Dinner at Shahishta

Posted: Friday, December 17, 2010 by Stained in Labels: , , , , ,

Situated in Garhoud, Shahista is perhaps the only Afghani restaurant I've seen that aims to serve the upscale crowd with an opulent décor and a pricy menu. Being yet another restaurant SJ had shot in; it was in our ‘Must try’ list.

1 Tabbouleh                : AED20
1 Loqma Kebab            : AED50
1 Zarishk Pallaw            : AED40
1 Orange Juice             : AED20
1 Steam Milk                : AED10
1 Ice cream scoop        : AED20
Total                            AED160

We were welcomed by a door man who suspiciously looked like a pathan from Pakistan in an elaborate Afghani Shalwar kameez with a huge Keffiyeh. The interior seemed a little over the top in some sections i.e. trying too hard to look expensive but failing miserably. As usual, the authentic feel is murdered by having waitresses of a different nationality who have no idea about the traditional cuisine nor have the ability to make recommendations. This left us picking main dishes with names we’d never heard of.

To start off, we ordered a Tabbouleh salad (pictured right) with an orange juice (pictured top right) for me and steam milk (pictured left) for SJ. We instead got served a Tandoori Naan (picture top left) topped with sesame seeds and nigella seeds with a yogurt based sauce as a starter followed by our original starter order. The naan was hot, soft and delicious. It had a slight sweet flavor to it which combined with the sauce tasted divine. The Tabbouleh was disappointing with the lack of that sharp taste to it. The orange juice was perfect while the steam milk was well just hot milk, you can’t go wrong with that.

For the main course we ordered the Zarishk Pallaw (pictured top left) because the name sounded unusual though later on I found out that it’s an Iranian dish. Anyway it’s a basmati or long grain saffron colored rice mixed with barberries served with chicken (pictured top right). The Pallaw with the sweet taste of barberries tasted nice on its own as the chicken was slightly on the dry side.

We also ordered a plate of Loqma Kebab (picture right) served with French fries for the same reason given above. Loqma or Luqma literally means morsel in Urdu. The chicken was tender and well done though I couldn’t figure out the flavors as such. The taste was nice and SJ loved it.

For dessert, we ordered ice cream (pictured left) made by the restaurant itself which was nice but a little too sweet for our taste buds.

An average experience with further room for improvement (read: experimenting) that is possibly worth a second visit…


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