Darbaar in Broadgate launch
Tucked away on the ground floor of Broadgate Quarter, Abdul Yaseen’s latest concept suffers from the asphyxiation of low ceilings and unimaginative décor. Claustrophobia is heightened in the bar area, where unflattering overhead lighting is reminiscent of drinking in someone’s parents’ kitchen. Fortunately, the main dining area offers much more headroom, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a massive open-air kitchen boasting a wood-fired oven in the foreground to bolster the much-needed illusion of space.
The standout offering of the night is the Tandoori Salmon Tikka with Kokum Berries and Chilli, which is perfectly cooked, luscious and with a delightfully bombastic seasoning. The sweetness of what appears to be gulab jamun is perfectly accentuated with a tangy passion fruit cream. Kerala Spiced Shrimp has the potential to become a crowd-pleasing favourite with its rich, elegantly layered curry sauce; however, one would hope that Darbaar will be serving proper shrimp and not measly pre-packaged and pre-cooked specimens by the time people are actually paying for this dish.
It is also disappointing that cocktails ceased so early in the evening. Though the restaurant offers an extensive wine list, beer enthusiasts will find no haven here as Cobra and Coors Light are the only selections on tap.
This poorly planned launch is unsuccessful at generating excitement about the restaurant’s grand opening. The food is good, but in a city saturated with higher-end, more sophisticated Indian restaurants, Darbaar houses nothing groundbreaking or even anything that would warrant repeat business.
To book a table at Darbaar, 1 Snowden Street, Broadgate, West London EC2A 2DQ, call 020 7422 4100 or visit here.