Dig Desi Food

Ambika Shaligram
Friday, 3 May 2019

The Darbar — The Royal Treat, off S B Road, offers pan-India favourites in meat, fish and veggie preparations

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Shivaji Housing Society, Darbar — The Royal Treat, is a perfect place to relish desi fare, in desi settings, with your big fat family. Started two years ago in December 2017 by Sushant Wavare, in a parking lot now converted and redesigned into a restaurant, it offers pan-Indian favourites like Diwani Handi, Kumbh (Mushoom) Masala), Malai Kofta in vegetarian and Darbar Special Murg, Reshmi Butter Chicken, Bhoona Gosht and Gosht Kheema in non-vegetarian. The place also offers fish preparations all year round and Chinese dishes like noodles, fried rice, soups and starters.

“I was into catering before starting this restaurant. My mother too did catering, so I had got hands-on training in cooking and delivery of food,” says Wavare. That explains the homely touch in the food he serves us. 

“We spent quite some time in researching food preparation and the masalas. My mother helped me in this, and so did my sister. We have standardised the measurements of the ingredients and the cooking procedure. Plus, we have gone to great lengths to procure fresh stock used in non-vegetarian preparation and also in veggie meals,” he adds. 

The Paneer Peshawari we were served vouched for his words. Soft, succulent, the paneer melted right away in the mouth. So did the Kumbh (Mushroom) Tikka, which is a great option for vegetarians. The onion topping and raw tomatoes on the side with the layer of masalas were just right for our palate. 

The restaurant which has nine tables, is often visited by youth and families living in the neighbourhood. Wavare has also reached out to corporate companies, supplying food to their canteen, or catering for private events like baby shower, birthday, engagement, family gatherings and so on.

“We have combo offers which are grabbed by youngsters. But our focus is mainly on families because this neighbourhood doesn’t have family eating joints, except the very high-end one. Besides the sit-down restaurant, we also have take-away facility and we also cater to private events,” says Wavare, who has also tied up with food ordering apps like Zomato and Food Panda. 

The restaurant does brisk business of non-vegetarian dishes, especially their Chicken Dum Biryani and Murg Tandoori Lollypop. “We have a tandoor in which most of our preparations are made. Tandoori Lollypop is not usually found on menu, but that’s our USP.  The expensive item on our menu is Raan Kebab, which is for Rs 1200. Food connoisseurs will definitely enjoy this one. Of course, we need to be informed in advance so that we can keep it ready. It needs a few hours to be cooked,” Wavare’s sister, Rutuja, tells us. 

The fish preparations are also a favourite amongst the patrons. “Along with Chicken Biryani, our Prawn Biryani is also in big demand. We also have baby Surmai (King Mackerel) preparation in tandoor. Other preparations like Tandoori Prawns Tikka, Tandoori Pomfret are made in oven, as the name suggests. So they are quite healthy and perfect for health-conscious patrons,” she adds.

Another USP is Masala Naan, which is made in the tandoor and the special, grounded masala is spread over it. This can be eaten with Paneer Kasturi or with Murg Darbar Special, a dish with two gravies. In non-vegetarian starters, we relished Murg Mamuni, a dish comprising chicken breast stuffed with chicken kheema. Baked in the tandoor, the chicken was slightly tough to bite into but the masalas made it a lip-smacking delicacy. We were also recommended Murg Maharaj, which is garnished with Anda Roll. 

Their dessert section too is delectable with Shahi Tukda, Gulab Jamun, Rabdi and Gajar Halwa. The gulab jamuns were served in an earthen pot, sprinkled with rose water and shavings of almond and cashewnuts. Truly, a royal treat!

Darbar — The Royal Treat, in Shivaji Housing Society, is open from noon-4 pm and 7-11 pm. The take-away facility is open till 1 am

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