Located in Sanpada, Navi Mumbai, Shikara lets you experience the delicious food for the valley of Kashmir. This beautifully decorated theme restaurant complete with a houseboat on an artificial lake is a family business started in 1993. Shikara is owned by Ashok Mehra and managed by Ruhi and Vishal Mehra. It is the place you must go for some authentic Kashmiri food. Later, the restaurant started serving multi-cuisine. To offer a Kashmiri experience, Shikara is hosting Kashmiri Food Festival along with live music and Kashmiri dance performance. The menu is curated by home chef Jasleen Marwah, who lived in Srinagar until she was 12, and it boasts of authentic Kashmiri taste with a homemade touch. We were invited for a review. Here is what we thought about the festival.

Kashmiri food festival

Kashmiri food festival

We started our dinner with veg starters, which included palak shorba, nadur monji, dum olav and paneer tandoori, and non-veg starters, which included mutton seekh kababs, chicken kanti and tabakh maaz and shorba. Dum olav and paneer tandoori was delicious and full of flavors, while the mutton seekh kababs were juicy and light on spices. Yabakh maaz was crispy on outside and soft inside, while the shorba was thick and tasty. We loved the mutton kababs and dum olav.

Kashmiri thali

Kashmiri thali

The main course was a huge thali with different types of curries, naan and kesar rice. Rogan josh, maaz yakhni, Kashmiri kokur with shulgum and mutts were part of the non-veg thali, while the veg thali included palak/haaq saag, ruwangan chama, rajmah with shalgum, nadur yakhni and chokh wangun. The rogan josh, maaz yakhni, chokh wangun and ruwangan chaman were simply exceptionally good. The chaas served with the thalis was light, frothy and lip-smacking.

Although we were quite full but couldn’t resist ourselves from having the dessert, which was again usual. The sweet mix of dry fruits in Shufta and kong phinri with dried rose petals along with the aromatic kahwa made by a Kashmiri in the samovar was the perfect way to end the scrumptious meal.

Our verdict: If you want to try something different that Punjabi and Chinese food, Shikara is the place to visit. Their Kashmiri Food Festival is a must for Kashmiri experience. The taste of Kashmiri food is refreshingly different from any other state of the country. Instead of the tomato, onion and garlic gravy, the gravy of Kashmiri curry is made of the oil and the stock from the meat or the vegetable. It is flavorful and light. Do attend the Kashmiri Food Festival of Shikara to familiarize yourself with the cuisines of the valley.

Where: Plot No.3, Hotel Highway View, Sector-24, Mumbai Pune Road, Opp Sanpada Railway Station, Turbhe Village, Navi Mumbai,

Date: 19 January to 21 January 2018

Average meal for two: Rs 999 for veg thali and Rs 1499 for non-veg thali (unlimited)

Timings: 7:30 pm onwards