The harsh, spotlight lighting and sparse decoration at Lahori Nihaari don’t immediately make the place feel like somewhere to relax. But after a few minutes at the Upton Park restaurant, the squishy red booths and warm hospitality invite you to get comfortable, and the excellent Pakistani dishes will make you linger. Bright overhead light bounces off glossy, rich haleem. Make sure bhindi gosht or chicken is on your order too—whether you get it with chicken or lamb, the tender, stewed okra is a standout. Even if you don’t order dessert, the friendly owner may place a small portion of creamy kheer on your table. That’s just the kind of welcoming place Lahori Nihaari is. As each dish arrives and evenings wear on, the soundtrack of groups laughing, highchairs being dragged across the restaurant, and families chatting about their day gets louder. In other words, book ahead if you want to stake out one of those booths.
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