Chicken Popstick / Fish Pakora / Poha Ka Chat / Samosa / Tamarind Chutney
Braised Goat Korma / Chicken Tikka Masala / Vegetable Pulao
Creamy Spinach and Chickpeas / Roasted Eggplant in Yogurt Sauce / Chana Dal / Basmati Rice
Moong Dal Payasam
Rebranded from Habib’s in July of 2018, Shiraz Restaurant has been slow to gather a following despite Chef Jainine Jaffer’s talents, the lack of a daytime Buffet akin to so many other local Indian eateries likely part of the reason and something owner Raja Majid seemingly hoped to overcome when announcing a weekend AYCE with Bottomless Mimosas thirteen months after opening.
Still a class-act for catering, and amongst the most attractive Off-Strip Restaurants in town as relates to décor, it is beginning at 11am Saturdays and Sundays that an “Indian and Persian Buffet with Bottomless Mimosas” is advertised for $20, though a complete dearth of patrons over the first hour suggests the message has failed to circulate.
Still new, the fact that Chef Jaffer and her team had been catering a week-long event in Washington making this only the Buffet’s second week, it was with no one at the hostess podium that confusion ensued on entry, a lone waiter eventually emerging from the back and presenting “a menu if you want Persian Food, or the Indian Buffet for $20.”
Never once offered a Beverage beyond Water, and opting for the Buffet after brief perusal, it was only after a sous-Chef setting up an Omelet Station suggested it that Naan was delivered fresh from the kitchen, Chef Jainine later taking a short break to describe hers and the staff’s Saturday offerings.
Most certainly different from other Buffets in town, though a lack of Persian options seemed strange considering the advertisement posted on Social Media, it was progressing right to left that Eggs and Salad were passed in favor of more unique offerings, the Chicken “Popstick” moist and flavorful while fried options including Fish Pakora and tiny Samosas competed for attention with a steamed Rice Street Food known as Poha Ka Chat.
Maintaining balanced flavors across the spread, bright aromatics prevailing with light heat found in both the Poha and Daal, plate two consisted of a scoop of Chickpeas atop Basmati Rice plus a bowl of tender Eggplant, the entirely vegetarian round finishing with blended Spinach and Chickpeas that tasted a lot like Saag Paneer but with more heterogeneous consistency.
Also offering Bone-in Goat Korma with a bounty of Cinnamon, and Chicken Tikka Masala that compares favorably to any in town, the Buffet concluded with two Desserts, first Chef Jaffer’s Besan Barfi that eats a lot like Fudge with Gram Flour, Ghee and Nuts standing in for Chocolate followed by two bowls of Vegan Moong Dal Payasam featuring tiny Lentils, Sugar, Coconut and Cardamom.
THREE STARS: Despite Instagramming kitschy quotes about Brunch without Booze being a “sad breakfast,” Shiraz sat empty save for one guest on Saturday from 11am until noon…and he was never once made aware of the Mimosas available, nor did he see a bite of Persian Food…or receive an offer for more Naan when the first four quarters were finished. Sure the Food from Chef Jaffer was enjoyable and not the usual items seen on Indian Buffets, but considering a price $8-10 more than other places putting out a larger spread one wonders how exactly Shiraz is to gain a foothold in such a competitive market.
RECOMMENDED: Chicken Popstick, Samosas, Tamarind Chutney, Chicken Tikka Masala, Moong Dal Payasam.
AVOID: The Food was fine, but a lack of informed service, limited options and $25 tab with tax & tip make this Buffet a debatable value unless drinking.
TIP: See Shiraz’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ShirazLasVegas for an upcoming list of events as the Buffet was cancelled on 10/12-10/13. For catering, Email the Restaurant directly or take a look at EZCater for added convenience.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.