Taste Test: Chicken Shawarma

May 28, 2010 2:26 pm by

Clockwise from top left: Shawarmas from Modern Juice Centre, Maroosh, Tezz and Piccadilly.

There may soon come a time when the shawarma will rate second only to the vada pao in popularity on Mumbai’s streets. The Middle East’s celebrated street snack is widely available in the city, with shawarma vendors setting up kiosks wherever space permits, sometimes (as on Carter Road) with as many as four within a couple of blocks. We sought out the shawarma that came closest to duplicating the original flavours. The results:

Donald House, Colaba Causeway, opposite Electric House. Tel: 2282 3217
Price: Rs70
Ingredients: Chicken, cabbage, tomatoes, aioli, lime.
Verdict: Piccadilly offers seven variations of shawarma, each with a modified name and moderately tweaked ingredients. Their chicken Spaniol (we missed the Spanish inspiration if any) is an inauthentic shawarma with chunks of roast chicken rather than finely sliced meat. This is a no-fuss wrap with shredded cabbage and a watered down aioli (a garlic mayo sauce) sprinkled generously with lime. ★★☆☆☆

Tana Kutir Building, Shop No.3, between 18th Road and 17th Road, Khar Danda, near Neelam store. Tel: 6529 0303
Price: Rs70
Ingredients: Chicken, aioli, French fries, pickled beets, chilli sauce, lime.
Verdict: This hole-in-the-wall restaurant has probably survived on the strength of its shawarma, in which the cook has invested great thought and a liberal amount of olive oil. The chicken is perfectly cooked, seasoned with pepper, drenched with lime, wrapped in soft pita and served with creamy garlic sauce. You would do well to skip the stale fries however, and maybe, take one for the road. ★★★★☆

PVR Food Court, Phoenix Mills, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel. Tel: 97691 09971. Also at Inorbit Mall Food Court, second floor, Malad (West). Tel: 97691 09976
Price: Rs89
Ingredients: Chicken, garlic sauce, chilli sauce, cabbage, salad leaves, French fries.
Verdict: This kiosk offers a chicken shawarma with a distinctly piquant taste. The tangy chilly and garlic sauce further distinguishes the wrap that’s garnished with coriander. On the down side, the tartness lingers in your mouth for a while. ★★★☆☆

Near Radio Club, Arthur Bunder Road, opposite Gulf Hotel, Colaba. Tel: 2281 2457
Price: Rs60
Ingredients: Chicken, French fries, pickled beet, cabbage and mayonnaise.
Verdict: This juice centre has won fans for its shawarma but the wrap left us underwhelmed. The chicken is fairly standard, but the pita not quite. The meat is wrapped in a thick, greasy paratha that is slathered with bland, bottled mayo. ★★☆☆☆

Near Cafe Coffee Day, Opposite Ajanta Ellora building, 388 Carter Road, Khar (West). Tel: 2600 5584. Also at Phoenix Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel. Tel: 93213 31112
Price: Rs110
Ingredients: Chicken, hummus, pickled beets and chilly, French fries and aioli.
Verdict: There’s seldom a quiet moment at Maroosh, owing to the appeal of its succulent shawarma, which stands out as much for the hummus (made in house) as for the chicken. The pita is slathered with fluffy aioli (which, as it should be, is more parts garlic than mayonnaise) that complements the roast chicken perfectly. Before they lay on the hummus, Maroosh spikes this wrap with hot sauce and a pickled chilli that add an extra sharpness to the delectable wrap. ★★★★☆

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Comments (17)

  1. AHMED |


  2. At “Tafathalo”, R-Mall, Mulund, we invite all shawarma lovers to explore our SHAWARMA varieties which is being highly appreciated by our frequent users.

  3. Dhruv Manek |

    the most amazing shawarma in mumbai has to be Zaheerbhai’s shawarma in mahim!! perfect khaboos,garlic mayo,tangy chilly and garlic paste.

    also a must try is the shawarma at New Excelcior Cafe near VT.

  4. Piyush |

    @Pooja: Is the one outside Pritam still awesome? I’d make trips to Dadar just for their shawarma. Then they started adding chicken fat and skin to it. I’m gathering that’s no longer the case?

  5. rakesh |

    the best and the chepest shawarma is at zahirbhai shawarmawala at mahim only rs 50/-

  6. Pooja Dhingra |

    great post!

    Surprisingly my favourite shawarma is outside pritam da dhaba in dadar…you must try it!

  7. Abhik |

    Two excellent ones you’ve missed out on, or should definitely be on your updated lists- Carter’s Blue at the corner of Carter Road right opp. Cafe coffee day- mindblowingly balanced; and the second one at Hill road’s Biona- not too many bakeries would offer Shawarmas but these are bloody brilliant!

  8. Nits |

    Am a regular eater at most of the joints you have mentioned above and i have to say that your analysis is spot on…. cheers

  9. Love these comparisons you guys do. I agree.. Maroosh is the best street side shawarma.

  10. Debu Panda |

    The Piccadilly shawarma often has pieces of gristle and other unpalatable looking bits. To be avoided.

  11. gkam |

    Lebanese point at lokhandwala is my fave.

    Will try Maroosh sometime.

  12. Ketan Sinh |

    Absolutely…. True Maroosh has the Best Chicken Shawarma, must try the Lamb Shawarma at Bandra Maroosh.

  13. @Arjun Spicy Kitchen was on top of our list but has been shut for the past two weeks. We’re hoping it’s temporary.

    @Neysa Thanks. We had high expectations from Colaba too.

    @Bobin. Thanks for the tip.

  14. Tanvi |

    Wow this is so informative. Thank you Purva for enlightening us with this article will follow your work closely from now on. Cheersss!!!

  15. Bobin |

    There’s another fantastic shawarma guy, who I don’t even know the name of. Opposite Fendi (that export surplus place in Bandra), there is a clothing store, more a shed. You have to actually enter that and you will see this shawarma guy. Absolutely yummy stuff and he doesn’t crimp on the amount of meat he stuffs inside. And it’s some 50 bucks wonly! (Or used to be. Haven’t been there in a couple of months.)

  16. Neysa |

    Brilliant stuff! There are sooo many available; have always wanted a comparison. :) Sadly, my Colaba convenience rates pretty damn low…

  17. Ahmed Bhai’s Spicy Kitchen’s Greek shawarma, ’nuff said.