Chennai Restaurant Reviews

Shyam’s Bombay Halwa House

My sister’s family invited us out for a dinner outing and I was given the responsibility for choosing a restaurant. Decided to go to Shyam’s Bombay Halwa House as it was meant to be a vegetarian dinner. I’ve heard many things about this place, but never been here earlier. The location was pretty clear as I was quite familiar with this area, G N Chetty Road in particular.

I called up in the afternoon and reserved a table for 8 of us at 7:00PM. I was told it was a ‘first come first serve’ basis, however, he took my name and said he will hold the table upto 7:15PM. Fair enough, agreed! Thanks to the traffic, We just made it at 7:10PM and my sister’s family was yet to come. Meanwhile, the guy at the door was taking names on the paper. I did mention that I had a reservation, and in spite of that he wrote my name again, third or fourth in the list and assured that he would call our name. Already, there was a steady stream of people coming in, and the place got quite crowded. We were ready at 7:25PM and after enquiring more than twice, we were asked to wait. Had to call one other guy and explain, and then we were let in. Not the easiest entry into a restaurant for a pleasant meal, but finally made it in around 7:35PM.
Settled down only to realize that the AC was really cold and blowing right on top of our heads. We were four adults, 3 kids aged between 6-11 years, and a toddler, just an year old. It was quite cold for the kids and we requested them to tone it down. Probably it was too cold, my sister’s son was quite restless and hyper yesterday and kept us on the toes 🙂
We took suggestions from the waiter for the starters, also wanted to taste a bit of variety – Tomato soup, Sweet Corn Veg Soup and Veg Mancho Soup, all of them to be served one by two, Paneer Tikka, Malai Paneer Tikka, Veg Sheek Kebab, Chilli Paneer, couple of Masala Papads, and a couple of bottles of Chas. Since we ordered quite a few starters, we decided to keep the main course simple.
Chas and Masala Papads were the first ones to come in less than 5 minutes, tasted good. The starters followed – Paneer Tikka was good, but the paneer could have been a little more flavorsome, was just bland except for the masala on the outside. Malai Paneer Tikka was very good, a bit too sweet, but kids loved it. Paneer was exceptionally soft ! Veg Sheek Kebab was wonderful and so was the Chilli Paneer. Everything we ate was tasty, no complaints with the food!
Meanwhile decided to order the main course too. Ordered 3 Butter Naans, 3 Rotis and since it was an overdose of paneer in the starters, we decided to skip it for main course and asked the waiter to suggest a couple of gravies for the breads. He suggested Methi Malai Aloo, and Diwani Handi and we went with it. Methi Malai Aloo was very tasty, but the Diwani Handi failed to make any special impression. The breads came straight from the tandoor, super hot and wonderful. Had to ask for one more roti as we were just a little short.
Ordered the desserts – 1 Paan Ice cream, 1 Mango Litchi, 1 Rabdi, 2 Kulfis. Everything was awesome, loved the Paan ice cream in particular ! With that we ended a wonderfully tasty meal!
Now coming to something I would like to highlight. Though we loved all that we ate, I would never choose this place again for a relaxed dinner. The reason being, we were REALLY hurried up ! With three kids and a toddler, you couldn’t eat faster than this. Coming to the timings, the Masala Papad came to our table at 07:45PM and the bill at 8:42PM. Assuming we were there 10 minutes earlier, all we took was around 1 hour to finish all that we ordered, and it wasn’t too much by any standards. The dinner set is back by a little less than 2.5K and it was not that we were eating two dishes for two hours. After every course, the waiters were continuously pushing hard. In fact so much that the plates for main course came even before we were done with the starters and the waiter brought ice creams when the main course plates were all over the table. We had to move the plates to make place for the desserts.
Finally my verdict – Thanks for the really yummy food, but sorry I’m not coming back as I can’t shove them down my throat, I would need some time to chew and swallow too! For a fact, I know there were a LOT of people waiting outside and I’m not denying that at all. All I’m saying is its not fair to expect me to gobble up, to accommodate someone else.

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