Snowden Street, EC2A 2DQ
WHAT? A smart and upmarket new solo venture from a former Cinnamon Club head chef, Darbaar is an Indian fine dining restaurant with a menu of contemporary dishes inspired by the fancy banquets of the Indian Royal Court.
WHERE? A five minute stroll from Liverpool Street station, on the ground floor of the Broadgate Quarter.
WHO? Abdul Yaseen was one of the founders of chic Indian diner Cinnamon Club (and later Cinnamon Kitchen), where he spent ten years before making his solo debut here. At Darbarr he continues to work with British influences and palate-confoundingly inventive reimaginings of classic Indian dishes.
ORDER THIS… The star main here is the raan, a slow-roasted pile of Kentish lamb that sits inside a perimeter of rich onion gravy like a proud and meaty king. The lamb is punchy and succulent – you’ll want to let it hang out on your tongue for ages – but it’s still dry enough to crumble into gorgeously stringy pieces.
BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? There’s a private dining space for groups of up to 20 that offers its own chef’s table, otherwise the main dining room is a formal and spacious enough affair for a business meet. There’s counter seating all along the open kitchen too, if sitting side by side is one of your power plays.
NEED TO BOOK? With covers for 220, you’ll likely be able to walk in on a lunchtime whim. For dinner and weekends, it’s recommended you book at darbaarrestaurants.com
THE VERDICT… The decor is a cold reminder that you’re sitting in the glassy foot of an office block, but the food is sublime. Darbaar’s heritage as a Cinnamon spin-off is apparent in every course.
ONE MORE THING… The bar offers a huge wine list, but for something sweeter look to their selection of spice-infused cocktails.