Abdul Yaseen of Cinnamon Club and Cinnamon Kitchen fame, has branched out on his own and with a real bang! He has opened a 120 cover restaurant with a dedicated cocktail bar catering for up to 70 guests, Chef's Table for 10 and a private dining room for 20; that's a lot of guests! Darbaar’s cuisine will take its inspiration from the many diverse regions of India, whilst the cooking with traditional clay ovens and large charcoal Robata grill will lend a sense of theatre to the restaurant. The menu will feature healthy grills, street tapas, spit roasts, biryani and Royal Indian gravies with artisan bread.
Broadgate West, 1 Snowden Street, The City, London, EC2A 2DQ
Darbaar Picture Gallery
All In London Review
Indian cuisine at an unhurried and relaxed pace
First impressions were excellent. There are friendly hostesses to greet you at a reception desk and I peeked through to a beautifully decorated and buzzing with activity large bar area. She took me in the other direction to a vast dining area which was all sleek dark wood, smart tile floors and minimalist, elegant décor. There are fabulous upside down lotus light decorations and sweeping green velvet curtains which can no doubt be used to create private dining areas. At 7pm there were a few groups of City workers – and as the evening wore on it got extremely busy.
The waiting staff were delightful when we arrived and we were well attended. We ordered tap water and a glass each of white wine – which was excellent (prices were reasonable ranging from £4.50 to £6.50 a glass). I admired the gold crossed swords on the flatware.
The menu is extensive. There are light bites (£4-£8.50), a range of grill and tandoori dishes (£8 - £28) and curries (£16-£23). But what caught my eye were the range of set menus with exotic names such as Daawat (£40 pp and four courses), Darbaar (£55 pp) and Maharaje (£65 pp).
There were numerous vegetarian options as you would expect. There’s also an Express Lunch Café menu with popular dishes ranging from £4-£8.
We started with a selection of tandoori starters – presented on an elevated platter with a small dish of sauce. The chicken was amazing – tender and infused with lemon and appropriately blackened. The salmon was my favourite. The sheek kebab had more than a chilli kick. I’m not keen on cheese paneer but my companion declared it good. So we were off to a good start.
There was a bit of a wait for our main course. The butter chicken sauce was creamy. The black daal had a good texture. The pilau rice was fluffy. The garlic naan was crispy. It was all good but not sensational. Portion sizes were modest.
We finished with kulfi for my companion and I had a dark chocolate confection. Lovely presentation and good flavours. Surprisingly, I was not overfull at the end of the meal which often happens when eating Indian food.
Whilst the food was beautifully prepared and of high quality, nothing stood out like every dish does at the Cinnamon Club. It was an extremely good quality Indian restaurant but not stand-out. And it seemed that there were insufficient serving staff for the number of guests – we were not asked if we wanted another drink and even our water glasses were not topped up. Service was pretty slow – although I guess in the evening some might like this unhurried and relaxed pace.
Reviewed by KimT
Published on Nov 21, 2016
In The News
We chat to winner of the BBQ championships Darbaar's Abdul Yaseen and nab a recipe from him!
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