I have been to Shahi Darbar a few times before I could really write about Vegetarian Food, a cuisine which has a very little relevance for meat or fish lover like me. This was a bit overwhelming for me because of my orientation which is bent towards non-vegetarian food and when the invite came to me I wasn’t prepared for the surprise.
The girls really looked surprise after reading out the menu.
The menu for us was not only extensive but everything seemed scrumptious and we just couldn’t wait to explore the chef’s culinary skills. I was also amazed that they suggested to us we pair our wine with Chinese Bhel, which was the first dish out of the kitchen.
Now, if you ask me, I have never had wine and Chinese Bhel as combination and when the chef suggested us this, I was a little surprised and had my own reservations. And when I did, I realized that it indeed was paired correct and glad that I went by the expert advice. Somethings are better left for the experts.
The wine came in right on time.
If I have to describe the place then I would choose to point out that the place is tastefully done and well lit. I am very particular about restaurants making their place well lit, especially over the table where one can actually see whatever they are eating. So full points to Shahi Darbar for this.
Paneer Tikka with chutney and dips.
One thing that we must not negate is the fact that Vegetarian Cuisine has every texture, every flavour and every aroma that can beat any other non-vegetarian cuisine any given day in time, and so by the time tikkas came in I was already dumbfounded exploring the remarkable delicacies.
Mawa Cheese Kebab.
This was one starter that made me a little conscious especially about its richness and calorie laddened platter. But again when it comes to great food and eating out, I keep such healthy thoughts at bay. The mawa added to a subtle sweetness and the sour cream dip did compliment the dish but however, I missed a hot/spicy chutney along with it for that balance.
Always compliment the chef if you love the food
I try to do that always and somehow it inspires me a lot to speak to the food heros. They come with such motivation to feed everyone is always a phenomenal experience and hence I try and meet the man behind the highly motivated team in the kitchen. A little compliment does put that huge smile.
And the wine flowed and so did our conversations.
Discussing about how the place has come up, I have been here many times and I have always noticed that the tables are always full be it a weekday or a weekend. This speaks volumes about a place and probably a thousand words would not do any justice. I have always maintained the fact that the place is motivated to the brim to showcase vegetarian cuisine to everyone in Guwahati who seeks good food in true sense. Their regular food festivals showcasing culture and cuisine is one such example.
The maincourse showcase
The main course was a display of yet again the truly exotic array of interesting dishes that lined up for us to savour. From Paneer Malai Piyaz to Rajwado Kofta and from Lahori Paneer to Bharwan (Stuffed) Paneer, was a very interesting combination.
A table filled with love and laddened with goodness.
The food was set for us and each dish stood out. Everything that was placed infront of us, I thought had character and was very intense. The kulchas and the misi ki roti for me were winners, hands down. The Daal Makhni was spot on and hence a 10 on 10 from my side. The creaminess, thr flavour and the intensity were just out of the world. I am coming back for more and one more bowl of daal makhani.
Vivek, we wish you all the very best. Keep going keep feeding.
Hospitality Industry is on a boom and every day the cityscape changes and so does the eating culture. The city is developing its palette and we are ready to absorb the changes. I always speak of ethical hospitality and a very few restaurants and eating places have maintained that and whoever is feeding patrons keeping these ethics in mind have gone the distance. Food cannot be compromised and neither can we jeopardise public health. Young entrepreneurs like Vivek and his team have a huge responsibility to shoulder upon and our trip to Shahi Darbar has given us hope that they for sure will make their mark.
Cheers!! A few very happy souls returned home.
Ambience and Hospitality: Spot on
Toilets: clean/separate for male and female.
Food: Vegetarian (Chinese and Indian)
Alcohol: They have a private, well stocked Bar.
S.R.C.B Road, Fancy Bazar.
SOURCES: Guwahatifoodguide by Sanjukta Dutta