Darbar Fine Indian Cuisine, located in a cosy alcove marked by grand sandstone bricks among the myriad of eateries along Glebe Point Road, is a little pocket of India in Sydney’s Inner West.
On the day we visit, a busload of Indians stops by; they hop off and filter into the restaurant, lining up for a full buffet spread set up by the restaurant. As they happily tuck into their curry and rice, we know immediately that we’ve come to the right place.
Dosa is an Indian pancake-style dish made from rice flour, served here as an entrée filled with a spiced lamb mince. The golden brown dosa is cooked to a crisp, so wonderfully thin that it almost shatters when we cut into it. Although it’s not filled to the brim, the lamb mixture is incredibly tasty, even better when paired with the warm lentil soup and tomato and coconut chutneys which come on the side.
Long strands of fragrant basmati are perfect for dousing in thick, rich curry gravy. The triad of colours adds a little something special, as does the fried shallot and coriander garnish.
Darbar’s version of perhaps the most popular Indian curry hits the spot. It’s aromatic, rich and almost velvet-like in flavour and texture, the sauce lightly laced with spice and a touch of sweetness. The chicken is grilled on the tandoor, which adds an extra dimension of charred flavour.
Lamb Shanks Hyderabadi
With its deeply alluring, deep brown gravy, this curry is not for the faint hearted. It is noticeably spicier than the butter chicken, with a smooth but slightly sharp flavour which is very different to your typical creamy lamb korma or rogan josh. Some lamb pieces could be tenderer, and watch out for the shank bones hidden in the thick dark sauce.
There are small pieces of eggplant in this dish rather than a whole baby eggplant as on the menu. Aside from the small piece of bamboo skewer we found in one of the pieces, it was a tasty change from other cream or tomato-based curries. Made from a paste of ground cashews and peanuts, the gravy has a slightly coarse, thick texture which is delicious.
This bread is not as fluffy or chewy as some other naans we’ve had before, but it does have those trademark puffed blister marks. Just what you need to mop up all that curry sauce.
The menu at Darbar spans far and wide to branches of Indian cuisine not as well-known to today’s dining audience, enabling adventurous diners to try dishes a little out of their comfort zone.
Darbar Fine Indian Cuisine
134 Glebe Point Road,
Glebe, NSW 2037
Contributed by Maddie Kwong, who dined as a guest on behalf of 2 Hungry Guys