Darbaar (Indian) – London
Having only recently opened, Indian fine-dining restaurant, Darbaar, has already caused heads to turn and mouths to salivate.
Located near Liverpool Street and Shoreditch, this huge 5,500 square foot venue is the brainchild of accomplished chef, Abdul Yaseen.
Having made his name working at Chef Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon Club and Cinnamon Kitchen for a decade, Abdul Yaseen went solo in November of last year to launch his first restaurant.
Having derived inspiration for its interior decor from the royal courts of India, Darbaar boasts a restaurant with a seating capacity of 220-covers, which also includes an interactive grill seating area, a 20-cover private dining room, and a chef’s table for up to 10 people.
The place is exquisitely designed in every respect.
With huge airy windows on one side, the restaurant is warmly lit which, coupled with the stylish dark, wooden furniture, lends an intimate atmosphere that immediately draws you in and makes you feel welcome.
It’s also worth noting that although Darbaar houses a 70-cover cocktail bar, this area is entirely separate to the restaurant with both located at opposite ends of the venue.
But, what we were looking forward to, with some anticipation we might add, was the:
AN INVITATION @ £35 PER PERSON
Chef recommends this menu to be ordered for the entire table to enhance their dining experience.
A menu that consists of the following four courses:
Light, More which includes ‘For the Table’, Sweet, and Chai.
What a stunningly attractive starter this Hariyali Date & Samosa Chaat was.
The crunch delivered by the potato stuffed samosa was covered by youghurt and what appeared to be a subtly flavoured Tamarind sauce.
As you work through this colourful delight, you’ll pick up hints of aniseed along with some varying levels of spice, that are tempered by the sweet hints delivered by the pomegranate seeds.
And by the time you put down your fork, you’ll feel the garam masala catch up with you too.
A plethora of flavours and textures is what made this dish a memorable one.
The mint sauce had a delicate flavour to it and an element we couldn’t quite put our finger on. Nevertheless, its cooling factor was needed to offset the heat generated by this finely minced and fragrant kebab.
As for the tandoori Salmon, then the mustard atop of the tikkas somewhat helped in tempering all that chili. Our only question would be: why so hot? Just seemed like a lot going on for such a delicate piece of fish. Having said that though, it was, flavour-wise, a challenging one.
Wonderful assortment of dishes here to leave you spoiled for choice.
The vibrantly looking Kadhai Spiced Paneer was beautifully soft and quite enticing. The lightly spiced, aniseedy tomato-base was delicious with the spices dancing across your tongue.
The star of the show though, certainly for one Lion, was the Kasturi Butter Chicken – “free-range tandoori chicken thighs simmered in silky tomato & Fenugreek sauce”. The first thing that came through with this dish was the tandoori-BBQ flavour of the succulent chicken, which was enveloped by an incredibly rich and silky smooth buttery sauce that had a lovely sheen to it. Utterly divine and one of the best buttered chickens we’ve had.
As for the delicately spiced Kaali Daal, then not only was it nice and buttery in consistency, but also had a hint of a lemony, tangy undertone. Very satisfying.
The naan bread was naan bread, and the Pilau Rice slightly al dente.
Not only was this dessert smartly presented, but extremely good too.
The soft and spongy Spiced Carrot Cake had layers of flavour to it with the carrot coming through gently to marry well with the citrus flavoured cream and lime zest.
As for the sweet and soft caramelised fig, then it was a good palate cleanser.
All in all, a lovely dessert.
This had to be the tastiest spiced tea we’ve ever had. Period!
It was strong; it was luxurious; the spices subtle. We held on to this small glass with both hands, slowly sipped and savoured it, and felt like kings in a darbaar!
Oh and the biscuit – almost forgotten amidst the enjoyment of the tea – had a good snap to it.
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
This place has pedigree, exudes class and confidence, and represents the achievements of a chef at the top of his game.
This needs to be visited, people; it really is that good.
Darbaar offers discounts to local businesses.
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1 Snowden Street,
London, EC2A 2DQ.
Mon-Friday – Lunch: 12:00-02:45
Mon-Sat – Dinner: 18:00-22:45
T: +44 (0)20 7422 4100 | W: www.darbaarrestaurants.com