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Friday, September 6, 2013

Nashville Food Friday: Shalimar

Shalimar Indian Restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
When we go for Indian food, I normally only hit up two places: Woodlands and Bombay Palace. I'm very much ok with staying in a food rut when what I get is usually so good. But sometimes we decide to be adventurous and try a new place. Shalimar was a place I had never been to, and since it's located in Green Hills, it was convenient to have dinner there before seeing a movie at the Regal 16.
Shalimar Indian Restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
The inside of Shalimar itself is fairly small. The building appears to have gone through many additions, making the dining rooms look haphazardly cobbled together. It appears that they added on to the front of the building at some point, but left the original store doors inside the restaurant- which is just totally bizarre. They have the hotel ballroom style banquet chairs that Indian restaurants seem to favor, and of which I am not a fan. But the large built in green cabinet in the back of the dining room is beautiful and worthy of admiration. 
Garlic naan at Shalimar Indian Restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
We ordered garlic naan, which we thought would come with our meal, but it turns out that Shalimar's version is an appetizer served before the main dish. This naan was a lot more like pizza dough than traditional naan, and the fact that it was sliced into little strips and served with a dipping sauce didn't help the matter. I'll be honest, the garlic naan tasted good and the green-yogurt sauce for dipping was lovely, but it wasn't what I was expecting. It was more like an Italian garlic knot than anything, and very Americanized.
Lamb Korma and Saag Paneer at Shalimar Indian Restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
For dinner we ordered lamb korma and saag paneer. I was pretty disappointed by the saag paneer as there was only four little bits of cheese in the whole dish. The cheese is the best part and I was sad to see it used so sparingly. The saag itself wasn't much to write home about. It was good, but I've had way better at other places. Perhaps one of the reasons I wasn't blown away was that there was so much cream sauce and not a lot of green in the dish. I would prefer a better sauce to spinach ratio.

The lamb korma was the better dish. The lamb was very tender and melted in your mouth. Once again the sauce was good, but not amazing. The portion was also really tiny and after eating the korma and the saag paneer Steve and I were still hungry.

Which brings me to the issue of price. For what we got at Shalimar, it seemed way more expensive than it needed to be. I thought it was just in my mind until I compared it with some of my favorite places.

Lamb Korma
Shalimar: $16.99
Bombay Palace: $13.95
Tamarind: $13.00
Sitar: $14.95

See, it wasn't just in my mind! For what you get there, the price just doesn't make sense. For meat and rice, $17 is absurd. I can buy a whole leg of lamb for less than that. Shalimar was a little cheaper for the saag paneer than the other places (by about $1) but still, I would pay more for better food and more cheese.
Dessert at Shalimar Indian Restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
For dessert we ordered gulab jaman; it was standard. The balls were a little dryer than I prefer normally, but it's always good to end the meal on a nice sweet note.

I also have to mention the service, which I unfortunately found pretty poor. We were one of two couples in the restaurant at the time, and it took the waiter forever to come and take our order. While he did come and check in once while we were eating, we had to wait a while after we finished our food for anyone to come back in. During this time, the other couple had to walk to the front to ask for their check. Finally a waiter came and asked if we wanted dessert, which we ordered, but he did not clear the dirty entree plates from our table. We sat there, waiting, while looking at our empty, dirty dishes. The plates were cleared at the same time we got dessert, which is a big no-no. When we were finally ready to leave, we also had to go and ask for our check from the front desk. 'Cause we had a movie to catch!

Unfortunately, I think I would have to recommend skipping Shalimar. They might be the only Indian restaurant in Green Hills (which might explain their crazy prices) but just a short drive away you can eat something better at Woodlands or Bombay Palace, that's sensibly priced and comes with better service.

Shalimar, you best step up your game.

Shalimar Fine Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon


  1. I agree with you on Shalimar. I kept trying to give it the benefit of the doubt but in the end, nothing added up to make me really want to go back.

    1. This seems to be the consensus I've heard from most people. I'm pretty surprised that they are still in business with type of general reputation.

  2. What you said! I haven't heard great things about Shalimar. I've lived super-close to them for six years, and I've STILL never been because no one ever raves about them. And I know I'll be happy at Sitar or Bombay Palace.

    1. Bombay is probably my favorite traditional Indian place and Woodlands is far and away the best south indian anywhere in Tennessee. They are no where near me, but I will drive there for good food for sure!

  3. I've only been there once and was similarly underwhelmed. Plus, with the other two restaurants you mentioned having great food (and in Bombay Palace's case, STELLAR service)'d think they'd work harder! Ah well.

    1. I'm sure they have a few loyal fans that keep coming back and keep them in business. Just makes me wonder if those people ever tried any other local Indian joint.

    2. Have you tried Cafe India???? It is spicy & Taste... when it comes to price... THEY are the BEST... I have to drive 25 miles... but I would love to go there if I wanted Indian Food... (Most of the time we make better than the restaurant)


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