Darbar NYC Indian Restaurant
152 East 46th Street
New York, NY 10017
Darbar NYC Review:Lousy, Bland Food; Average ServiceDarbar Indian restaurant is like a trashy Bollywood movie - you know the ones with a poor beginning, a lousy middle and a stupid ending.
Located on East 46th St in Midtown East in Manhattan, Darbar restaurant serves some of the most tasteless Indian curries we've had the misfortune to eat in the Big Apple.
Awful Goa Fish CurryAn eggregious insult to Indian cuisine, Darbar's food defies the most robust appetite.
Our meal began on an offputting note with Goa Fish Curry (fish cooked in coconut and cream sauce). Goa Fish Curry is a hot, tangy and delicious curry. One of our favorites, the Goan Fish Curry goes very well with rice. We have enjoyed Goa Fish Curry at several places and gravitate towards it when we see it on the menu.
It's safe to say that Darbar's chef wouldn't recognize real Goan Fish Curry if it hit him on the face. It was that bad. Served in a watery gravy, this spice-less impostor was bland with not even a semblance of taste. Perhaps the Darbar kitchen was scrimping on Red Chillies, Coconut Milk, Tamarind and Turmeric, all of the key ingredients that give the Goan fish Curry its heavenly taste.
Bad Tandoori ChickenIf we were disappointed with the Goa Fish Curry, we were mortified by Darbar's Tandoori Chicken. Overcooked in the Tandoor (Indian clay oven), the Tandoori Chicken was burnt with ugly patches of black spots.
Clearly, Darbar is a restaurant wannabe that seems to be coasting along with an "anything goes" attitude.
After tasting a few items, we discovered that Darbar's chef was an equal opportunity offender - he inflicts the same degree of damage on both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food.
Pathetic Vege EntreesMutter Paneer, Pav Bhaji and Mixed Vegetable Kurma were pathetic and a complete negation of Indian cooking. Their primary problem was they were so inadequately spiced that there was no possibility of any flavor in them. Oddly, the Mixed Vegetable Kurma had a slightly sweetish taste.
Chikken Tikka and Goat Curry were absolutely horrendous that to linger any further on these abominations would be an utter waste of readers' time.
Garlic NaanSince Garlic Naan is one of our favorite Indian bread items, we ordered it pronto at Darbar. We so liked the first Garlic Naan that we ordered a second. Big mistake because the second piece arrived partially cooked. Is it that hard for Darbar's kitchen to send out a fully cooked Garlic Naan?
With a sweet tooth that even the onset of Diabetes hasn't been able to curb, we ventured into dessert territory.
Lousy DessertsGajar Halwa was so pitiful that we couldn't believe it came out of an Indian kitchen. The Vanilla ice cream that accompanied the Gajar Halwa was as bad. With a raw taste and lacking in sugar, Gajar Halwa at Darbar probably tasted worse than the Russian Gulag food at the height of the Stalinist era.
One of the Darbar waiters volunteered that the desserts are prepared every Friday and that the Kulfi is procured from outside.
The second dessert we tried - cold Kheer (rice pudding) - was a lot better.
ServiceService is an afterthought at Darbar. Our Nepali waiter Gyan plonked a plate of Plain Naan on our table that an elderly diner rejected because it had too much butter. As we looked in shock, another waiter whisked by and snatched it off our table with a "you ordered Garlic Naan, right?"
Our meal ended as it began - on a bitter note - with our first sip of the Darbar Masala Tea, the vilest concoction that ever touched our lips.