Karim, undoubtedly, is the best known among Delhi’s restaurants for Mughlai food and has earned an iconic status on the capital’s culinary map. It’s closest rival, however, is also situated just next door.
Opened in 1947, the Al Jawahar restaurant near Jama Masjid’s Gate No. 1 takes its name from India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who is said to have dropped in at the restaurant for a meal.
While Karim’s witnesses much bigger queues, Al Jawahar has its band of loyal patrons too. In fact, some food connoisseurs claim that Al Jawahar’s dishes are better than that of Karim.
“There are many people who prefer Al Jawahar over Karim. Al Jawahar definitely has a better ambience for one,” said Pushpesh Pant, a noted food critic.
Pant, however, says that both Karim and Al Jawahar have their signature dishes and while some dishes are better at Karim, Al Jawahar beats it when it comes to a few other dishes.
“While for mutton korma and kebabs, Karim is the best place, Al Jawahar is the place to go for nihari, mutton burra or ishtu (stew),” Pant said.
“They might be our competitors but we share a good neighbourly relation,” said Zaeemuddin Ahmed, director of the Karim.