Bihari (Newlands)

Bihari (Newlands)
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R120 avg main meal
Authentic culture
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Graham Howe

A landmark on the spice route in the Southern Suburbs. Watch the Indian chefs in action at the tandoor clay ovens in the open kitchen, roasting chicken tikka and paneer kebabs on long skewers - and baking fresh naan breads (don’t miss the garlic and coriander version) to mop up the aromatic madras, masala, madras, korma and vindaloo sauces.

Whet an appetite with fresh pappadums and raita or share a mixed vegetarian starter platter of paneer shaslik, roasted cauliflower, kaju rolls and samoosas. A traditional Indian menu tempts you with vegetable, chicken, lamb and seafood curry, each braised with layers of authentic Indian herbs and spice served in rich tomato, cashew nut, spinach, ghee and masala gravies. A classic chicken vindaloo delivers the hot stuff along with a sublime lamb bhunna gosht, a dry, spicy northern curry. Each curry is served in elegant small clay pots, making it easy to share generous portions at table. Vegetarians are spoiled for choice with a wide range of paneer, lentil, potato and pea curries - along with fragrant pulao and biryani rice dishes. Whatever you do, don’t miss the prawn curry in a spicy coconut and tamarind sauce.

A good selection of cocktails, aperitifs and wines by the glass and bottle are available with off-dry wine varieties to match the spicy fare.

Service is attentive with good advice on combining dishes and flavours at table.

A bustling metropolitan restaurant with a good mix of large family tables and intimate dining booths for couples or smaller parties.

Best share a selection of curries at table - and order your curry mild, medium, hot or “Indian-hot” to your spice tolerance.

(September 2016)

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.



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  • Food
    Start with a selection of the lightest samoosas – chicken, potato, or cheese – or the moreish prawn koliwadi, marinated and deep fried. Order a selection of mains like chicken tikka or makrana with saffron and black pepper to share. The garlic lamb tikka is fragrant with the forbidden aromatic and the great curries can be zoomed up or down as your taste dictates. Don’t miss the irresistible naan breads.

    Ample, but why not drink beer, as the Indians do?

    Friendly but always professional.

    One of the places to go for curry in Cape Town. It’s low key and unintimidating, with no artificial-looking décor, which can make you feel as if you’re in the Indian pavilion at the Rand Easter Show.

    They now offer a portable tandoori oven which they will bring to your home or function to cook for you in situ. (GL, October 2011)

User reviews

  • When looking for a venue for my mother in laws 50th, Bihari came out tops as we had a marvellous lunch there prior and it was halaal friendly. The manager catered to our every need allowing us to decorate a private section for our party of 30 with banners, balloons and a cake. The kitchen ensured we had a variety of starters from samoosas, tikka chicken kebabs and springrolls to mains of different curries like Rhogan Josh, Korma and breyani accompanied with Sambals, poppadoms and garlic pita breads served in beautiful dishes and trays. Coffee and tea was served while we sliced the cake and took pics with the birthday girl. Our young cousin was also treated to a one-on-one lesson with one of the chefs on bread making and the different ways of preparing curries depending on which region of India you hail from. Delicious food, made spicy to your preference with generous portions, Bihari is a great choice for any occasion
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  • We went to Bihari for supper last night. Despite all the bad reviews I'd read, we had a lovely time, and I think it's moved up to my top 3 indian places in Cape Town! Our waiter, who's name was Yogi, was very formal, but had a wicked sense of humour and was very attentive. We sat facing the kitchen, watching the chefs at work spinning naan dough and handling giant skewers of meat destined for the ovens. They have a lovely selection of wine and beer, and for starters we shared a Tandoor Paneer Tikka on a skewer. This was the best paneer we'd ever had. It was cooked to perfection, and the highlight of my meal. For mains we had Chicken Lababdar and Chicken Kadai. The Lababdar was a bit too sweet, but otherwise delicious. The garlic naan straight out of the tandoor oven was mouth-watering, and the suggested red wine complemented our mains perfectly. Quite pricy, probably on par with Bakhara in town, but well worth it, and we will be back for sure!
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  • We recently celebrated a birthday at Bihari and what a pleasant surprise after all the negative comments. The birthday girl had been there before and chose the restaurant because she liked the food and the atmosphere. The service was attentive and the advice given well informed. I'm not an expert on Indian food but enjoyed my medium seafood curry and everybody else was very happy with their meal. We'll certainly be back.
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  • I would rather go to the Indian Chapter in Blouberg or The Raj In Camps Bay, both about 20km away from me, than Bihari which is 1km away from where I stay.

    Terrible service. I wrote a complaint on their feedback form but have had no follow up at all.

    Food was below average at best.
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  • My wife and I were looking forward to visiting Bihari for the the first time, as we hadn't been to an upmarket North Indian Cuisine restaurant cuisine restaurant in the Southern Suburbs. So a table for 2 was booked.


    When we arrive we waited (as did another 3 couples) too long at the unwelcoming reception area - dull, without flowers or a sparkling hostess. We were shown to an over-lit table with down-lights in the deep end of the restaurant and forgotten about. Eventually, I found the hostess and we were moved to a table facing the kitchen.

    We eventually placed our order after being served a carafe of red wine, when white was ordered. My wife had a kulfi, which was enjoyable.

    She had Afgani (sp) Lamb, which was 5, almost meatless, grilled mutton chops, served in an unappealling grey yoghurty sauce with finely-chopped onions. (R150). Her verdict: An awful dish. The Basmati rice was nice, though!

    Mine was Chicken Tikka (R105), over-cooked and dry cubed pieces from the tandoor. I've had very much better at take-away and food court spots! We ordered Vegetable Pakoda (R55) to accompany our meals. It was a bland looking heap of unidentifiable mixed vegetables, mainly potato - I think - in a poorly-spiced fried in chana flour. Dry and bland.

    All the food was poorly-presented on earthenware platters and unattractive to the eye. Where were the lovely and traditional Indian metal pots?

    We couldn't wait to leave after paying R450, including undeserved 10 % tip to non-Indian waitress, who didn't have a clue about the (so-called) cuisine.

    NEVER AGAIN! Over-priced and simply awful "North Indian Cuisine"! Defiinitely not "The Finest North Indian Cuisine", as stated at the top of the Bihari menu!

    A "ONE STAR" rating for Bihari is actually overly-generous.

    Bukhara in the City is much, much better (actually superb!) and the 5% higher cost is well worth it!

    Bihari? BE WARNED!

    I remain shocked as to just HOW BAD that establishment is!
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  • Accepts credit cards
  • Accommodation
  • Alfresco
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Functions
  • Halaal friendly
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair

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