Monday, 2 December 2013

Persian Darbar, Mumbai, India (Alissa and Don Eat Asia Day 8)

Alissa was not in a good mood. She found Bandra's high density array of clothing stores a little overwhelming, and combined with the heat and humidity we needed to take a moment to settle before continuing with our shopping expedition. Thankfully, the air conditioned comfort of Persian Darbar was not far so we headed in for lunch a bit earlier than usual.

I first went to Persian Darbar 4 years ago. I find their menu bewilderingly long and comprehensive, and you would have to be a die hard connoisseur to describe what every curry is,so if you're looking to try something beyond the stock standard its best to ask. I can say however from what I've tried that I am particularly fond of their tandoori and tikka-based dishes, and as such we ordered the Tandoori Chicken and the Chicken Jalandhari Masala along with two serves of garlic naan. 

The barbecued bird was a good as I remember it – well seasoned and spicy, and having that delicious smokiness of being cooked in a tandoor while maintaining that wonderfully soft and juicy texture of the meat. This was a very good tandoori bird, far better than what we can get in Australia.

The curry we ordered was a recommendation of the waiter's, and he was on the money. I've not had a Jalandhari before, but it reminded me somewhat of Jhangiri, a specialty of Ambrai in Udaipur. After a bit of research, it would appear Jalandhari is named after the city of Jalandhar in the the Punjab and as such is presumably a specialty of the region. This was a rich and delicious dish – similar to a chicken tikka masala insofar as that the meat is cooked in a tandoor and the dish is tomato based, but all the better due to the addition of cashews and a more complex spice flavour. Eaten with garlic naan, this was an indulgent calorific lunch.

For dessert we ordered some kulfi. The was about what I would expect – nice cardamon spice combined with sweetness. I have a feeling that they brought this in from a seller outside, as the server seemed to disappear out the door of the venue and back in, so given that it was not particularly special I would suggest this is something that is worth skipping in the future.

The Verdict: Very Good
Given that it takes 45-60 minutes to get from Fort to Bandra, I only make the journey once per visit to Mumbai. When there, its good to know that old faithful Persian Darbar is there for a delicious tandoor meal.

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