New experiences can bring new loves, and the first time I ate Indian food I knew it was love. Shahenshah Diner captures the essence of India. The smells, the sounds and the tastes come together in an ambience that is India.
Formally known as Metropolis Diner, Shahenshah offers many of the same dishes. It is still serving Greek and Mediterranean foods, but new management added Indian food to the menu.
When walking in either of the two entrances, be prepared for some exotic music. One of the waitresses will assist you in finding a seat. There are about a dozen tables and five booths in the dining room. However, some tables are taken away on the weekends to make room for the belly dancers.
Don't get distracted by the belly dancers - you still have to order. The menu has a wide range of foods from three different cultures. How do you choose with such a variety? Really it's whatever you're in the mood for at the time. I was feeling like some Indian while my mother was in the mood for a Greek salad.
After you order, you can sit back and allow the mood to really sink in. You can listen to traditional music, and if you come on a Friday or Saturday night you can see a belly dancer, who might even perform at your table.
An alternative to the normal table and chairs is an exciting meal amongst the pillows. By reservation only, you eat seated on pillows and cushions, surrounded by brightly colored curtains. This special room can make anyone feel like an Arabian princess.
Once the food arrived I was ready to eat. My chicken Tikka Masala had no absence of flavor. I chose my spice level at medium, but if you're sensitive to spiciness then choose the mild. I always order naan with my curry, and this time was no exception. Naan can come in many different ways. You can get your naan with garlic, stuffed with coconut, raisins and cashews, or you can just get it plain. A good Indian appetizer is pakora, which are vegetable fritters. My mother's Greek salad was huge and packed with feta cheese. It wasn't my taste. I'm not much of a feta fan, but to each their own.
Shahenshah does not currently serve alcohol. They also have ceased the use of the always entertaining hookah.
For dessert, the restaurant offers an assortment of chocolate cakes which they keep in a refrigerated observatory. I'm convinced it's kept in plain sight to torture us until dessert time. My favorite dessert at Shahenshah would be the mango ice cream. And it is exactly what it sounds like, mango-flavored ice cream.
Another way to end the meal could be with a coffee or an Indian tea. The chai adds a very unique flavor.
No matter how you end your meal at Shahenshah, the experience will be an exciting and unique one. With pillows, music, good food and even a few belly dancers, what isn't there to love?
2028 Watson Blvd., Warner Robins
Phone: (478) 322-3737
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
Children's menu: No
Vegetarian selections: Yes
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Noise level: Medium
Smoking policy: No smoking
Latest health code rating: 81