Text Size


Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2014 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Darbar Indian Cuisine

Darbar BuffetWhat is it about Indian restaurants in Lake Mary? They just can’t seem to do as well as their counterparts farther south. First it was a Lake Mary outpost of Memories of India, the Bay Hill Plaza restaurant that has won numerous Foodie Awards for its fine food. But when it opened another restaurant to the north, it was as if there were no communication between the two, especially in the basics of preparing Indian cuisine.

Now there’s Darbar, a restaurant that serves many recognizable Indian dishes that manage to be absolutely devoid of any characteristic spicing of flavors usually associated with that vibrant cuisine.

Longtimers will recognize the name Darbar as that of one of the area’s earliest Indian restaurants, which was located in the Marketplace on Dr. Phillips Boulevard, long before there was a Restaurant Row. (The owners of that Darbar also opened an ill-fated stand in the food court at Florida Mall.) There is no indication that the Lake Mary Darbar is associated with the one from long ago. If it were, the food -- and the overall experience -- might be better.

I met a Lake Mary friend for a lunch visit, and the young man who seated us asked if we would be having the buffet. But he asked it in such as way as to make it sound less like a question and more like a declaration -- Of course you’re having the buffet. And there was a look of exasperation on his face when I asked if I could see the menu.

Ultimately, we did opt for the buffet after taking a look at the offerings, but while the food looked right, the flavors just weren’t there.

Darbar interiorAt the beginning of the buffet line was a large rice cooker filled with basmati rice. In front of it was a scoop the size of which you’d normally find in an industrial ice maker or in a grain bin at a feed store. Next to that was was a noodle dish that was more Chinese in nature than Indian. (China had a large influence on India’s food, but this dish was less derivative than it was direct.)

A couple of chafing dishes down was a dal offering that seemed to be a soup, although no bowls were provided. The lamb curry was a tray of gravy with no meat in it. It was a while before more lamb was brought out, and when I finally had a taste I could detect nothing remotely currylike in the taste.

The dining room is tidy, but the decor is spartan and the lighting makes it look dingy.

At the end of the buffet table was a basket of pappadam, the thin, crackerlike wafers that are often offered as complimentary nibbles upon seating, just as chips and salsa are proffered in Tex-Mexeries. A young girl was loading up her plate with the pappadam and helping herself to one of the chutneys. She turned to me and my friend and said, “This is what you want; these are the best thing here.”

Oh, how right she was.

Darbar Indian Cuisine is at 3821 Lake Emma Road, Lake Mary (in the KMart Plaza, around the corner near the Burger King). It is open for lunch Monday through Saturday, brunch on Sunday and dinner daily. Here’s a link to mydarbar.com. The phone number is 407-444-2722.


Related Articles/Posts
Raga Now Closed; Transformation to American Gymkhana Underway, Created by Scott JosephRaga Now Closed; Transformation to American Gymkhana Underway...
As of today, Raga, the Indian restaurant on Sand Lake Road, is closed. As I told you in this article, the owners are bringing in New York restaurateur Rajesh Bh...
Vogelbacher Named Executive Chef at Maxine's on Shine, Created by Scott JosephVogelbacher Named Executive Chef at Maxine's on Shine...
George Vogelbacher, right, with Kirt and Maxine Earhart, owners of Maxine's on Shine. George Vogelbacher, longtime area chef with a varied career, has been nam...
Green Day Cafe Moving into Virgin Territory, Created by Scott JosephGreen Day Cafe Moving into Virgin Territory...
Green Day Cafe will take over the space in downtown Orlando's North Quarter District that was vacated recently by Virgin Olive Market at 807 N. Orange Ave. This...
Blackfin Adds Lunch Hours, Created by Scott JosephBlackfin Adds Lunch Hours...
I told you about the return of Blackfin recently. (Here's a link to the review if you missed it.) This week the Maitland restaurant added lunch hours to its sch...
Blackfin, Created by Scott JosephBlackfin...
Blackfin is back. For those of you who have moved here since 2005, Blackfin was a popular restaurant in Winter Park Village that occupied the space currently...
Friday, 25th July 2014

What is a Flog?

A flog is a food blog with news and reviews of restaurants. Here you'll find all things edible, lots of things to drink, including expert wine advice, and lots of other stuff.

Follow Scott ...

Scott's Newsletter

Please register to the site before you can sign for a list.
No account yet? Register

Flog Advertisement

Featured Links:
Shargaa illustrations
The Best Graphic Design Firm in the Business! (And designer of the Scott Joseph's Orlando Restaurant Guide logo.)
Cucciaioni Photography
Cucciaioni Photography by Eric Cucciaioni, Official Photographer of Scott Joseph's Orlando Restaurant Guide.