Shaheed Bhagath Singh Marg
Near Regal Cinema
Mumbai 400 039
Tel : 2202 5656, 2202 0235, 2284 8231
I first heard about Delhi Darbar in December 2002. Upper Crust Magazine had done a review of Jafferbhai & the Delhi Darbar chain of restaurants. They called it the Ultimate Biryani experience in Mumbai. The article was so well written & the pictures so tantalising, that I knew I just HAD to eat at this place on my next trip to Mumbai.
Unfortunately, never had the time on all my short trips to eat at Delhi Darbar. Then when I moved to Mumbai, the brothers had already split & Jafferbhai had started his own Chain called "Jafferbhai's Delhi Darbar" this kind of split me in 2. Should I eat at the original or eat at Jafferbhai's version ? TO be truthful the article had raved about Jafferbhai's contribution to the quality and the taste. Jafferbhai had even quoted that "Any of my chefs who leave & try to replicate my recipes anywhere, have never been able to" A kind of a curse on the disgruntled employee.
Anyway after prevaricating quite a bit. I had the occassion to land up at Regal Circle for the Eternal Gandhi Interactive Exhibition at Sir Cowasji Jahangir Public Hall. So we decided to have lunch at Delhi Darbar.
The place was neat & clean with air conditioning. I later learnt that their grant road branch had less ambience & more atmosphere. Waiters were polite & helpful.
The Jal Jira at 17/- was good & allowed you to adjust the sourness by squeezing in as much lime as you liked. The fresh lime soda was 35/-/ We started out with some Shami Kabab's at 47/- for 3 pieces, it was extremely reasonable. For the first time, I saw a waiter who believed in equitable distribution. There were 2 of us at the table & 3 pieces of kebabs (like cutlets). He served us one kebab each & then without blinking an eyebrow, neatly sliced the third down the centre & served us half a piece each. Greater waiters at larger hotels sometimes serves the man the "extra" piece believing they have a greater appetite I suppose. At the posher eating joints, they diplomatically leave the uneven no. of pieces on the serving plate at the centre of the table, leaving you to fight with your dining partners "You have it" "No, you have it" A classic "Pehle Aap" situation. This was a novel & extremely pleasant experience. The taste was good too.
Sunday special was the Rogan Josh-110/- Mutton Biryani was 92/- and loaded with meat & fragrant flavorful rice. We have been eating a lot of Mutton & Fish when we dine out these days, just to be on the safer side. You have to order the raita (21/) seperately if you would like some. The roomalis were 17/- each and were the thinnest & lightest ones I have tried since over 3 years. I think Chandigarh was the only place where they were comparable.
We ended with a Falooda (53) and Phirni (35) which were just what we needed to forego all further physical activity & rush home for a good nap.
Please add a VAT of 12.5% to all prices quoted. But to put it in perspective this wonderful heavy Indian repast for 2, came to about 550/- bucks. Quite a steal for the quality & ambience.
The Mughlai food is good. They have daily specials. One in chicken & one in mutton. There is a special Arab menu at this location which tones down the chilli. Hence this place is supposedly a favorite where the Middle Eastern crowd is comfortable dining at and where they can bring their womenfolk along too.
Now I have to visit Jafferbhai's and compare the 2.