Monday, September 10, 2007

Indian Darbar

The Empress and I dined in Appleton's newest Indian restaurant Indian Darbar. The link takes you to the directions to Taste of India restaurant, but that one closed and India Darbar is now opened in the same facility.

The Atmosphere

The atmosphere is Indian the artwork and the music make it so. The restaurant is suitably dim but not to bad. The furniture is functional and little more. They have stock tables for four and looked like a number of tables to seat six. Of course, if you have a larger party then the staff can put tables together.


The Bar

Indian Darbar must not refer to the bar. The bar is stocked with wines and beers but they do not have sufficient permission to also serve liquor. Of course, I am quite fond of ginnentonics before I dine so this was a disappointment. However, this is somewhat common for new ethnic restaurants. Full liquor licenses are rare and expensive. I order a glass of shiraz, no complaints it was a good wine.


May I Take Your Order

The service was so-so. We do not need help with deciding as The Empress and I are familiar with Indian cuisine and usually have a short list of items we like. The service was not so good though, I thought it slow.

The major problem I had with the waiter was when he took our order he did not ask for our desired spice levels. So, when my order came it failed to please my spice demanding palate. The appetizer relish had more spice than my entree.

After dinner I suggested to our waiter to ask the customer their desired level of spiciness and he thought I was going to complain about my dish being too spicey. I assured him the problem was the exact opposite. I understand the concern, but they should ask the customer and that way the customer can get it their way. After all, some like it hot, and some not.


The Food

Was good! They dinner started out with a couple of chutneys and papperdam bread. Those were good absolutely no complaints. The next round was the vegetable pakoras again no complaints I found them to be up to standard.

I ordered the lamb mushroom dish. I found the dish (as mentioned earlier) to be bland, but with waiter questioning they can get it up to my liking. Despite the blandness I thought the dish was good and will order it again. The mushrooms and pieces of lamb covered up in the sauce had you guessing as to what was going in. The accompanying rice was good and the nan bread was also excellent.

The Empress ordered the chicken briyani. I tasted it and found it be good, but The Empress complained it was too moist and the rice stuck together at least a bit. I like my briyani on the moist side and I was used to it being served with yogurt and another sauce which I would immediately pour on the dish to relieve it of hte dryness. The Empress also ordered the mango lassi drink and she complained the glass was small and the sweetness was too concentrated. She poured quite a bit of water into the drink (drinking it and pouring water into the drink) until the sweetness meshed with her tastes.


The Bottom Line

Considering the entire order the price was fairly reasonable.


Executive Summary

Overall, I liked Indian Darbar and it being a new restaurant I am sure they will improve on the items I ding them on. In fact, the other Indian restaurant suffers from the same defects.

The funny thing is, I met the owner last Wednesday night. I was at Maharajah Indian on Madison's West side and the manager and cook were taking a break. I struck up a conversation with them and when they found out I lived in Appleton the cook informed me he just opened a new restaurant in Appleton. So Malkeet, if you read this please don't take it too hard, just be sure the waitstaff and cook understand how spicey (or how NOT spicey) the customers want their dish!

Tallying up the scores: +6

I will go back to Indian Darbar but it is not compelling enough to make it my first choice of Indian Restaurants in town.