Shalimar Indian Restaurant is situated at the top of the Main Street in Portarlington. Having had their ridiculously cheap €5 lunch here previously, my husband I were looking forward immensely to an Indian dinner and Shalimar did not disappoint.
On entering this fine old period building we were warmly greeted by a friendly and helpful waiter. The room itself is full with character; it has a beautiful period fireplace (would have been nice to see it lit) and extremely ornate cornicing and lush red velvet and gold drapes.
While perusing the menu we had pompadoms with a selection of dips. All were fresh and of excellent quality. For starters and to get a good flavour of the quality of food in the restaurant we had a selection of starters for two, the Shalimar special mix. This was priced at 12.99 for two and particularly good in this was the tandori chicken, which was moist and tender.
For main courses himself had the chicken Korma, which had the interesting addition of banana slices, and he enjoyed it thoroughly. I opted for the Shalimar Kofte; lamb balls with spices, cardomen and ginger in a tomato sauce, which was a well flavoured and balanced dish. We also had side dishes of Saag Paneer spinach with cottage cheese - a personal favourite - and Aloo Gobi ,cauliflower and potatoes. The Sag Paneer was very good; the Aloo Gobi however was excellent. Slivers of ginger on top making all the flavours sing beautifully. We had perfect nan bread and pilau rice.
There was a good selection of deserts including pistachio kulfi, an ideal accompaniment to such a meal. In the end we went for tarta fantastica, which lived up to it’s billing and a surprisingly perfect cappuccino.
What Shalimar does best is to offer value for money. It is truly a restaurant for the times we live in, with excellent food and service in a beautiful setting. It is refreshing to see a restaurant putting in such enormous effort and offering the customer excellent value in such trying times. Visit them soon you will not be disappointed!
** When I first visited for lunch I must admit I was curious as to what a lunch for €5 would be like, but I need not have worried. Shalimar is renowned in the area for its €5 lunch that includes all the usual Indian favourites including Chicken Korma, Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Balti. Even in the current climate it’s outstanding value.
There is an early bird menu for 14.95 which includes a glass of wine and two courses with tea or coffee. This includes a choice of samosas, chicken tikka, onion bajhgee for starters and chicken, lamb, beef or veg, korma, saag or tikka massala with either rice or nan bread for main course. The Sunday Special is €10.99 again for starter, mains and tea or coffee.The starter list is extensive and the mains include lamb pasanda, lamb chilli or mushroom and sag masala to mention but a few.