Nizam’s Kitchen may be the newest kid on the block, but the establishment, located on bustling Highway 6 near Kirkwood, has garnered a faithful following since throwing open its doors on January 16 this year. Walk in to the cheerful eatery, and you’re warmly welcomed by the very personable proprietress Shahnaaz Irani, who leads you to your table, hands you a menu, and tells you a little about the cuisine. She’s knowledgeable and engaging, and if you’re not very familiar with the regional dishes, she’s quick to discuss what they are and throws in a bit of the history to boot.
By Kalyani Giri | Indo-American News
Nizam’s Kitchen hearkens back 400 years when royalty ruled and flavorful food was concocted for the princely palate; the restaurant triumphantly celebrates the cuisines of Hyderabad and Karachi.
Huge windows front the restaurant with walls in shades of mellow yellow and robin-egg blue. Paintings pertinent to the era of the cuisine tastefully create an ambiance in the diner that sits on 29,000 square feet that can comfortably accommodate 110 guests. Iran-born Irani grew up in Nasik, Maharashtra where her father ran a café. Her grandfather back in Iran ran a successful catering business in the local Zoroastrian community. Irani and her husband Irfan Ali lived in Canada, Kuwait and Australia before putting down roots in Houston a little over a year ago. They had helped set up a Hyderabadi cuisine restaurant owned by Ali’s brother back in Australia. So armed with a strong background in the food industry, the couple spent the past year searching for a demographically appropriate area to open a restaurant.
“We wanted a higher per capita area, not too expensive, someplace where we could charge midway prices for our food,” said Irani. That done, they brought in a chef from Hyderabad who specializes in the cuisines of Hyderabad and Karachi. The menu is a la carte and boasts rich exotic specialty dishes such as Haleem, Nizami Chicken Curry, Dum Ka Murg, Dum Ka Gosht, Mughlai Murg Kabab, and the other labor-intensive gems in the royal crown of Nizam’s Kitchen, the Goat Dum Biryani and the Chicken Dum Biryani. Irani prides herself on using fresh, premium ingredients in all her dishes and food is cooked according to specifications of the guest. All meat served is halal, there are no beef dishes on the menu, and the restaurant is a strictly non-alcohol zone.
Acceding to the demands of her diners, Irani will be introducing a lunch buffet with a salad bar. The kitchen will create delicious spicy fillings for wraps and Irani is adding middle-eastern touches to the buffet menu. She has a Sunday brunch that features popular items. She is ready to cater weddings and other special events and can close the restaurant to accommodate private parties on all days except for Fridays and Saturdays, her busiest nights.
Guests visiting Nizam’s Kitchen were enthusiastic about the food and service.
“We went to Nizam’s soon after it opened and enjoyed the yummy starters and the scrumptious biryani,” said Luckmi Pawa, who visited with her husband Shivi and their children. “Nizam’s Kitchen served up a hearty helping of delectable culinary delights,” Pawa added.
Ramesh Anand is another happy customer.
“I have visited Nizam’s Kitchen few times and also brought food home from the restaurant,” said Anand. “The very first time my wife and I stopped by we were met at the door by an extremely amicable woman, the owner Shahnaaz. Nizam’s is perfect for taking my family and appropriate for a business lunch. My family has been happy with every dish we ordered and all possessed an authentic Hyderbadi touch that we look for. I believe that this is the best thing that happened to Missouri City,” said Anand
Nizam’s Kitchen is located at 5211 Hwy 6 South, Suite F, Missouri City, TX 77459. For more information call 832-284-7007 or 281-208-0711, or visit www.nizamskitchen.net