Music Thursday

Melanie O’Brien, The Attic Mick Davis and the Main Drag, CBTG’s

25 January 2007

  1. Dannilou · January 25, 2007

    I’ve never written a review before, though I’ve read many. Yet, minutes into my main course I knew this time I needed to get the word out about the wonderful food at Shalimar. A wonderful family atmosphere, I felt much more comfortable than I ever have while dining out. The menu is not only diverse, but explains well each of the options, which is especially helpful if, like me, you don’t know much about Indian food. Might I also add that it is very reasonably priced, and the family is obliging and lovely. Unlike India Gate, where you have to order multiple dishes to get a rounded meal, here you get an excellent portion size with meat, rice, naan, etc. for a great price. I had beef samosas, chicken Lahori Chargha, and Zarda. The samosas were unbelievable, the chicken (quite possibly) the best I ever had, and the zarda a complete delight. I would certainly give this place 5 stars!

  2. Liz · January 25, 2007

    Lovely restaurant, very clean and comfortable and reasonably priced. This is definitely the best Indian food in St. John’s!! Everything is freshly cooked, nicely presented and tastes great – the best samosas in town!!

  3. SUSAN AND RUSSELL · January 25, 2007




  4. Scott · January 25, 2007

    My girlfriend and I visited Shalimar last night for a meal and I will definitely be returning for more! The atmosphere is family oriented and welcoming and the food is fantastic.

    To start we munched on some crackers with mango chutney followed by a delicious drink recommended to us by the owner called Mango Lassi. The lassi is a perfect compliment to any spicy curry dish.

    Our meals consisted of the Shalimar Plate, Chappal Kebab, and Handi Ghost. All of which were terrific. The portions were perfect and the prices are more than fair.

    Before leaving we had a chat with the owner who really wanted to know our opinions. He was a little concerned it may be too spicy. My response to him was, “Don’t hold back”. Keep it authentic Shalimar!

  5. John H. · January 25, 2007

    Good food that won’t break your budget!

    Best South Asian/Pakistani food we’ve found in St. John’s. We’ve eaten at the lunch buffet three times, now. The owners are welcoming and accommodating. The atmosphere is family-friendly. The food is consistently delicious, and freshly prepared with quality ingredients. Prices are great. An all-around pleasure.

    Our new favourite restaurant. Glad to have the Shalimar around. We will be back.

  6. M · January 25, 2007

    I always use The Scope’s reviews to pick where to eat, but never leave one myself. I have to leave one about here though. After reading the reviews, we decided to try Shalimar out. Don’t let the outside deter you, the dining room is bigger than it looks from the outside and is beautifully decorated. The food is amazing, all fresh, all hot, all perfectly spiced. The service was great, very friendly, attentive, and helpful when we had questions. The prices were great too. Definitely a place to go to when you have time to relax and appreciate it. Not just the best samosas in town, the best I’ve ever had!

  7. RJH · January 25, 2007

    There are lots of great things to say about Shalimar Restaurant.
    I usually enjoy the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet which offers two meat dishes, a veggie curry, dahl and rice, along with the fix-ens ie. pickles, yogurt, cilantro chutney, and naan, all for a very reasonable price. The evening menu is a more diverse, but still inexpensive. In addition to the great food, the owners, who I assume are husband and wife, care more about their customers than most restaurateurs I have come across. They take the time to ask about the food they serve, whether or not the spices were to your liking, etc.; and they are very concerned about customer feedback, which in my opinion reflects the efforts they put into creating highly palatable meals and memorable dining experiences. On one occasion the owner even asked me if I thought the pricing was fair! If that is not trying to satisfy the customer, I don’t know what is.

    Plus, they offer discounts for students!! So there are no excuses poor MUN students, you too can eat flavorful healthy food for a low price.

    I give the Shalimar 4.5 out of 5.

  8. Dee · January 25, 2007

    Love the food! And the prices are very reasonable. The lunch buffet is one of the best deals in town, and the owners/staff are the friendliest.

  9. Chris · January 25, 2007

    Went in for the lunch buffet based on the great reviews here. Glad I did! There were 5 different dishes available, plus soup, salad and rice pudding. The food was well prepared, and I enjoyed the sweet, savoury and spicy sauces also available. The price was right, and I even left with 6 home-made samosas that made it all the way back to Halifax for my girlfriend and I to enjoy tonight. Shalimar keeps on giving! Thanks Scope!

  10. Dave · January 25, 2007

    Went to Shalimar today with colleagues for lunch. We all loved the food and the service was amazing. To be able to go for a quick lunch as it is a buffet and get that quality of food is fantastic, and at a great price. We will certainly be going back.

  11. Rasyidah · January 25, 2007

    I’ve probably eaten at Shalimar a total of 10 times since its opening. Excellent south asian cuisine! All the meat is halal which is a real bonus. Recently added seafood to the menu and the fish curry is to die for… I would highly recommend this restaurant for anyone hoping to taste a home-cooked meal away from home! ! I am definitely going there for the 11th time this year…
    The owner’s name is Imran and he is a real sweetheart. Most of the time I call (Restaurant Number: 709-2375100) to order ahead of time to cut the waiting time. His darling wife often adjusts the dishes to suit my tastebuds (+++ spicy) and she always recommends something new.
    If you’re looking to feel comfortable while pigging out then I will highly suggest this place for both a lunch buffet and an ala carte menu for dinner!

  12. FoodBudget · January 25, 2007

    I had the veggie samosas to go. They were cheap and delicious, as samosas should be. I was impressed.

  13. Shelley · January 25, 2007

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about Shalimar for months now, from numerous people. I read the reviews on here the other day and got even more stoked to go try it out. Today the husband and I ditched the kids at the grandparents and went for lunch. We weren’t sure if we’d try the buffet or order from the menu – but I knew I was going to have a samosa and mango lassi no matter what.
    I was utterly disappointed in every part of my lunch experience at Shalimar today.
    We arrived just after 1pm, smack dab in the middle of the lunch buffet period. The place was empty and when we walked in the owner hesitated and asked us to excuse them for a minute. We sat for 10 minutes while no one came to offer us a menu, water, naan – nothing save for another couple who came in 5 minutes after we did and asked what was going on, since no one had come to welcome them to the place.
    After 20 minutes the owner came over and told us the buffet was ready – and then walked away. We weren’t asked if we wanted the buffet or the menu, if we wanted drinks, to apologize for the wait. Nothing.
    The buffet food was barely passable. The rice was the highlight – it was fluffy. Ok, to be fair the tandori chicken was good, but I’ve had much better at other places in town. The beef curry tasted like my basic slow-cooker beef stew (sub-par at best). The veggie dish was completely tasteless and the veggies were overcooked. The chickpeas were ok, not good or bad just ok. The pickles & chutneys were too overpowering, except for the tamarind one, that was good. My husband described the meal as ‘approachable’ – if you wanted to introduce someone to south-east Asian food but they didn’t normally eat anything spicy, this is where you’d bring them.
    We did get water, and refills, while we were eating and we ordered the lassi’s and samosa’s. They were both good but nothing better or worse than I’ve had elsewhere in town. I won’t be raving about them that’s for sure.
    And the price was comparable to other Indian buffet lunches in town, so no real price savings. I’d rather pay another $5 bucks to get food that has some flavour.
    I won’t even get into the atmosphere of the place.
    I really REALLY wanted to like this place. I hope I was there on a bad day or bad time of day. But I don’t think I’ll be going back any time soon to learn if that was the case.

  14. roob · January 25, 2007

    Went last night and it was delicious.

    The vegetable biryani was the best south asian rice dish I ever tasted.

    The dhal soup was also really, really good- best in town, hands down.

  15. Arshad Qureshi · January 25, 2007

    I had a pleasant food at Shalimar, there is one indian hotel(Taj Mahal) where I had food with my friend and was so spicy that we could not sleep for whole night, where as the rice, chick peas, meat curry and chicken were excellent and very tastey. The variety was a lot to enjoy multi-dish flavour, whether you are vegetarian or meat lover, you will find all the good taste there. The owners are both very polite and courteous and prices are also very appropriate. Taste the food for a change and you will love it. I will definately go there on every visit to St. John\’s.

  16. Asad Naqvi · January 25, 2007

    1st I would like to say thanks to management for opening a very 1st kind of indian/pakistani resturant in Newfoundland Labrador. I go st. john’s from Labrador City from time to time and always had a problem of finding such a resturant. While I entered first time, I found myself on Gerrard Street, Toronto. The food was fab. balanced spices and the taste was wonderful, best service, no doubt rates are very affordable. I would recommend to all my friends, family and tourists to try this and you will not try any other.

  17. Megan · January 25, 2007

    Best indian in town. The dahl soup was great as was the entire lunch buffet. I love a variety of flavour and this hits the spot. With condiments to add an extra zip and the friendliest service you absolutely cant go wrong.

  18. Jason · January 25, 2007

    The lunchtime buffet at Shalimar is awesome!

    Great tasting fresh food, nice clean restaurant and very friendly staff.

    I will definitely be going back.

  19. Jennifer · January 25, 2007

    My boyfriend and I have become regulars at Shalimar over the last few months. The food is delicious and really well-priced. Definitely try the vegetable jalfrezi and the tomato dal soup. The samosas are also fantastic. The owners are very friendly and always ask if the spices are okay and show a real interest in ensuring we have a great experience. The service has always been great and portions are generous–I highly recommend this restaurant.

  20. Matthew · January 25, 2007

    I stumbled upon Sahlimar completely by chance having heard nothing about the place and I was pretty impressed by my first visit. A couple days later (Boxing day), I picked my girlfriend up at the airport and, Air Canada being what it has become, she was hungry so we decided to try this new restaurant. Being Boxing day, the place was empty and the buffet wasn’t laid out but, nonetheless, we were ushered to a table and promised that the buffet would come…. and come it did! Before too long, our little table was groaning under the full weight of the lunch buffet and we were both full of delicious food. Since then, I’ve tried to eat at Shalimar weekly, dragging friends and co-workers along at every trip. I have never been disappointed! The food tastes very fresh with a good variety in the buffet. On several occasions, I’ve called ahead and asked for special lamb curry. If you think the buffet is good, the lamb curry has been outstanding.

    In short, Shalimar never fails to deliver great food and the owners are outstandingly friendly and attentive, always making sure that everything is to satisfaction.

  21. SVM's Mom · January 25, 2007

    Our first experience of Shalimar was to pick up take-away a week after our daughter was born. As much as I remember the wonderful, home-style Kashmiri comfort food (spicy dahl soup, crispy-soft samosas, biryani and butter chicken), what made a lasting impression was the warmth and hospitality of the owners and staff. Since then, my husband and I have eaten there almost weekly, and introduced a dozen of our friends to this fantastic place as well. Owners Dar and Anila have treated us as valued friends, and never fail to scoop up our daughter to allow us a chance to savour our dinner.

    We are both big fans of southeast Asian cuisine, but we’ve found the traditional style of Shalimar to be one of our favourites, and it is fantastic value. For my birthday, three of us had dinner at another, popular Indian restaurant in town, for $100 – appetizers, mains, rice, and naan, no drinks. For my husband’s birthday, we went to Shalimar: 9 people (and 3 infants!), more food and drink than any of us could finish, for less than $200. Add to that the amazing, personal service we received, and the evening was hit :)

    When I step into Shalimar, I always feel like I have been welcomed into Dar and Anila’s home. I know if the buffet takes an extra 5 or 10 minutes, it will be hot and fresh, and utterly worth it.

    Thank you, Dar & Anila!

  22. yuuuu · January 25, 2007

    the sheets on the table were creased and odd looking, the decor was dry. We went there for dinner and it took him more than an hour to get our food -he did not apologize or come to our table to tell us it would take this long.

    I can say that the food was average -nothing spectacular.

  23. Matt · January 25, 2007

    I had the student biryani with chicken and a side order of naan. The biryani was tasty but a bit more spicy than I had anticipated. There wasn’t enough chicken in it though. I guess that explains the lower price of $4.99.

    The naan was disappointing. It wasn’t made in the kitchen that’s for sure, it was definitely pre made and bought somewhere.

    The place was empty between 4:30-5PM. When I first came in, there was some neat music playing but that soon stopped and it was awkward silence for the rest of the time. The decor and feeling of the place was pretty blah too.

    Overall, I wasn’t too impressed with my first visit there. I want to go back a second time and try the butter chicken and samosas and hopefully there’ll be more people there then.

  24. Thea · January 25, 2007

    My goodness – what a treat! A simple yet satisfying family-run restaurant. The buffet is ample and has great variety – every dish I’ve eaten has been delicious! The ambiance is more like being in someone’s house – very relaxed and welcoming. And to the reviewer above, between 4:30-5:00 most restaurants will be empty (except maybe fast food). When we’ve gone (mostly lunchtime on weekends) the place is packed – always a good sign!

  25. Glyn George · January 25, 2007

    The satisfying food had just the right level of spices, neither too hot nor too bland. There was a reasonable choice for the price. The restaurant was clean, with appropriate background music playing at a suitably muted volume. Overall this was a pleasant dining experience.

    The only criticism was the wait for the buffet to start. The restaurant opens at 11:30, I arrived at noon, but there was a wait of some 15 minutes.

  26. Adrian House · January 25, 2007

    Had the vegetable soup and fish curry, with naan bread. The vegetables were obviously frozen mixed peas and carrots, which is inexcusable in any restaurant. The naan bread, as mentioned above, was oviously store-bought too and not made in the restaurant. The fish curry was one quite small piece of fish cooked in what seemed like the same sauce/stock as the soup; cooked reasonably well but not worth $12.00. I may go back, but probably not.
    ps. I’d guess that some of the reviews on here are written by the owners (esp. the one giving the phone number), but maybe that’s true of all the restaurant reviews.

  27. canberra · January 25, 2007

    As most people observed the naan seemed store brought . I ordered the Shalimar plate and my mixed vegetables were quite obviously from a bag of frozen veggies – the chicken in the plate had no gravy and even though it took him forever to get my order the chicken pieces were kinda cold also very very dry ambiance

  28. Sammy Elsawy · January 25, 2007

    I came to St.John’s for business, and usually dine out, I tried different restaurants in the downtown area where I stay, but ended up dining at Shalimar at least 3 times a week. The food is very tasty, meet is fresh, overall food quality is amazing, you should try the lamb beriani ! , I’ve been trying everything in the menu and nothing I did not like so far.

    People are very friendly and polite, I still have another 2 months to stay in St. John’s and will still dine at Shalimar, I recommend it to everybody.

    Good Job Shalimar

  29. Azam · January 25, 2007

    I went to Shalimar with my wife and daughter last week. We were pleased with the family atmosphere and the reasonable prices of all items. The owner made us feel very welcome and amazingly, Deba(owner\’s daughter) chatted with my daugher so freely and frankly that I felt like I am dining at home. We ordered Chicken Pulao, beef curry, chicken curry and naan. The food was delicious and have the authentic Indian flavour. We ordered rice pubbing (kheer) for dessert and that was very tasty. This will be our favourite restaurant. We will visit more ofter with our family and friends.

  30. Satya Sharma · January 25, 2007

    During my recent visit to St. John’s, Nfld., not only was I thrilled by the lovely scenery and the friendly people but even a bigger surprise awaited me when I entered the Shalimar Restaurant downtown with my friend. Despite the simple decor, I found the food truly amazing. I have lived in North America for 45 years, but for the first time I tasted the most genuine food the like of which I never tasted before. The chicken biryani was the very best I have ever eaten. The spices, the aroma and their blending with rice reminded me of days in India. The same can be said of Karhai chicken, vegetable soup, Malai koftay, and other treats we tried. Imran Dar and his wife (the chef) are amazing hosts who made me feel right at home. The desserts were delectable, especially my favorite Gajar Halwa, and that Zarda was prepared in such a subtle manner that once you started eating it you could not stop. I made three trips to Shalimar in my six day stay in St. John’s and every visit was memorable. Just for the sake of comparison I tried one other Indian restaurant. There simply was no comparison. Shalimar’s prices are so reasonable and the portions are big. My only suggestion will be that the hosts provide a more variety in bread, such as chapati, roomali roti, paratha, and puri. I urge all visitors to St. John’s to try out Shalimar. You will be pleasantly surprised.

  31. Matthew M. White · January 25, 2007

    I absolutely had to write a review for this wonderful little restaurant. Shalimar is charming, the chef and owner, everyone there is unbelievably friendly and welcoming. The staff do everything they can to make your whole experience there great.

    I could easily spend an afternoon here with friends, or a five minute snack for myself

    highly reccomended!

  32. Ashwin · January 25, 2007

    Shalimar restaurant is more like visiting a family than a restaurant. The Kashmiri roots of this family are vividly distinct in not only their hospitality but also in the very authentic cuisine being served.

    Shalimar has a very extensive choice of dishes. But a quick look at the menu might give the illusion that there’s nothing for vegans/vegetarians. Since I am a vegetarian and being from South-Asia, I was very surprised when i glanced through it the first time.

    Although a quick talk to the owner, I was told almost every dish has a vegetarian option. I had malai kofta with vegetarian dumplings. It was so refreshing to taste something so true to its origins. The aroma of spices reminded me of my times in Delhi.

    I would definitely recommend this restaurant to people who would love to experience the cuisine of Kashmir in downtown St. John’s.

  33. Michelle · January 25, 2007

    Always great food–not too spicy, and there are lots of vegetarian options (which is rare in NL). The owners are very nice and always remember me and my friends, making us feel very welcome.

  34. Bodhi & Mudito Drope · January 25, 2007

    We have just returned home after a most enjoyable trip to Newfoundland. Having travelled to numerous foreign lands we are quite aware that finding a good restaurant is always challenging! Well, we lucked out and now would like to share this good fortune with fellow travelers. The Shalimar Restaurant at 272 Duckworth St serves the finest Indian food we have eaten since being in India. Not only was the food freshly prepared but the prices are also very reasonable. What a lovely discovery! It is a family operation where one is made to feel very comfortable as if actually eating in their home! Once Mr. Shalimar knows your taste in spices he will guide you through their menu to titillate one’s taste buds. I must say he was right on with his suggestions in compiling our main courses. The cook, Mrs Shalimar, borders on alchemy as she adds her magic to bring together another incredible dish. On both occasions upon leaving their restaurant we said simultaneously, “What a fantastic banquet, life is good!”
    Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Shalimar for adding such a quality to our visit to Newfoundland.
    Bodhi & Mudito Drope
    Sunshine Coast B.C.

  35. Adel · January 25, 2007

    The first time when I visited this restaurant it was invitation by a friend of me. I did not know how well the taste of food from that restaurant will be . I thought that it will be like any other food in any restaurant , but when I had the first spoon I realized that I have never tasted such Delicious food before. It has its special Delicious taste . you will not find such this taste any where in the city. I am not exaggerating , but it is the truth. After that I start inviting my friends to have lunch or dinner at this restaurant. I will not regret on any penny that I have spent in this restaurant. thanks Shalimar

  36. klimax · January 25, 2007

    Shalimar provides south asian dishes with fabulously rich and complex flavours; in a word, the food is delicious. As well, you’re welcomed with warm hospitality into this family-run homestyle restaurant.

  37. Sartaj Alam · January 25, 2007

    Recently I visited Shalimar resturant for dinner – The hospitility and food was excellent, fresh and delicious. The huge menue with very reasonable price. I will highly recommend this resturant to locals and visitors just like me.

  38. H. Rizvi · January 25, 2007

    The hospitality and warmth of this place has made us regular visitors. The dining experience allows us to reminisce about South Asia and the various delicacies in Pakistani cuisine.

  39. 4Real Foodie · January 25, 2007

    Shalimar is the love child of International Flavors and India Gate.Food and service were great and I like that they have a condiment line of pickles,yogurt,hot sauce,etc. Ate there twice will be back!

  40. M. Alsharaf · January 25, 2007

    Fantastic, and comfortable atmosphere. Great tasting food that feels real. Authentic and charming service, I had a great experience!! Good job Shalimar Restaurant.

  41. Alain Braine · January 25, 2007

    I live in Montreal and I enjoy 15 days to my friends here in St-John’s. This is the fourth time in 2 week I can’t resist to go eating at Shalimar. I love so much this family atmosphere, feeling like a friend as I love the warmth of the Mrs and Mrs Shalimar who serve each time so delicious meal. Don’t look further: they are the best here and I know about indian food since I eat at least 2 time a week in different indian restaurants in Montreal.

  42. hostrada · January 25, 2007

    I have never written a review before but I just had to for Shalimar. This is an amazing restaurant. The atmosphere, the owner, the chef and everyone is extremely welcoming. The food was so delicious and portion size is relatively enough. I’d definitely recommend it to my friends.

  43. Matt · January 25, 2007

    Was it just bad timing or something because I never felt like family. The owner, the staff, the chef, none of them talked to me. Well, the waiter asked me for my order but that’s it. And atmosphere? Are these real reviews?

  44. Peggy · January 25, 2007

    Oh yes…Shalimar for supper again tonight! You’re really missing out if you’ve only tried their lunch buffet – it’s the dishes off the regular menu that have been knocking our socks off.

    They really do have an authentic, home-made and very flavourful thing going on here. A bit different than regular Indian fare, with some Pakistani flavour and style thrown in. Even a simple dish like chicken biryani is delish, delish (and only $9). Love their curries, and the platters are a great option – generous portions for about $15 and you get to try a bit of several things. And no, it’s not a fancy place, but if you’re looking for value and good, tasty food you’ll be happy.

  45. Nancy · January 25, 2007

    My boyfriend and I have been looking for this restaurant since the International Food & Craft Fair at the Holiday Inn last fall. The food at the stand was by far the best at the entire event and the owner advised us that he would soon be opening a restaurant.

    We went to the lunch buffet around 1:00 PM Sunday afternoon.

    The restaurant is very clean and cozy. Beautifully and tastefully decorated. The owners (I assume they are married) tended to us without us having to ask for anything. They brought water refills and warm pita like bread (can’t remember the name).

    They were eager to answer our questions about the food items and asked our opinion on how we liked it. They explained each dish and that they tried to have both a spicy and non-spicey selection for each item in the buffet. It worked wonderful!

    The beef was some of the most tenderist beef I have ever had. Hands down. Chicken was very flavourful. The mixed vegetables were a medly of wonderful tastes. The desert was to die for. And the sauces and yogurt was delicious with the rice.

    One of if not the best dining experiences I have had in the city. You can tell that they both take pride in their restaurant is it shows in the quality of food they present and in the taste and texture of that food.

    I have been anticipating my next visit ever since.

  46. Marie · January 25, 2007

    I agree with this review. I was unimpressed. Dishes were skimpy, service lacking.I won’t be going back

  47. wasiq · January 25, 2007

    Best pakistani restraunt in town

  48. Merouane & Layla · January 25, 2007

    We love Indian food, and Shalimar is one of the best… The prices and quality of food is fantastic. Even though we live 400 kilometers away, we make sure to go there for a delicious meal every time we are in town. The service and atmosphere is wonderful, and we are looking forward to our next visit, InshaAllah!!!

  49. Seabody · January 25, 2007

    Last week my girlfriend and I decided to head out for dinner and wanted to try something a bit different. After checking out some of the wonderful reviews here we decided to give Shalimar a try. To say the very least we were not disappointed. The food was absolutely delicious, the portions huge (we had to take some leftovers home with us because we were to full to finish), the service wonderful and the price quite reasonable. This is, quite simply, one of the absolute best restaurants in this city.

    Although I have read many reviews on this site this is the first I have written. My experience at Shalimar was so good that I felt like I had to share it with as many people as possible. So please, do yourself a favor and try this restaurant!

  50. Emma · January 25, 2007

    looks like the owners/staff have found this page…

  51. unclerodsknife · January 25, 2007

    I know, eh? It was better when they used to go after India Gate at the same time.

  52. maggie · January 25, 2007

    I almost visit Shalimar Restaurant with my husband. I think this is the best restaurant where we can get best taste of Indian food at affordable prices. We often go there for buffet which includes vegetables, naan, dal, chicken, beef, rice and dessert. Samosas are really delicious and mouth watering. I recommend everyone to go to restaurant and try food

  53. Masood · January 25, 2007

    The best food i ever eat in North America its real South Asia food. The food is really delicious ,service good and the Shalimar Restaurant manegment understand the customer needs and they know what they are selling.I wish i live in st john’s you guys luck you got nice restaurant

  54. Alyssa · January 25, 2007

    My boyfriend and I love the Shalimar! I had the vegetarian Shalimar plate and he had the regular one. Both of us left very satisfied with many left overs plus it was very affordable, coming to under $20 in total.

  55. me:) · January 25, 2007

    love the food service great family atmosphere loving it at shalimar WILL BE BACK SOON SHALIMAR :)

  56. Nella · January 25, 2007

    Shalimar restaurant is cozy and the owners make you feel very comfortable. We are delighted with the homemade food; it is so tasty and rich in flavour. Biryani (Chicken/Beef/Lamb) is delicious as is the mouth-watering Butter Chicken. We loved the Gulab Jamon dessert. This is a very authentic family-run Pakistani restaurant and true to the culture, no alcohol is served. To drink we would recommend the Mango Lassi

  57. Bill Rose · January 25, 2007

    Great restaurant…especially loved the Chick Pea Soup…but it was all good…looking forward to eating there again.

  58. Gbolt · January 25, 2007

    Great food and great service. The Shalimar seems to be the most authentic South Indian place in town. I usually hit up the buffet at least once a week, always good.

    The Shalimar would be my go to restaurant to introduce anyone to authentic South Indian food.

  59. Matt · January 25, 2007

    Great food… I would highly recommend this restaurant. Buffet is delicious with a great variety of authentic dishes, always something new there to try.

    If your sick on India Gates never changing buffet and the sometimes overcrowded atmosphere.. I would highly recommend that you give this place a try.. you won’t be disappointed.. especially if you respect the cuisine!

  60. emily · January 25, 2007

    Love it. Ate here twice this week. Decor a little cheesy but I liked sitting in the restaurant…although it was sunny both times and I was by a window so that may have helped. I did really like the food. I love a good buffet. My favorite part is the little sauces buffet. I had missed this at the other indian places in town. The smoky-spicy red sauce is good all over everything! Shalimar for lunch and international flavors or JKorean for dinner. Now if only we could get a good lebanese place, some pho, and an all night diner in the battery I would call downtown complete.

  61. SHEIKH · January 25, 2007

    Being from South Asia, by far the BEST south Asian food in St. John’s, especially when when you realize it is fresh home cooked food not the generic curry from a night or two ago that was mixed with a meat and given to you.
    Try any of the main courses and the desserts you will not be disappointed.
    Just don’t forget to tell them how spicy you would like your meal to be prepared.

  62. Steph · January 25, 2007

    What a spot! Friendly, delicious, affordable and cosy!

    We love this place and the wonderful owners!

  63. bob · January 25, 2007

    you are praising this restaurant too much. I dont think it deserves 5 stars three at most and food is overly priced not affordable at all

  64. Russ · January 25, 2007

    I’d love to be able to sing the praises of this place, but I can’t. My last visit was in the summer, when I tried it for the first time. I won’t fault the atmosphere of the place, even though I thought it was sparse and cafeteria-like. I tried the lunch buffet. The rice seemed to be a generic steamed Minute Rice mixed with a bag of frozen peas and carrots, which I did my best to eat around. The curry and butter chicken was okay, but not outstanding, especially when compared to the Taj Mahal or India Gate. I was a taken aback that the price was virtually the same as those two restaurants, which I would say were of a better quality and more suited to my own tastes. I did note that Shalimar offers lunch specials and combo platters which seem to be quite affordable, especially when compared to Taj/India Gate. But I will say that I’d consider eating there again based on the specials. Next time I’m in St. John’s, I’ll probably check it out again, and grab a meal to go – for my money, I’d go to the Taj/Gate buffets well ahead of this one. Maybe I just haven’t tried the right things there, but I can’t give it more than two stars as it was.

    (And if the owners are checking in, could the peas and carrots be left out of the rice? The McCain Frozen Mixed Vegetables really hindered my ability to enjoy the rice with anything.)

  65. Arshad Qureshi · January 25, 2007

    This time I again enjoyed the flavor of Pakistani food at Shalimar restaurant. I tried the plain rice with sweet colored rice and butter chicken on it, which was so tasty. I also enjoyed and appreciated the hot nans with chicken curry. The other wonderful food that I enjoyed was samosas and baklava as snacks. I will definitely recommend Shalimar restaurant for a fantastic flavor. The staff is very courteous, polite and professional. I myself prefer less spicy food and the food I enjoyed was exactly according to my taste. The prices are very reasonable.
    If you want to enjoy some exotic and tasty food, I would recommend Shalimar Restaurant for you.

  66. Terry D · January 25, 2007

    Shalimar is, by far, my favorite place to eat in St. John’s.

    The service is the friendliest around, and that’s saying something as we are in Newfoundland and all.
    I really dig the family atmosphere in there. The restaurant is family operated and I’ve witnessed a couple of young families who’ve enjoyed their meal while the proprietor entertained and cared for their baby.

    The food is unbelievable.
    Portions are real big and the price is outstanding.
    I can’t think of a single place in the city that offers as large a portion at as reasonable a price unless the entire meal was possibly deep fried.

    Samosas are to die for.
    the chicken biryani is immaculate. And the student Biryani is perfect for a quick, but filling, bite. And for $5.99 you can’t beat the quality.

    Also, for a downtown location I never seem to have a problem finding a place to park.

    All in all, I recommend Shalimar to everyone who asks where they should eat.
    If you like flavor and quality eat at Shalimar.

  67. Raz · January 25, 2007

    I with my family visited several times in Shalimar. Now, it is my favourite restaurant in the city. My choices of food here are:
    Chicken Tikka
    Tandoori Naan Bread
    I highly recomend all for this spot for authentic Indian food, resanable prices and outstanding services.

  68. Pat L. · January 25, 2007

    Who wrote these 5 star reviews? The writing on them all looks suspiciously similar..

  69. Heidi Wicks · January 25, 2007

    While the flavour is quite lovely, the atmosphere and service at Shalimar leaves quite a bit to be desired. We were served rice crackers in a plastic basket as an appetizer. Our table of four ordered four dishes at about $13 each. The size of these dishes were large enough for each person to have about two small chunks of meat with a little sauce. Significantly smaller portions than India Gate. We also ordered three orders of rice and a piece of Naan bread each. Since there is no alcohol served at Shalimar, there were no beverages on the tab. We were charged over $100 for this amount of food – well over the appropriate amount. The owner added the amounts up on a calculator, making several mistakes in trying to do so. I tried to use my Groupon coupon, and the owner seemingly had no clue how this coupon was to be used. I argued with him until he applied the coupon, and even then he overcharged us. Shalimar may be fine for a weekday lunch on the run, but I would certainly never recommend it for an evening meal. And make sure you’re being charged the right amount.

  70. Sheikh · January 25, 2007

    For me, I am the regular customer of Shalimar. I love beef curry with tandori naan bread. Beef Biryani is mouth watering. Rates are reasonable. what ever I want to eat from menu is less than $20. This is the authentic Indian food.

  71. Russel · January 25, 2007

    I am the regular customer. Beef somasa and beef biryani attracts me like a magnet and I walks all the way from MUN to the restaurant at least twice a week.Environment is good.Rates are affordable and excellent services. I highly recommend this restaurant.

  72. Emit Coinout · January 25, 2007

    I adore this place, but the owner needs to hear this for his own good: It is not okay to give a complementary appetizer of a basket of rice crackers WITHOUT CHUTNEY. WHERE IS THE CHUTNEY?!? The first time it happened, i thought it was a simple mistake by the server to forget the chutney. Now I get the sense that this is a regular practice, and frankly i’m dumbfounded over it.. it feels like the restaurant is playing a joke on you.. This is like giving somebody a bowl of soup without a spoon.. Why must you tease us with a basket of bare rice crackers and no chutney in sight? If there’s no chutney, there should be no crackers. Please fix the chutney problem. Please.

  73. Erin · January 25, 2007

    I have been to Shalimar many times now, and every time it has been fantastic. This past weekend I ordered the veggie samosa and the Chicken Shalimar Plate, which is curried chicken with various side dishes, basmati rice and naan. The portion was more than enough and every dish was absolutely delicious. I have been to other restaurants in St. John’s with Indian/Pakistani cuisine, but Shalimar is mumber one by far. The atmosphere is quaint and comfortable, the owner is more than accommodating and I will definitely be a regular customer.

  74. Mr Shalimar · January 25, 2007

    Noted for compliance.

  75. Brent Warren · January 25, 2007

    I ate at Shalimar this past weekend hoping to experience some good Indian food that I have never tried around town. I figured it was on the top of the Scoff website with a great rating and many good reviews so why not. We entered an empty room that had all the charm of a cafeteria with bright lights and paper napkins on the tables. After being given menus by who I assume was the owner (interrupting him and his wife from browsing the Piper Flyers at a table in the general eating area) we realized that we were unable to get wine… or any other alcoholic beverage. After debating leaving we decided to see it out. We ordered a chicken and beef dish wish a side rice and planned on sharing them between us. The chicken dish came with perhaps 10 small pieces of chicken hidden within a plethora of rice, while the beef dish had perhaps 9 pieces of beef. Not only were the portions terrible but the food itself was also disgusting, between picking hard black things out of this rice and sifting through my rice for a piece of meat I was absolutely appalled.

    If I had cooked this meal I would be disappointed in myself.

    BAR NONE THE WORST DINING EXPERIENCE I HAVE HAD IN ST.JOHN’S, do yourself a favor and go somewhere else.

  76. bbc · January 25, 2007

    Wait a second who ever this reviewer is has no clue what he is talking about first of all you dont have a clue how Indian food looks like so please go to India and then see how the food is like i have a lot of Indian friends who make rice with all these black things you mentioned by the way these black things are clove , pepper, garam masala’s etc and they should be visible to customer and chicken seriously 10 pieces your kidding right? there are a lot of pieces in it and that dish is only for one person you would’ve order one more dish if you had problems as i see.Next time when ever you even try to make some thing at your house try to concern with me what to use in Indian dishes.If you dont want to go to this restaurant again please dont!!!!

  77. Tariq · January 25, 2007

    Excellent authentic Indian restaurant with reasonable rate. Food is always warm and fresh.My favorite dish is Butter Lamb with rice.

  78. Asad · January 25, 2007

    @bbc, There is no need to go to India or Pakistan if you find the same taste better food here in St. John\’s, the beautiful family atmosphere, the most reasonable rates (no other resturant can match I bet) and spices are so evenly balanced that you never ever have problems..I love the place and I will go 1000 times even if other offer me free food

  79. Nid Jorji · January 25, 2007

    It’s my favorite south asian restaurant here in St. John’s. Excellent food! I love their beef and chicken briyani and also shalimar plate. I will definitely come back again! :)

  80. Tony · January 25, 2007

    Very average Indian cuisine.

    I went for the buffet a few months back and there was nothing there.Most of the trays were empty so we all had to stand around waiting for them to be re-filled which took so long that we decided to leave after sampling only a few items.I felt cheated.If you’re going to operate a bloody buffet,at least make sure you cooked some food for it.

    Also there is a young teenage boy who serves there and waits on you sometimes.He has to be one of the most depressing,dour terrible servers I’ve ever encountered.He is so lethargic that he makes me want to leave immediately.Many better options in the city.

  81. DowntownGirl · January 25, 2007

    Hi. Yes, this is a real review by a real person. I’ve lived and worked downtown for over 20 years and have eaten in most of the restaurants downtown, from the high end to the fast-food. I have NO connection with Shalimar restaurant beyond eating there regularly (at least once a week in the past 2 months). I have heard that when they first opened, there were issues with frozen vegetables, french fries and I don’t know what else…which is why I avoided going there for a long time. However, everyone is entitled to learning/growing pains – so when a co-worker brought some take-out buffet for lunch, the look and smell of it convinced me I should give Shalimar a try. Best decision ever!
    The owners are *friendly* and *welcoming*. Given the level of service at many other places in the downtown (rushed/disdainful/bored/mechanical) I have to say that when I take the time to sit down in a restaurant and eat a meal, I’m NOT in a rush and much prefer the friendliness. The food is flavourful, abundant, well-priced, and well-made. I prefer spice-flavour as opposed to spice-heat, and was well-pleased with the flavours (some familiar, some completely new) that I encountered – although there was spicy-heat available for those who like it! The portions and prices were well-balanced, and as others have said – I felt welcomed as if in the owner’s home. And whenever I rush in to get take-out buffet for lunch at work, the service, smiles, and food are equally welcoming and abundant.
    Personally, I go to a restaurant such as this to enjoy foods that I *can’t* make myself, in an atmosphere that reflects the culture I’m visiting – not my *own* culture.If you are looking for what often passes for service in North America (servile waiters fussing around the table, meat-heavy dishes, watered-down versions of traditional recipes and more interest in selling you product than in feeding you good food) then sure, go elsewhere. But if you’d like to enjoy a good meal of home-cooked Indian and Pakistani foods in a family atmosphere, I strongly recommend Shalimar.

  82. Allison · January 25, 2007

    I just wanted to say once again how well rounded a restaurant Shalimar is. I recently decided to have a birthday gathering at the restaurant for me and my boyfriend. We invited 25 or so of my friends and decided on a buffet style meal before hand. We were able to choose the dishes in the buffet and the bill came to under $20 a person including drinks and dessert.This price also included having the whole place to ourselves! They were very determined to make sure our birthday went smoothly and that not only I, but my friends were happy too. They had a birthday cake and gave us a personalized birthday card at the end of the night. Please keep the comments coming, good and bad because the owner listens to the customers and is focused on customer satisfaction.

  83. ShalimarLover! · January 25, 2007

    Shalimar is by far one of my favorite restaurants in the city. The food is so fresh and flavorful.

  84. NEWFIEHULK · January 25, 2007




  85. Erin · January 25, 2007

    Brent, you obviously have no experience with middle eastern cuisine, or you would know what the little black things are. It’s not fair to give a restaurant a poor rating when you are unfamiliar with the food and clearly have no idea what you are talking about. The meat is never the largest portion of food with these types of dishes, however I always find the portion to be plentiful, especially since there are about four other types of dishes on the plate! Stick to KFC.

  86. Jane M · January 25, 2007

    Good heavens this place is terrible. some out of town guests and i went here based on the rating on this site. The food took an hour and we were one of two tables of customers. There was miracle whip on my wrap. mmmm, Indian-y. not. The biryani was bone dry with shreds of leathery meat. The whole experience was repulsive, and what’s more, the staff didn’t seem to care.

    If I could give it 0 stars I would >:-(

  87. e.h.j. · January 25, 2007

    This place is a cheaper (and just as filling) alternative to India Gate- it was recommended to us by our Pakistani landlords, so we figured that, if it’s a place that Pakistanis go to to get food from home, then the place must be good. We were right.

    Highly recommended: the $9.99 vegetarian plate. Rice, naan, veggies, lentil stew and potatoes. Lots of good stuff.

    Cons: Bigger plates don’t come with rice or naan, a few crumbs on the table. The latter was pretty forgiveable, and the plates are still a good deal.

  88. JD · January 25, 2007

    Nice buffet. We order a Becks to drink and it came with ice in it and a straw!
    Unique. Nice owners.

  89. Drovski · January 25, 2007

    Went to the Shalimar a couple of weeks ago on a business lunch. There was no one there, just my table. It was during buffet time, so no menus were offered. Which was a shame because I wanted to order off of the menu. Atmosphere was a little dingy, tiles were tacky, tables were fine, decorations left a little to be desired. However I can look past these things pretty easily. Service was pretty ok, the young waiter seemed shy but was helpful and did what he needed to do.

    Buffet isn’t usually my style I don’t like having to serve myself at a restaurant really, it would have been nice to have been offered a menu as well.

    However, the food was pretty good, rice was very tasty and the chutneys were great. I wouldn’t give the Shalamar five stars because it wasn’t a five star experience and I’m sure you will find the same if you go. However it was what I expected and it was priced appropriately.

    A tasty lunch, reasonable price.

  90. Glenn · January 25, 2007

    This was our first meal in St. Johns, and they set the bar. It is hard to imagine a worse meal.


    Clean washrooms
    Clean cutlery
    Soups were good and flavorful


    Server hardly spoke, when asked for recommendations non given
    Food was cold and bland, rice was lumpy (Butter Chicken, Korma, and two other dishes)
    Bones in the soup with chicken
    Unable to get drink refill
    When asked for the bill server began to clear plates and then forgot about us, left 50% of plates on the table we finally got up walked to the cash and asked for the bill again.

    Hopefully we just caught them on an off night

  91. Tomas · January 25, 2007

    Nope,that wasn’t an off nite at all sir.It’s pretty normal for Shalimar.The young waiter is a terrible server.No people skills and is very shy and speaks in a whisper almost.I had several similar experiences there in the past with the same server.

  92. mmmm · January 25, 2007

    Don’t judge this place based on the cheap yellow sign!
    The food is delicious, I actually crave Shalimar. The service is not the best, but they are as friendly as can be.
    The food was hot and and the wait wasn’t long at all.
    Highly recommended!

  93. Chris · January 25, 2007

    No alcohol.
    Poor decor.
    Small and tasteless servings.
    Total was done up on a calculator…MANY MANY TIMES….all with wrong amounts. Charged way more than we should have been, even after getting them to correct it a few times.
    Completely screwed up the value of a Groupon.
    Poor to no communication.
    Service was terrible.

    Probably the worst restaurant in the city.

  94. Asad naqvi · January 25, 2007

    The best Indian Resturant in Town and I really tried these dishes at home but no way..not near to the taste…The prices,,,nobody can match…keep it up

  95. Gordon Gekko · January 25, 2007

    I haven’t gotten around to trying this place yet, and I don’t think I will. Maybe I’ll consider it if the owners stop posting bogus “reviews”. For now I think I’ll stick with International Flavors, thank you very much Asad.

  96. Asad · January 25, 2007

    Gordon, if you have not tried Shalimar yet why you are commenting here then. Nobody is forcing you to try that but never heard of “international flavours” LOL…I go St. John’s 3-4 times in year and have tried so many resturants and could not find the taste of SHALIMAR

  97. Chris · January 25, 2007

    We are frequent diners at the family-run Shalimar restaurant. The food is consistently great. My wife and I are fanatics about Indian food, which has some subtle differences, but we find the Pakistani food at Shalimar even better!

  98. Gordon Gekko · January 25, 2007

    I retract my previous comment. I finally tried Shalimar and it is my new favorite restaurant. Fans of Indian/Pakistani food need to try this place, the food is far spicier than anything at India Gate and there is more variety than International Flavours. The owners also seem like very nice people. I can even forgive the self-promotion going on in this review section, I don’t blame them, I couldn’t believe that the place was empty at lunch time on a Friday. I will be recommending this restaurant to everyone I know.

  99. lesley · January 25, 2007

    I tried Shalimar this past Sunday after reading all of the great reviews! It was all I had hoped for! I ordered the butter chicken (safe choice) and it was absolutely delicious! Not only did I manage to fill myself in a matter of minutes, but I had PLENTY of left over for the next day! My boyfriend ordered the chicken tikka and loved that as well. I would recommend you check this place out! I liked the pampadons(spellcheck?) at India Gate better but the prices are just too high! So Shalimar it is from now on!

  100. Bee · January 25, 2007

    Wow, I have been to this place a few times, I have not been in a while. I have had some good experiences, but overall very bad experiences. Yes, I have been to the Middle East and South East Asia and I know what food is supposed to taste like. The food at this restaurant has been very good, but mostly bad and I found meat in my vegetarian meal. I think I would have given this place another shot until I saw all of these obviously fake reviews. There is nothing I dislike more than dishonesty, this city is very community based and by using thinly disguised trickery to try to win customers is shameful. I would never eat anything from someone I could not trust.

  101. Don · January 25, 2007

    Been here a few times for food, and while I find it usually good in terms of value, serving sizes and quality the service is usually not the best. Usually a little slow and not the best and checking in and seeing if you need more water, but to me that’s small stuff, it’s still a solid place to eat.

  102. greg · January 25, 2007

    Incredible food in one of few places in this town where you still get value for your money. Don’t be fooled by the mom and pop atmosphere, this place is great! Large portions, so bring an appetite.

  103. Andrew · January 25, 2007

    I love how, just because the negative reviewers don’t agree with the glowing reviews, they write them off as being fake. Pretty sure people are entitled to their own opinions – just because YOU didn’t enjoy it, doesnt mean others are required to dislike it too. Now, with that out of the way…

    I have ordered food from Shalimar a few times now, and have really enjoyed it. I always get the chicken biryani and samosas, and have really enjoyed the combination of flavors and spice. The only quabble I have about the food is that there wasn’t a great deal of chicken in it, something echoed by another reviewer. However, while there weren’t A LOT of chunks of chicken, those that were there were substantial. I can’t speak to the decor (whenever I get food from Shalimar, I get it to go), but I’ve always enjoyed the service. The young guy who had served me is really polite and super knowledgable.

    And before anyone writes off my review as “fake” or “owner-written”, keep in mind, people are allowed to disagree about their experiences.