Aalishan in Urdu means grand, and that is exactly how you feel when you enter this Indian restaurant in Jhamsikhel. A guard dressed in a traditional door-man uniform greets you at the entrance, and there is little you can do to not feel like a royal given such a welcome.
Many may remember Aalishan from its previous location in Jawalakhel. All thanks to its now iconic door-man, who I am sure has drawn many a second glances from pedestrians near the roundabout.
“He’s become the restaurant mascot,” says owner Sumiram Acharya who worked with his wife to open the restaurant in its current location.
Besides indoor dining, Aalishan also has a backyard where you can enjoy their wide range of Indian food. The sun was out during our visit, so we chose to dine al fresco.
The owner recommended that we try Lahori Kebab (Rs 525) and Saudi Kebab (Rs 500) (both of which do not feature on the current menu but will be introduced in the restaurant’s new menu to be launched from new year).
Both the grilled dishes induced mouth watering sensations at the table on arrival and thankfully, the flavours fared as well as its presentation. The Lahori Kebab is chicken meat shaped as egg and stuffed with real yolk and cheese. When dipped into the mint sauce, and eaten with an onion circle, the flavours just burst in your mouth. The charcoaled taste of the meat and the freshness of the mint complement each other so perfectly, it took all our will to resist from ordering another plate. The Saudi Kebab is minced vegetable wrapped in cheese. This one has a smooth taste which is equally delicious.
For our mains we ordered Chicken Chettinad (Rs 425), Daal Makhani (Rs 275) with tandoori roti (Rs 75) and Sotiyani Biryani (Rs 525).
If you like spicy food, Chicken Chettinad is for you. The chicken cooked with black peppercorns, curry leaves, and red chilli, in a curry style has a strong flavour, tastes like India if you will excuse the cliché.
Aalishan’s Daal Makhani has a nice, creamy texture, which many of the other restaurants lack. It is perfect for those who like Indian, but cannot handle spicy curries.
The Sotiyani Biryani smelled absolutely divine and tasted all the more better. Aalishan is generous with their portions and it was no different for biryani, a mountain of rice and not the spatula patted flat bed of rice presented as biryani here. Although visitors may find the place a bit expensive as compared to other Indian establishments that dot the capital, forking out extra hundred rupees is worth the quality of the food and service. Bring your family, friends and enjoy a hearty meal of some of the best Indian food in town.
How to get there: Aalishan is in Jhamsikhel, next to Southern comfort.