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Shalimar Food Land Oak Tree Road Review

Shalimar Food Land Iselin
1329 Oak Tree Road
Iselin, NJ 08830

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Shalimar Food Land Iselin: Spicy Indian-Chinese Delight

Our long-standing affair with Indian-Chinese cuisine is no secret.

Just the mention of Gobi Manchurian, Chilli Paneer, Chilli Garlic Noodles etc is enough to send us into an ecstatic, moaning swoon.

It's the same abiding passion that led us into Shalimar Food Land in Iselin, Oak Tree Road the other day.

Of course, we are no strangers to Shalimar Food Land on Oak Tree Road.

A few years back we went into Shalimar Food Land and ordered some food for dine-in. But the overpowering stench in the place created a nausea that prompted us to walk out and dump the food in a trash can.

During our latest visit, we encountered no such stench. However, the place is cramped with a few tables on one side and two food counters on the other.

Shalimar Food Land - A Cafeteria Style Restaurant

Shalimar Food Land is a cafeteria type restaurant. You walk upto the counter, pick up a menu and place your order specifying whether it's for dine-in or a takeout and pay for the food.

If it is a dine-in order, you sit at one of the tables by the wall and wait for your food to arrive.

If it's takeout, you return after 15-20 minutes to pick up the food.

Our Order

When we walked into Shalimar Food Land around 3:00 p.m., the restaurant was buzzing with activity and there were about eight dine-in customers and one person near the cash counter placing an order.

We picked up a menu, scanned through it and decided on Chilli Garlic Noodles ($6.95), Vegetable Manchurian gravy type (7.95), Samosa ($1.99 for two) and Bhindi Masala ($5.99).

As we were about to sign our credit card receipt, the lady at the cash counter informed us that Vegetable Manchurian was no longer available. We quickly substituted Chilli Paneer and expressed our desire to pay the extra amount by cash. The lady, however, did not charge us anything extra though Chilli Paneer is a dollar more than Vegetable Manchurian.

shalimar food land samosa
Samosa, Tamarind Sauce & Raita
shalimar food land chilli garlic noodles
Chilli Garlic Noodles

Good Vegetable Samosa

Our order of Vegetable Samosa included two big Samosas, Tamarind Sauce and Cucumber-Mint Raita neatly packed in small plastic containers. Vegetable Samosas were big with evenly fried outer covering and tasty potato filling inside.

Tamarind sauce was thick and Cucumber-Mint Raita was delicious.

At a lot of Indian restaurants, Tamarind sauce is a watery affair and the Raita a limp concoction. But at Shalimar Food Land both were exceptional.

Folks, it's the attention to small things that separates good Indian restaurants from the bad.

Spicy Chilli Garlic Noodles

There were several things going for Shalimar Foodland's Chilli Garlic Noodles: Although we relished the Chilli Garlic Noodles we'd have liked the Garlic flavor to come through a little stronger.

Yummy Chilli Paneer

A close competitor to Chilli Garlic Noodles in taste was our order of Chilli Paneer.

We counted ourselves lucky for ordering Chilli Paneer.

Set in a Soy Sauce colored gravy, Chilli Paneer came with a generous amount of Paneer cubes. It included cut Green Capsicum and crushed red pepper.

shalimar food land chilli paneer
Chilli Paneer with White Rice
shalimar food land bhindi masala
Bhindi Masala, Salad, Raita

Both Panner cubes and gravy nicely abosorbed the chilli flavor well.

Chilli Paneer came with a medium serving size of white rice.

Man, it was delicious and we enjoyed it immensely.

God, if we lived in the neighborhood we'd stop cooking at home and eat Chilli Paneer at Shalimar Food Land every day.

But what irritated us a bit was the way our order of Chilli Paneer was packed. The thermocol box started leaking as we were picking up the bag making it messy. Also the gravy leaked into the rice packed in another compartment of the same box making it difficult to use it with our other entree Bhindi Masala.

Good Bhindi Masala

Our third vegetarian entree Bhindi Masala also turned out to be decent. More importantly it was not very oily.

But we were unhappy that our special request to make it spicy had fallen on deaf ears.

Sure the Bhindi was tender and Tomato and Onion pieces abosorbed the masala nicely. But it was not spicy as we requested it to be.

Also, we found the Shalimar Food Land's version of Bhindi Masala a little dry.

Even with all its inadequacies we'd still put Shalimar Food Land's Bhindi Masala in the above Average category.

Green Salad and Cucumber-Mint Raita

Our takeout order came with Green Salad and a medium-sized serving of Raita.

Yes, this is in addition to the Cucumber-Mint Raita that came with the Samosas

Green Salad included four medium thick slices of Cucumber, two slices of Tomato, lettuce leaves and sliced Onions. It was fresh and didn't give room for any complaints.

While we enjoyed the Green Salad, what gave us great delight was Shalimar Food Land's Cucumber-Mint Raita.

With a faint flavor of Mint leaves, the medium thick Cucumber-Mint Raita was soothing to our tastebuds. Hey, we could eat that Raita all day, and all night as well.

Shalimar Food Land - OK Service

The lady at the counter took our order quickly, informed us promptly about non-availability of Vegetable Manchurian and did not charge us extra for changing our order to Chilli Paneer.

As promised the food was also ready when we returned after 15 minutes.

While we had no issues with our order placement, what upset us was the packing of our Chilli Paneer.

Also our takeout order did not include plates, napkins and spoons and forks. We picked up some napkins from a table on the way out.

Shalimar Food Land Oak Tree Road - Rating

Serving Size - Sumptuous and generous serving size
Food Taste - Spicy, Flavorful Indian Chinese Food
Service - Overall polite and fast

Notwithstanding our minor irritation over Chilli Paneer leakage, we enjoyed the Indian-Chinese food at Shalimar Food Land in Iselin Oak Tree Road throughly.

We can't wait to return to Shalimar Food Land on Oak Tree Road.

We'll also be sure to pick up some of the other stuff listed in their Indian-Chinese menu.- © OakTreeRoad.us

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