After a fabulous lunch and dinner at this legendary restaurant, we decide to try out its neighbor, the Al Jawahar. It’s located almost opposite to Jama Masjid’s Gate 1, making it easier to locate. The entrance to the restaurant is wider and much cleaner than any restaurants in the area; there’s a tandoor area at one side and a reception counter at the other.
Sometime in the late 1940s, India’s first prime minister is said to have dropped by for a meal. This was a big deal, of course, and hence the restaurant was named after him. Nobody seems to know what this place was formerly called.
As you can see from the picture above, the food (chicken karahai) is served with a generous amount of oil, just like any other restaurant that offers Mughlai cuisine; there’s no other way to enhance all those exotic spices. However, I feel that Al Jawahar’s gravy is milder on the masalas; stomach linings not used to North India cuisine will be happy and acid-free.
There’s something else that’s special at Al Jawahar—its meat. You see, this place is owned by a family of butchers, and they cut the meat across the grain. Their lamb meat is melts-in-your-mouth tender yet does not separate from the bone. Seasoned cooks can actually differentiate every gravy dish from the next by the specific cut of meat used.
I wish I could order every recommended dish in a restaurant that I intend to review. When we entered Al Jawahar I knew I’ll be writing a post about this place, and I even planned on ordering biryani, their famous lamb ishtoo, roasted mutton leg, nihari, etc. But the fact is that I don’t really eat much. After munching on their awesomely-marinated and grilled lamb chops, I was already full.
Needless to say, Al Jawahar is a nice, clean place that serves mildly-spiced yet flavorful Mughlai cuisine. The place isn’t as packed as it’s neighboring restaurant, hence the attentive and smiling waiters. I’d definitely recommend this place.
Timings: 7 am-12 midnight
Cost for two: Rs. 500 (credit card not accepted)
Phone: 011 23264126, 011 23275987
Air-conditioned; no smoking area.
Alcohol is prohibited.