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“Horrible place - avoid, there are better around” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Shalimar India Restaurant

Shalimar India Restaurant
80 Hanover St, Portsmouth, NH 03801-3725
603-427-2959
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Ranked #78 of 187 restaurants in Portsmouth
Cuisines: Indian
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Hampton, New Hampshire
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Horrible place - avoid, there are better around”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2012

I'd been to this restaurant about 5 times now after the first time from the quality and flavor of the food served I recall thinking the food, service and price made this place not worth visiting again. Since that time I was dragged back by others and decided that I wouldn't go back until last week after a year or so I decided to get some takeout.
As someone who can understand but not speak various Indian languages it's always interesting for me to go into an Indian restaurant and listen to what is being said when the staff think no one can understand them. While I was waiting for my takeout (which was about 10 minutes wait) I noticed the owner who was serving food insulting customers by their description and also calling his kitchen crew some of the most colorful things I've heard. I saw this going on for around 10 minutes and while peeking through the galley window into the kitchen I noticed all of the chefs not wearing hair nets and handling all different kinds of foods with their hands. This truly put me off what I was about to eat as I could see there was no care or attention taken to cross contamination of meat, fish, poultery and vegetables. In the past I have been to this restaurant with vegetarians and considering how the majority of India is vegetarian I would have thought they would have made sure not to handle vegetarian food with hands that had been handling meat moments ago but that's not the case - I urge you to take a look through the window at what goes on in the Kitchen.
From what I saw I would never return to this restaurant - there are others relatively nearby which are much better (although not as good as they should be) such as Taste of India in Newburyport, MA or Tusli in Kittery, ME.
If you really want to try good Indian food you really need to be heading towards Boston and check out the Somerville, Medford areas for authentic food with good flavor and quality and into the heart of Boston for Indian fine dining.
Do yourself a favor and try somewhere else - this restaurant is truly a joke to Indian cuisine.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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48 reviews from our community

70% Recommend
    22
    12
    6
    4
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
“They get takeout orders wrong”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012 via mobile

They're the only Indian restaurant in Portsmouth, and the food isn't bad. However, when it comes to takeout over the phone, don't ware your time. And if you do, then open the bag and check it before you leave. They always miss something!

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Middletown, New Jersey
Top Contributor
175 reviews 175 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
“Good Indian food in the heart of town”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2012 via mobile

Nice varied menu. Food was delicious and moderately priced. Service could have been more attentive. Once the food was served the wait staff never returned to see if we needed anything else.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Kennebunk, Maine
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Best Indian food on the seacoast”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2011

Going to the Shalimar is like going to "Cheers" where everyone knows your name and it feels welcoming. The Indian food is consistantly good! My favorite dish is the Lamb Korma because the lamb is always tender and fresh and it is perfectly seasoned. The Saag Paneer is also my favorite. The portions are generous and the basmati rice never overcooked or dry.
I could make a liquid meal out of the Mango Lassi, they are the best ever!
The only downside is the parking. We would go more often if we could find more street parking.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Some Good and some less than good...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2011

We arrived serendipitously at Shalimar. The quiet and warm restaurant seemed very inviting even if it was relatively empty of patrons. We started with a few appetizers - several nan breads that were excellent and the appetizer special of seafood samosa that was pricey ($7.95 for two seafood and stuffing filled fried dumplings) and just too fishy for my taste and probably would be for others as well. We were given two of the condiments - the red, spicy onion chutney and the sweet brown sauce. I had to ask for the mint chutney - which was a tasty, must-have condiment. My son ordered the sweet Indian tea. He liked it very much. We ordered off the lunch menu and started with a steamy cup of flavorful mulligatawny soup. The soup was delicious and especially tantalizing because of the fresh cilantro added as a finishing touch. After that, my friend and I had the tandoori chicken. It was served with a cold carrots and iceberg lettuce.
Now maybe I wouldn't have ordered tandoori chicken. I was expecting chicken with exotic and flavorful sauce. Instead, we were served barely warm cut-up pieces of chicken legs that were colored red, but utterly devoid of any sauce or seasoning for that matter. My friend and I both agreed that the chicken was majorly disappointing. My son, on the other hand, ordered lamb curry. The sauce seemed a little thick by normal standards, but the dish was tasty and certainly acceptable. The yellow-colored rice was excellent - well-prepared and delicious. My friend and I ordered some of the sweet tea prepared with milk. We were surprised to find that somehow the tea was not at all sweet and very bitter. We had to ask our server to take it back and prepare it again for us. The second time around was better, but the tea still had a somewhat strange taste - almost as if the milk had been scalded. Our servers were extremely gracious throughout our time there. The chicken was too major a disappointment, however, for me to rate this restaurant as more than average. Maybe next time we will sample more dishes on the menu. The nan breads were the highlight of the meal.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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