A group of 9 hounds got together last night (Monday November 17) at the 16th street Pakwan location.
A few of us were looking forward to the Nihari, but they had run out so we ordered the following instead:
1) Selection of tandori which included, seek kebabs, lamb chops, chicken thighs and legs, and tilapia. The seek kebabs were the best of this lot and had an ideal spicing and were quite juicy. They were as good as Shalimar's and perhaps a bit juicier in my opinion. The lamb chops had a mushy texture and Shalimar's were much better. The chicken was a draw in my opinion. The fish was a bit overcooked, but nicely spiced.
2) A selection of meat curries including: Chicken achar, lamb koftka in a vidaloo curry, lamb curry. The lamb koftka was excellent with nicely textured lamb meat balls in a well spiced vindaloo curry with potatoes. The sauce of the chicken achar was also excellent with the blond mild peppers. The lamb curry was also good, but not as remarkable as the other two meat based curries.
3) For vegetarian curries we tasted: Aloo Saag, Bharta Pakwan Style, lentil daal, vegetarian koftka, saag paneer, a pepper curry, and chaana daal. The favorites were the pepper curry which was made with the same peppers as the chicken achar in a tamarind curry; the saag paneer; and the vegie kofta which had a deep smoky tomato yogurt curry sauce. The other vegetarian curry were really solid.
4) Naans. We ordered over 12 naans and a couple of keema naan (ground lamb). The naan varied batch to batch. Some were perfect with a slight crispy bottom and a very tender texture, some were a bit underdone and some were a bit overdone.
Overall, we gave Shalimar an edge for tandoori and meat curries, with the lamb koftka vindaloo being the exception, and we gave Pakwan an edge for the vegetarian curries. Melanie and I believe that while meals at both Shalimar and Pakwan are always solid, there is always some variation depending on who is responsible for the tandoor, etc. so luck plays a factor on exactly how good any dish will be any given day at either place.
Someone else took notes on the beers and I hope everyone chimes in with their opinions.