In the back streets of North-West London lies the Lahore Restaurant. It prides itself to be the finest exponent of Punjabi cuisine since 1976 in London.
Punjabi cuisine, is probably one of the most popular of North Indian cuisine and the bold flavours transcend boundaries across India & Pakistan. The Punjab region being the gateway to undivided India over the centuries had seen the influence of many world cuisines to make what modern Punjabi food looks like. Tandoor being one of the most substantial of that influence.
Lahore, the city in Pakistan was known as the heart of undivided Punjab and that is where the restaurant gets it name from. This is the review of Dinner menu.
You don’t really need to book tables, but know that it can get very busy so you might have to wait for a few minutes to be seated. Also, if you are in a group of 6 or more calling ahead is always a smart option.
Here is what we ordered.
Starters : Grilled Lamb chops, Chicken Kebab, Paneer Tikka
Main Course : Saag Paneer, Egg Bhurji, Karahi Bhunna Gosht & Karahi Butter Chicken
Breads : Laccha Prantha, Roti, Garlic Naan.
Drinks : Mango Lassi, Lahori Chai
Deserts : Malai Kulfi, Paan & Gulab Jamun
Truthfully, I was not very impressed with the starter menu. The lamb chops were grilled well, but for me lack the flavour I would have expected from the meat which in itself has a strong flavour. Chicken Kebab or the seekh kebab was the highlight for me in the starter menu, as the chicken melt in mouth with strong chilli flavours and is much more satisfying. Extra points for the yogurt mint chutney it is served with. Paneer tikka was cooked in tandoor with onions and green peppers and they were up to the mark, not exceptional but pretty good. Overall ratings : 6.5/10.
The main course is where this place excels in, for someone who has grown up in a Punjabi household. It was easy for me to distinguish between the hand grounded spices, which always give better flavours then the powder market version we usually use. Karahi Gosht (Gosht is the term used for lamb or goat meat. Lamb in this case) was so succulent and flavourful that we had to order seconds. Chicken held its own and was the perfect accompaniment to the lachha prantha’s we gorged on.
Like a true non vegetarian, I don’t really pay much attention to vegetarian dishes if I have meat on the table. But, the saag paneer of Lahore deserves a mention, as both the spinach and paneer were cooked to perfection and of course you cannot miss the flavour of clarified butter in which it seems to have been cooked.
Overall Ratings : 8.5/10
Mango Lassi was as amazing as you expect it to be, a little too sweet for some of us but perfect for others.
Lahori Chai had the flavour of fennel, ginger & cinnamon in it, which I absolutely loved and appreciated after a heavy meal.
Overall Ratings : 9/10
Lahore restaurants deserts have the nostalgic factor attached to it for me, to get the Kulfi’s (Indian ice cream) on the stick reminded me of the 90’s. While growing up during the excruciatingly hot summer afternoon we all waited for the Kulfi man to come on his cycle with the Kulfi on a stick frozen in his icebox. The Kulfi in this place does no harm to that memory. For the other deserts they were as expected, sweet and flavourful.
Overall Ratings : 8.5/10
Service was quick and efficient. No complaints there.
Overall Restaurant Rating : 8/10
Spice Level: Medium
Will I go back ? Yes