Delhi Darbar claims to be Panaji’s “leading Mughlai restaurant”. Recent newspaper adverts have publicised a ‘Biryani festival’ in the month of November . With the aroma of basmati rice and thick, luscious biryani almost wafting out of the newsprint, we decided to pay them a visit.
At about 8 pm, the restuarant was occupied mainly by foreigners. We were shown to our seats and handed their giant menu with a miniature Mughal painting on the cover. The main menu did not make any mention of the biryani festival so I asked the waiter about it.
He then brought a table menu which grandly proclaimed the Festival (with four biryanis listed below) and in bigger, bolder print gave details of the real festival. Sponsored by liquor companies, the restaurant had a ‘buy two, get one free’ offer on some alcohol, wines and soft-drinks. That, my dear friends, is what the festival is all about. The biryanis are the same as on the menu – no exciting additions there.
Disappointed (we should have gone to GoenChin or China Garden), we ordered a starter, a chicken biryani and a palak paneer + rotis. Depending on the portions, we’d decide whether to order more.
The portions, as it turned out, were ok. The rice came with a thick gravy and lukewarm raita. The options for vegetarians are limited, with just a few of the usual paneer / north-indian dishes available. The palak paneer was so-so. Three or four chunks of paneer floated in pureed spinach, heavily laced with cream. I’ve had better. For almost 200/- a plate, I would have expected a little more paneer cooked with a little more finesse.
Overall, I was disappointed with my first experience with Delhi Durbar in Goa. The advertising for the biryani festival was totally misleading and there was no such event going on. Perhaps the advertising council should look into it.
Overall experience : 2/5
Food : 2/5
Would I recommend the place /go there again ? No. You’re likely to get better quality & quantity with a take-away