurant in Sharq area and it’s almost invisible unless you actually go looking for it. The place is so nondescript that my friend didn’t even know the name of the place even though he loves the food there.
On both visits we ordered; Chicken Tikka, Channa Masala (Chickpeas) and fresh Rotis. The food is typical Pakistani fare with copious amounts of spice and oil. I love the Chicken tikka and channa masala at Khyber but this is now my current favorite place if I’m in the mood to get hot and sweaty for lunch.
The chicken tikka lacked that tangy flavor that you get in Khyber but its perfectly grilled and has the right amount of charring. Unfortunately I didn’t try anything else at Shahi Qila so I can’t recommend more dishes but the chicken tikka and channa masala combo is a must-try.
The place may look like a cheap joint on the outside but once you go down to the dining area on the lower floor you’ll be surprised to see that its neat and spacious. Prices aren’t too bad either. There were four of us and the bill was 5 KD. Parking can be a problem during working days so it would be better to park across the street near the police HQ compound and walk to Shahi Qila.
You can find the place in the map link here [Google maps]
Al Shoafaat Building,
Umer Bin Khatab St.
After my previous post about Sarhad some of my Pakistani friends and colleagues suggested a bunch of different places for me to sample more of their traditional foods. The places include Shahi Qila, Tabaq, Wah Ji Wah and Al Mano wa Al Salwa. Since Wah Ji Wah was the closest place for me during the weekend I decided to try it out first.
It’s located near the first roundabout on Issa Al Qatami street in Salmiya and is hard to miss. I noted that they’ve got two separate dining areas; one for bachelors and a larger space for families. I was there for a takeaway order so didn’t look into the family seating area. The specials menu on the wall is in Urdu so you’ll have to ask the guy at the counter whats the special for the day.
A couple of weeks ago a colleague of mine introduced me to a Pakistani restaurant in my neighborhood and mentioned that he was a regular patron there. The restaurant was located at the beginning of the infamous Hassawi area and at first things didn’t look so good.
The restaurant was packed when I got there and a majority of the clientele appeared to be Pakistani and Punjabi truck drivers. Since it was packed and there were people actually waiting for a table I figured there could be something special about the food here.
The most popular items seemed to be the Mutton Kheema, Tandoori Chicken and Haleem. We went there on a Thursday and that’s the only day of the week they serve Haleem. I ordered Tandoori chicken, Haleem, chicken biriyani and tandoori rotis as a takeaway order. Once I was back home I took a sample of all the items and it was clear why this place was so popular.
The chicken was perfectly grilled with just the right amount of tandoori marination and its way milder than Khyber. The chicken biriyani was not a humongous serving and would be just enough for one hungry person. There was nothing special to write about it and it was reasonable for only 650 fils. The Haleem was really thick and spiced with masalas and saffron and might be a tad too greasy for some people. I didn’t mind it as it went perfectly with the freshly baked rotis. Note that this is served only on Thursdays so be sure to get there early if you want to order a few portions.
This past weekend I went there again and bought a couple of Tandoori chickens and Dal fry. Both were really good and now this place is on my favorite list in Jleeb for Northern frontier food. Next time I’m going to try their Mutton Kheema and Mutton Karahi, both of which seem to be in great demand.
What I recommend: Haleem, Tandoori Chicken, Tandoori rotis and Dal Fry. There is always a 30 minute waiting period so just call ahead and they’ll keep your order ready for takeaway.