While Lucknow is famous for Tunday’s, Lucknowites have a long list of places they visit for kababs, other than Tunday’s shop. In fact, some of the most popular kabab places are located in and around Qaiserbagh.
1. SAKHAWAT RESTAURANT
The absolute best when it comes to Shami Kababs. Second only to Tunday’s in popularity, the shop was established in 1911, and serves the most delicious non-veg fare. The kababs are so soft, that they will melt in your mouth. In fact, the challenge is to even get them packed, simply because they’re so soft. The modest outlet, located in a narrow lane, opens at 5 p.m., but the kababs are the first things to sell out. Any later than 8 p.m., especially on weekends, and chances are you will have to return empty-handed. Be prepared to sit in your car and enjoy your food, though the better option would be take-away. The restaurant remains closed on Tuesdays, throughout Navratris, and on major Hindu and Muslim festivals. Served with onions and green chutney. Some 30 years ago, these kebabs were sold for Rs. 2 a piece, today they cost literally 30 times more!
NL Tip: If you happen to be there on a Friday, try their Fish Kababs as well. Also worth trying are their Pasanda kebabs.
Price: Rs. 60 for 2 kababs
Timings: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Location: 2 Kaiserbagh Avenue, Near Gymkhana Club, Lucknow
The lesser known, but equally delectable variety of kababs are the Majlisi Kababs. This form of kebab is named so as it is a popular food item used during the month of Moharram in a congregation or majlis. Very few places make these kebabs, but the one place that does and does so admirably is Naushijaan, a popular restaurant that specializes in Awadhi/Mughlai cuisine. The majlisi kebab or damama kebab as it is also called, has a texture similar to that of a thick porridge. However, don’t let the aesthetics of the kebab fool you. Made using a number of whole and ground spices, the kebab flavors are very subtle with a smokiness that come from the coal. Complemented best by ulta-tawa parathas, radish and fresh mint.
Naushijaan also excels in Kakori Kababs. The kakori kebabs are similar to seekh kebabs in size and shape but what a world of difference in texture. The kakori is made of mince that is ground almost into a paste, leading to the silken texture of the kebabs. All you need is nice mint chutney and you can pop one and then wait for the explosion of flavors in your mouth.
NL Tip: Some of the other kebabs available here are Shami Kebabs, Pasanda Kebab, Boti Kebab and Chapli Kebab.
Price: Majlisi Kebab – Rs. 235
Mutton Kakori Seekh Kebab (Full) – Rs. 240
Timings: 12.00 p.m. to 11.00 pm
Location: Tulsi Theatre Building, DM Compound Colony, Kaiserbagh Officer’s Colony, Hazratganj
Dastarkhwan excels in providing the city with not only the yummiest but also one of the widest selections of menu from the Awadhi/Mughlai cuisine. While you wait for a table at Dastarkhwan, the aromas of the kitchen fill your senses and the sight of the tandoor has you salivating. Though the Masala Chicken and Mughlai paratha here are to die for, Dastarkhwan also does an amazing job on the kebabs – Seekh and Boti Kabab particularly.
The Seekh kabab here is everything that it promises to be – aromatic, succulent, finger–licking good and keeps you wanting for more. Team it up with the Mughlai roti, coriander- mint chutney and onion salad while you wait for your next order. Another must –try on our Kabab Trail is the Boti Kebab here. While all kebabs are dry or semi-dry in texture, boti kebabs can be best described as ‘kebabs with a gravy’. Small, boneless pieces of mutton find their way in spicy, flavoursome thick gravy. Eaten best with Roomali Roti, and julienned ginger, this dish satisfies your kebab as well as gravy craving. The Boti Kebabs here are heavenly and will surely have you coming back for more.
NL TIP: Dastarkhwan also makes Shami Kebab, Galawat Kebabs, Mutton Kakori Kebabs and Chicken Seekh Kababs.
Price: Mutton Seekh Kebabs – Rs. 400 (4 pieces)
Mutton Boti Kebab – Rs. 320
Timings: 1 p.m. to 10.30 pm
Location: 1. China Bazaar, Near U.P. Press Club; 2. 31, B.N. Road, Lalbagh