I had the pleasure of being invited to a bloggers’ event at Saleem’s of Delhi by the lovely Deepti Chandak from the Jive With Deepti blog. Saleem’s of Delhi has earned quite a reputation in the Indian capital, having served up traditionally rich Mughlai dishes to the society’s foodie elite since 1977. Their Dubai branch in Karama is the restaurant’s very first venture out of India, and has been in operation for about a year now.
I rarely venture out to Karama. The traffic and parking issues are a major setback, but I was pleasantly surprised to find ample parking space by the restaurant on a busy weekday evening.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of Saleem’s of Delhi. Was it all posh and serious? Or cliche Indian with heavy embroidered rugs and touristic artifacts? The interiors took me by surprise. The setting at Saleem’s of Delhi is fun and quirky. An entire wall features a palatial background that would be well suited for Prince Saleem himself. In another corner are framed articles on Delhi and its historical past. The seating is a comfy, colourful mix and gives the restaurant an overall fun and friendly feel.
A tabla player took up a corner of the restaurant, his drumming adding to the charms of Indian hospitality. He must have got quite a workout on those wrists; he played on well into the night sans any break.
Every guest got an opportunity to get into character and dress up like Saleem or Anarkali. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have spotted our family click!
Saleem’s of Delhi prides itself on its link to old Delhi charm. All the dishes have retained their original recipes since 1977. ‘Chalo Dilli’ (come to Delhi), and tantalize your tastebuds with a renowned Mughlai feast.
Here is a lineup of the delicious feast we got treated to:
For drinks, we had lemonade in two different forms. The red one features a hint of rose, and the other is a Lemon & Mint Julep:
How can a Mughlai meal be complete without an order of biryani? This is Saleem of Delhi’s Dum Gosht Biryani, a traditional slow-cooked rice pilaf laced with saffron, and layered with spiced, aromatic mutton.
One of my favorite curries from the night was Saleem of Delhi’s Murg Mussallam, a very decadent, well-known chicken curry originating from the royal kitchens of Awadh. The rich, creamy gravy is thickened with cream and ground cashew, and the fiery notes of red chili, ginger and garlic add depth and flavor to the overall dish.
For dessert, we were served Saleem’s famous Phirni, a slow-cooked Indian rice pudding accentuated with cardamom. It is served in a traditional clay pot.
However, our favorite dessert from the night has to be Saleem of Delhi’s Kulfi. This well-loved Indian ice-cream is served right out of its mold. It is decadently rich, creamy and flavoured with an exotic mix of sweet smelling spices.
We had a lovely evening at Saleem’s of Delhi. I’ve recieved many compliments on that snazzy family click, and the exceptionally good service at the restaurant really did make us feel like royals. The food is very reasonably priced, and the funky ambiance makes for the perfect setting to entertain friends. Get them to dress up too!
It would be criminal if I didn’t end this post with a Saleem-Anarkali number 🙂