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Restaurants & Bars

Nirala Sweet House, Sunrise: Indo-Pak sweets and snacks

s.m. koppelman | Apr 29, 200206:16 PM

Bummed out to see both of the Korean places in the area closed for lunch, I stopped in at the Nirala Sweet House, at 8909 W. Oakland Park in Sunrise (West Broward). It's near the northwest corner of Pine Island and Oakland Park.

It's a small, basic storefront geared to takeout with 4 or so tables. True to form, they serve lunch--mostly beef, chicken and goat dishes, as well as Lahori fried fish and maybe one or two vegetarian items. I got the chicken biryani and a vegetable samosa. The samosas are okay, nothing special, and are likely the only thing not made on the premises. This is not a place for appetizers and breads. Distressingly, the chutney it was served with was ketchup-based. Eek.

However, the biryani was quite good. Very tasty, if a touch dry, though that was remedied easily with a squirt of a nicely seasoned yogurt sauce. I suspect the other dishes made on the premises are also quite good. The icky chutney notwithstanding, owner Muhammad Shabbir seems to be very into his handiwork. I imagine the chutney sucks because he doesn't care about the third-partty samosas.

And the main event, as should be expected at a sweet shop, is the sweets: all made on the premises, they had an easy two dozen types available, all looked fresh, and none were prepackaged.

I tried the pistachio halvah-kulfi. Very fresh, and cut from a deep-dish round pan, it looked like regular halvah, albeit flatter. Yum! As the name implies, it's halvah made with cheese curds, with a wonderful texture and perfectly balanced taste. If the enthusiasm shown by a customer buying a couple of pounds of assorted sweets was a good indicator, I suspect all the sweets are just as good. Definitely beats the days-old (weeks-old?) ones wrapped up in tins in the refrigerated cases of area Indo-Pak groceries.

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