This week, we visited Darbar India Grill located in Uptown Minneapolis. Darbar India Grill is a spacious restaurant with a bar and large seating area. If it weren’t for COVID-19, the restaurant would be a great place to celebrate an event or have a romantic date. Throughout the restaurant, colorful lights spread through the walls and ceilings and traditional statues decorated the walls, but there was still a modern feeling to the interior.
Darbar India Grill is a Northern Indian restaurant. We chose this restaurant because it was the first place Sandy ever tried Indian food. She used to work at BiteSquad in customer support and ate food from Darbar India Grill when the company provided dinner. The menu was affordable and had a large variety to choose from. We consulted one of our friends on what authentic Northern Indian dishes to order, and we chose: garlic naan, chicken curry, and lamb madrasi.
The chicken curry consisted of chunks of chicken and a curry sauce made of onion, garlic, tomato, and spices. The curry was quite flavorful - we enjoyed the garlic and the sauteed tomatoes. We chose our spice level to be “hot,” and that made the curry enjoyable to eat. The chicken was a little dry, but the flavorful sauce made up for this. They gave us a huge tin of rice, which we didn’t use completely but it was appreciated. We would have loved to have more curry sauce with the dish.
Garlic naan is a traditional flat bread with garlic, parsley, and butter. There were charred bubbles on the bread, which made the texture more interesting. We wished that this naan was baked more, as the bottom of the bread was still chewy. We also wanted a lot more butter and garlic - it was a little too chewy sometimes. Overall, their garlic naan was standard but we wished it was cooked longer and had more flavor.
Lamb madrasi is pan seared lamb pieces prepared with onion and tomatoes, seasoned with Indian spices and cilantro. The madrasi tasted similar to the curry in the chicken curry - but to be fair, madrasi is a type of curry. Sandy felt that the lamb meat was overpowering in taste and made the curry taste gamey. Paulina liked the lamb taste in the curry and thought it added a nice touch. Like the chicken curry, the lamb madrasi had great heat and the curry was super flavorful. When you ate the onion, you could especially taste the level of attention and care they put into the sauce. The lamb madrasi went well with the basmati rice.
Darbar India Grill has an extensive and affordable menu. The place is standard compared to other Indian restaurants in the Twin Cities. The food comes with sweet red chutney and a citrus green chutney, which other Indian places typically do not provide. The heat that comes with the food made it exciting to eat. If we went back, we could order it a notch spicier, even though we got the “hot” level this time. Overall, Darbar India Grill is a convenient spot to hit up if you’re in Uptown.