Restaurant reviews

Shalimar – A taste of Pakistan

For a restaurant to earn repeat patronage, there are a few key requirements:

1) Excellent and varied food

2) Value for money

3) A good relationship with the owner / manager

I am fortunate enough to enjoy all three key requirements at a little treasure of a restaurant hidden away in Harrogate. Jamil (the owner) is a very friendly man who makes us feel more than welcome on every occasion we visit, with a very personal hello that does not come across as insincere. In fact, my mother and father in law love a special dish not always on the menu called nehari and they will text Jamil in advance to request it! It’s this sort of service which makes the restaurant so special.

At this point it is worth pointing out that this dish has proved so popular that in redesigning his menu (soon to be released) he has slightly changed the direction of his restaurant to go more towards offering customers traditional dishes as well as the more standard offerings. If you are fortunate enough to visit after the menu change and are feeling adventurous you really do need to try and branch out.

Sometimes when visiting a restaurant and especially when conducting a restaurant review you find yourself blinded by the outside of the property or the interior decor (neither of which in fairness truly stand out at Shalimar) but this is one instance where the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ really does apply. If you don’t believe me just poke your head inside and breathe in a whiff of the beautiful, aromatic spices that permeate every part of the dining area!

The food is of course sublime, with fine naan breads, beautiful starters and all the curries able to be tweaked to provide the level of spice and heat that you desire.

As a foodie, my aim is simply to leave having enjoyed a flavour sensation and as such I always trust Jamil to bring me a curry of his choosing and have never been let down! In fact, we rarely pick off the menu such is our level of trust in this establishment’s owner.

If you are out and about in Harrogate looking for a restaurant to try and fancy a change of spice then you really do need to look no further than Shalimar; in my opinion this is one of the best curry houses in Yorkshire.

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