Karim's In Old Delhi Is Overrated & Here's Why You'd Agree With Me

Karim’s Could Be A Pilgrimage For Delhi Folk, But Is It Also… Overrated? Find Out!

old delhi meat heritage

Karim’s, the name that Old Delhi has been identified with for decades, has been serving all the Mughlai delicacies that one could dream of. In fact, many would say that they did define what Mughlai food meant to the people in Delhi. Karim’s in Old Delhi has been around since 1913, and is now over a hundred years old. So, why do I think that someone with that much experience, and more, is overrated? I’m telling you why.

Too Famous For Their Own Good?

Now, my problem with them is not because they’re famous. In fact, I’ve discovered better eateries around them just because Karim’s is so well-known. I’ve grown up eating the kebabs and the korma, with thick sheermal on Sunday afternoons with my folks, and later, when I could afford it, I also started going there on my own or with friends. So, I’ve tried them enough to what I’m talking about.

Karim’s may be well-known, and they may have won many accolades, but I still do think they’re overrated. One goes there with an expectation of tender and juicy meat that would take little next to no effort to pull apart from the bone. One goes there thinking that while you pay the sum of money that you do, you won’t be met be a bowl of curry with a thick layer of oil floating on top. But, of course, they fail on both accounts, and what you end up paying for is meat that’s not always cooked through and a bowl that has more oil than what you’d ordered for.

The authentic taste is missing most of the times, and especially when there’s rush. Of course, some days they are excellent, but other days they are so unsatisfying that you want to get up and leave. Also, they’ve become more expensive over the years and the quantities have become lesser too.

Feud Over Food?

Karim’s in Old Delhi has got a number of seating spaces, owing to the dispute between the brothers. But they’re both always full, and always cramped, even though they’re aware of the aforementioned points. But, I guess, people keep coming back only because it’s more famous than Al Jawahar next door—which is far better than Karim’s TBH. People often tend to stay loyal to brands just because they’ve been around for donkey’s years. They wouldn’t normally even admit to not liking it, or having found better places to eat, because how can you hate on this giant eatery?

Again, I’m in no way attacking a business. Whether I go out to get a plate of momos for Rs. 40, or a plate of Korma for Rs. 400, I think I’m allowed to have an opinion about what is being served to me. I don’t think I’m willing to pay Rs. 400 for Korma, and still get more oil than said Korma. Having said that, if a situation arises where there’s nowhere else to eat and one can only go to Karim’s to have food to fill a hungry stomach, I wouldn’t mind going if only for the memories.

Featured Photo Courtesy Of: Karim’s


These opinions are purely based on the experiences of the author & are not reflective of the opinions of EatTreat.

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Saundarya is a 25-year-old from Delhi, who loves photography, crafting, reading books, and all things vintage. When she's not behind her desk, she can be found with a camera and a glass of sangria at her favorite bistro in the city.