Apart from being known as ‘Land of the Cupcakes’, Bandra can now re-christen itself to ‘Shawarma Town’. Only in Bandra can you see an equal number of Shawarma rotisseries and traffic signals. Okay, I’m exaggerating here, but you get the drift. Latest entrant on the Shawarma scene is Cairo Grill – a Mediterranean take away space that does the staple shawarma in addition to a lot more.
Situated in a by-lane off Linking road, surrounded by cafes and fast food joints, Cairo Grill is a small space. But none of these factors deterred the crowd away. This take away joint was swamped with customers on the Sunday evening I visited. The two page menu, listed on the wall covers your basics – salads, hummus and it’s variants, cheesy fries with toppings, and shawarmas. But I was most excited to try their New York food truck style rice-meat combos.
We placed our order, and watched the food getting assembled in their tiny albeit clean kitchen. The most important aspect of a take away place is now well the food travels in the containers. Our boxes endured a bumpy rickshaw ride home, and everything was well packed and taped, including the sauces.
I started off with their hummus (Rs. 130/-) that came with pita, that I’d like to have been toasted a bit more. The hummus was smooth, had a garlic-lemon flavour, and was drizzled with the right amount of oil. Also at 130 bucks I think the portion size is a steal. It carried over well to the next day, after refrigerating, and I ate it again for lunch. Nom Nom!
The Smoked Chicken Shawarma (Rs. 150/-) is definitely different from the flavours we have learnt to associate with Shawarma (ref: Carter’s Blue). The shawarma here is less creamy, with the perfect amount of harissa, wrapped in a pita that does not turn soggy. The meat is perfectly char grilled, and has a lovely smokey aftertaste. The accompanying dipping sauces were really delicious, and definitely better than the mayonnaise-type sauce that other places provide.
The star of my meal was the NY food truck style Lamb and Rice (Rs. 295/-). Long grained spicy basmati, sits on a bed of lettuce, heaped with generous amounts of perfectly char grilled lamb. This comes topped with harissa and yogurt – adding the right amount of heat. This is something I’d definitely order and eat again.
The only dessert on their menu, which I hear they claim to have come up with are the Oreo Nachos (Rs. 150/-). They tasted nothing like nachos, and more like a crisp fried donut batter shaped like nachos, which I later heard was deep fried pita bread. The cinnamon and oreo dust on top was scrumptious but it kept falling off the nacho chip. The caramel and cream dipping sauces on the side were redeeming. Full marks to the Oreo Nachos for innovation, but I deduct points for execution.
Cairo Grill has wonderful potential in an area that’s enjoys their shawarma and middle eastern food. I would love to see a few more authentic Mediterranean dishes on their menu, nevertheless, I enjoyed everything that I ordered. They also deliver around the area, and that is a huge plus point. Good food that delivers on both the taste and pricing front, Cairo Grill will definitely grill their competitors.
12/A New Kamal Kunj CHS, 15th & 33rd Road,
Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai 400050
Phone: 022 26000250
Follow them on twitter @Cairogrill_in and on Instagram @Cairogrill.in
(The author was invited to review Cairo Grill and dined there on invite).