Shahnawaz Palace (Central NJ)

Rating:

Quality, Taste, Cleanliness, Environment, Price , & Staff

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Positive: Large Pakistani buffet with a large variety of items and good drinks.

NegativeFood quality and taste has declined over the years and the food on the buffet tables is poorly maintained. 

Overall: The buffet gives a large variety of low quality Pakistani food and is only worth going to if you are really craving a desi brunch buffet as other Pakistani buffet restaurants in NJ do not compare.

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Updated 2/5/2012:

Upon trying Shalimar’s $15 Buffet in North Brunswick, NJ I quickly realized why Shahnawaz is doing so well.  They have a large variety of foods which no other buffet place can compare to, their service is top notch compared with other Pakistani restaurant buffets, and everything is included in the price (I am talking about drinks).

Although I still think Shahnawaz does not have high quality food, I can see why they are always packed. They have a great selection of foods, from appetizers to desi dishes to Chinese dishes, and a large array of desserts. If only they improve their quality it would be worth going to again.  In contrast, Shalimar was very disappointing as you will see in my review.  Overall, I would say to go to Shahnawaz if you REALLY want a Pakistani brunch buffet in NJ because other restaurants doing a similar buffet in NJ do not compare. 

10/29/2011:

Looking for a nice pakistani buffet in nj?  

For a weekend family outing, we decided to go to Shahnawaz Banquet Hall in Edison, NJ for their weekend brunch buffet priced at $18/adult and $8/child.   For this price you would expect a great meal. I was shocked that they charge for children because  usually kids under a certain age eat free at buffets. The plus side is that drinks are included within the price.

I will start by reviewing the setup of the restaurant. It looks like you are eating at a small Indian style wedding hall beause of the printed carpeting, the huge chandelier, and the colored dim lighting that reflects onto the walls and the ceiling. The table that we were seated at was quite tight for 5 people because it was hard for us to get up and leave the table without pulling the chair out. They also did not have napkins on the table which I think is very important to have when eating desi food. They did, however, bring us a pitcher of water with plastic glasses. (When you are at a proper sit down restaurant, you do not want plastic cups.)

Moving onto the set up of the buffet…this too needs to be more organized. The chutneys and sauces that go with the chaats were placed away from the chaat and samosas. They had appetizers all over the place and those should all be placed together as well. Everything was labeled except the desserts and that should be labeled too.

The service was excellent as servers continously kept coming to our table to take our used plates away and to ask us if we wanted drinks. The drinks were excellent and consisted of sweet lassi, salty lassi, and mango lassi. The food, on the other hand, was just mediocre. It was not being refilled quickly and some dishes were warm while others were cold. The only food items I recommend are the chicken nuggets, the fried fish, and the pani puri. We were very disappointed with the halwa puri. Even though it was nice and hot, it did not have any flavor. Other things we tried were the chinese dishes, paya, roasted lamb and these were all savorless. I thought maybe I’d have better luck with the desserts but they too were disappointing, especially the red velvet cake and brownies. How do you go wrong with brownies?

So all in all, Shahnawaz is way too overrated and the only reason they are doing well is because they are the only Halal buffet with a lot of variety in the foods they offer.

Shahnawaz Palace on Urbanspoon

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