Nagpada's Nawabi secret is out

Located right next to the popular JJ Jalebi Walla on MS Ali Road, Nawabi Restaurant is a very tiny joint, with minimal seating arrangement and even less place to move around. But the place offers some of the best of rolls and kebabs that you could ask for, in this side of town. When we arrived, the young owner of the restaurant, Aadil Dharodia, somewhere in his late 20s, seemed too busy to even breathe but that wouldn’t stop him from flashing a welcome smile at every visitor who walked in.

Dahi Lasooni Tikka Roll, Lebanese Tikka. Pics/ Hassan M Kama

Before we could look around to get a sense of what the place was all about, he quickly suggested three dishes — Lebanese Tikka (Rs 90), Aatish-e-aloo (Rs 35) and Dahi Lasooni Tikka Roll (Rs 70). While we were still trying to make up our mind, three skewers had already made their way to the live sigri which was managed by a middle-aged man in his late 40s. To our surprise, we found out that Aadil had brought him all the way from Kanpur.

The two cooking counters at Nawabi Restaurant in MS Ali Road

Leaving the fate of our meal to his choice, we made our way to the seating area. Soon it dawned upon us, everything at Nawabi Restaurant happens fast: from taking orders, to cooking these dishes on a live sigri, to seeking feedback from every customer who walks in. The first to arrive was the Aatish-e-aloo — boiled baby potatoes roasted in a spicy mix of red chilies and spices. Then came the Lebanese Tikka with a Roomali Roti (Rs 15) and we were simply blown away. Served with a generous dose of mayonnaise on top, the Lebanese Tikka was melt-in-the-mouth good.

Unfortunately, the Lasooni Tikka Roll, which was next to arrive, failed to generate a similar response from our taste buds, which we think, wasn’t really its fault. The Lebanese Tikka just happened to be too good, that’s all.

The interiors of Nawabi has a live tawa too, constantly offering dishes like Chicken and Mutton Bhuna, Tawa Pulao, Chicken Baida Roti, Bhuna Bun Sandwich and Chicken and Mutton Roll. Without delay, we quickly placed an order for Chicken Egg Pulao (Rs 45). Again, it arrived in no time. For Rs 45, the quantity wasn’t bad, and we enjoyed our meal contently.

While the two counters help churn out dishes faster, the smoke and oil fumes make this place a little uncomfortable to dine at. We suggest take-away as a good option. But despite this small limitation, the quality of food makes it worth the trouble. Soon our eyes were fixed at JJ Jalebi Walla next door, which marked the perfect finale to our meal, on a sweet note.

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