Delhi Darbar lives up to the hype

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the immediate impression given on entering Delhi Darbar is one of comforting reassurance.

This Karama outlet is, after all, part of a chain that has gained a gleaming reputation for dishing up flawless Mughal cuisine to exiled north Indians both on the corners of the globe. And, having sampled the wares on a recent visit to Mumbai, I was eager to see if Dubai’s branch hit the mark with the same reliability.

Therefore it was with gleeful anticipation rather than grim determination that I canned a Monday night of couch-bound activities to venture into the sweaty heart of the city’ most vibrant curry quarter.

As we approached the restaurant, my dining partner informed of her flatmate’s devotion to its delivery services and her vocal brand of butter chicken evangelism. The moment the door was opened we were greeted by bags filled with fragrant goodies that confirmed these fevered proclamations and made us even more impatient to sample the wares for ourselves.

Eschewing the slightly mundane list of starters, we moved straight to the main attractions. The first victim of our Olympian appetites (bar, course, the obligatory opener of poppadums and pickles) was a giant platter of Bihari kabaab, which proved to be everything we had hoped for. The tender, yielding meat was uplifting enough, but it was the deep flavour of marinade and the smoky touches imbued by the tandoori oven that really sealed the deal.

The wet dishes that we splashed over our rice were equally revelatory. My butter chicken was every bit as momentous as prior hype had promised – chunks of meat bathed in a fiery, yet comforting gravy replete with fresh coriander tones – while the rich dal makhani and the alu gobhi made redoubtable partners in crime to the meaty creations.

Karama, opposite the Karama postoffice (04 334 7171). Open daily 12 noon-12midnight. All major credit cards accepted.

Time out reviews all restaurants anonymously and pays for meals

The bill for Two

1 x Bihari Kabab Dhs24
1 x Butter chicken (half portion) Dhs23
1 x Alu gobhi Dhs14
1 x Dal makhani Dhs12
1 x Plain rice Dhs8
2 x Chapati Dhs4
1 x Garlic naan Dhs5
2 x Papadum Dhs3
1 x Sweet lassi Dhs9
1 x Mango lassi Dhs24
1 x Bihari Kabab Dhs24
1 x Bihari Kabab Dhs10
1 x Bihari Kabab Dhs24
1 x Bihari Kabab Dhs24
1 x Bihari Kabab Dhs24
1 x Large mineral water Dhs4

This article appeared in Time Out Dubai – July 2008.