The Kabab Mahal marketing speak goes like this: “At Kabab Mahal you discover the finer nuances of the bygone era through the extensive display of dishes. The dining concept is unique in terms of its simplicity yet mysterious as the mystic aroma of its delightful kababs and curries. The welcome at the door is as warm and inviting as the fragrant aroma of spices that envelope you when you enter this intimate restaurant”
Well if all that is the case then why does the restaurant look like it’s in need of some TLC in the decor department and the staff appearance? The whole impression comes across as a tired and “seen better days” type restaurant. This appears to be an example of over promising and under delivering.
The menu prides itself on the variety of kebabs on offer as well as the list of usual curries and biryanis, pricing is a little above average (my meal of kebab, lentils, naan and a drink came to R150 or £13.00) for this part of Cape Town so my expectations were high. The person who took my order could hardly string a sentence together let alone discuss the menu with me. When asking for a glass of cider with ice no lemon it appeared with lemon and no ice! The meal was edible but disappointing as the palak paneer (spinach and cheese) wasn’t available, the lentils ordered were tepid and the naan bread was lacking any element of pillow like puffiness. My warm kebab could have benefitted from another three or four minutes in the oven as there was no colouring to it and it was watery.
Enough said, we know what to do......we just don’t go back.
La Boheme Menu
By contrast (thank goodness) just a stone’s throw down the road is La Boheme where I visited earlier in the week and vowed terminator style to return!
Second time around was just as good if not better. The girls & boys looking after the tables were on the ball with food and wine recommendations for all and even welcomed me back when they recognised me. The prices knock Mr Kabab into a cocked hat with a two course meal and drink for R113 or £10.00.
The meal this time comprised of fish, corn and chilli spring rolls with soy dip and from the other side of the world beef schnitzels with creamy parmesan potato wedges. The main arrived looking like a whole meal and then came along a dish of beets, lentils and corn on the cob! I ate the lot.........it was terrific.
Walking back that evening it was no surprise to me to see the difference in these two businesses. La Boheme had a good few folk dining or having drinks in the place, candles lit and a general aura of warmth and welcome. Kabab Mahal had one table with people sitting at it, and they were the staff.