Located unassumingly behind the Glenmore Inn lies a culinary oasis. Owned by a mild mannered Bengali, a chef himself, Delhi Darbar serves up classical Indian fare with a south Indian twist. The restaurant is cozy and decor simple. The menu is not overwhelming and caters to vegetarians, non-vegetarians and the spice averse with mild, medium or hot options available with most dishes.
The beef kebab with a simple salad and yoghurt dip is perfectly spiced as an appetizer and the hint of coriander leaves the palate primed. As a vegetarian option, the pakoras with a mild and sweet tamarind sauce as accompaniment, are also exceptional with a “melt in your mouth” consistency. The lassis are typical and serve as a slightly inadequate complement to an otherwise exceptional meal.
As main courses were served, the common Indian dishes (read butter chicken) are at another level compared to most places, but the crème de la crème are from the chef’s favourites:
The pride of Goa, a vegetarian dish consisting of egg plant as the primary ingredient surprises and excites.
Lamb Chettinad is a personal favourite, with soft boneless lamb in a sauce infused with coconut milk. The saffron rice and naan complete this wonderful dish.
The lady fingers (okra) or the palak (spinach) dishes offer a most authentic vegetarian option.
The other chef’s favourites are all worth a try and for the spicy food lovers the “madras” options will challenge.
A wide variety of naans and steamed rice options are available. Although the naans are exceptional and freshly baked, they don’t differ much from each other and one would not gain from experimenting. The steamed rice options are difficult to explore as the fragrance of saffron is hard to pass up. Biriani options are available too.
The mango kulfi cools as you wind down. The all too common gulab jamun and kheer (rice pudding) are also available and are not without taste but the cooling effect of mango kulfi is a fitting end.
Delhi Darbar can be slow with the service at times but it’s always worth the wait!
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