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Shalimar

And then there were two.

No, it’s not a chain, but they are related. Shalimar is a set of Indian/Pakistani restaurants in Ulsan’s Dong Gu/Bangeojin.  The owners are brothers. And while they may share recipes the similarities stop there.  The Shalimar we had already reviewed back in September of this year, is situated near  Hyundai Heavy Industries main entrance and Hyundai Department store. The Shalimar in this review, is located on the southern tip of the Dong-gu peninsula, near Big Bites sandwich shop.  This Shalimar, has a lunch buffet every day while the northern restaurant of the same name is only buffet-style on weekends and is menu-only on weekdays. The northern shop is located on a busy street overlooking the shipyards. This Shalimar is on a quiet back street directly on the coast overlooking the sea.

The southern Shalimar’s lunch time buffet really shines. For a mere 10,000 won, you can load on up on your favorite mutton, chicken, bean and vegetable dishes and gorge on hot fresh naan bread.  No waiting for dishes to be prepared for those with busy schedules. In addition the staple glutinous rice that is a must in every Korean restaurant, Shalimar also serves the more traditional basmati long grain rice that better complements the dishes.

The buffet, while small, was excellent

We visited on a Wednesday and the smallish dining room was empty when we arrived but soon filled with hungry lunch diners.  We tried every dish – only five – but that ensures quality over quantity – and was pleased with each. My personal favorite was the mutton, spiced exquisitely with large meaty chunks.  I used copious amounts of garlic naan to shovel  up spoonfuls of mutton and basmati rice.   I also really enjoyed the daal dish.

While we ate strictly off the buffet, the menu has all the requisites one would expect from an Indian restaurant. I can’t wait to go back and try the various tandoory and tikka dishes.

 

The menu - click the picture for a full size view

The dining room was small, but nicely decorated. Purple table cloths and chair coverings give the place a warm feel. Chairs are a tight squeeze for large bodied folk such as myself,  but once I settled in, it was not an issue.  The owners were very accomodating and the service prompt and courteous. Several times during the meal we were asked if we wanted more naan bread, which of course we accepted gratefully.

The dining room, small but comfortable

These days, Bangeojin is the place to be for foreign food dining and drinking. With the enormous influx of foreign workers at the gigantic shipyards, it’s not uncommon to see a foreigner on every corner and more than a few in every non-Korean restaurant. In years past, Bangeojin was not the nicest area of Ulsan. But the spate of construction that has been going on over the past few years has resulted in spacious new apartments, shiny retail stores and numerous new restaurants. Bangeojin is the place to be.  Of the dozen or so customers in the restaurant during our visit, nearly 90% were foreigners.

To find this, the new, southern Shalimar, go to the outer ring road (same road on which Big Bites and Ballentines are situated) on the far southern tip of the Dong-gu peninsula.  When you get to “Early Doors”, one of the many western style bars near MunHyeon elementary school, turn towards the sea. Shalimar is facing the coast.

The owner poses outside his restaurant

 

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