Sunday, 7 November 2010

Delhi Grill or Delhi Let Down

I have to say with all the hype surrounding Delhi Grill, I was expecting more, much more. I was hoping for something that I had been eating in India those past months. Alas all I got was better than average typical Indian restaurant fare. Very disappointing.
I had eaten their kebab wraps before on Sundays, as once in a while I do a bit of shopping at the weekly Farmers market on Chapel Market. Those I found to be ok, but way to much rabbit food for my liking. Plus I wasn’t overly keen on them squirting sauce on the kebabs. Surely any flavour should come form the lamb itself. Shouldn’t it.
They have being doing some good PR recently, as the place was pretty packed, and I think it’s the first time I have been asked if we had a reservation in an Indian restaurant. Damn good PR work.
Thankfully there were a few seats available at the far end of the narrow restaurant, as only a sandwich had somehow sustained me all day. Shame we were so far away from the good vibe of the place, but we were content to sit next to a couple who were talking about what great business deals they had done recently. Boring.
I like the décor it does look quite funky in there, lot’s of pre-made newspaper clippings on the wall. This wouldn’t look out of place in a trendy Delhi or Mumbai cafe. They call themselves a dhaba, which I’d love to see one as clean and tidy as this on any Indian highway. Plus there were no fat Punjabi truckers loitering around sipping cups of chai, talking to all and sundry and trying to put the world to rights. A shame.
Thankfully I find a restaurant that knows its limitations and have done the sensible thing and kept the menu pretty short and sweet. I only wish a lot of other places would learn from them and do the same.
What we had was a pretty mixed bag really. The chutneys were pretty much the highlight of the show. A shout goes out to the beetroot chutney, and also the carrot chutney deserves a special mention. The papadums were pretty good also. Straight from the oven. Well an Indian meal isn’t complete without papadums is it.
After a brief scanning of the menu, we ordered the lamb chops as a starter, and prayed they were as good as the ones in the New Tayyabs. Sadly they were just above average. Nicely cooked but lacking any real flavour, and no hint that they had been cooked in a tandoor. Boo Hoo.
As we seem to be eating a lot less these days, we only ordered some naan, the chicken karahi and the tarka dhal. The dhal tasted as good as I make it, but it was too much like a soup rather than a dhal. It had that raw spice flavour I like so much in Indian food. The Karahi was nicely flavoured but far too watery. It doesn’t take much to cook the sauce down a bit more. The Karahi was far too reliant on chilli to give it life. Shame.
I have to say that some silly schoolboy errors let this place down. The naan was pretty nice, but I don’t think it had seen the inside of a tandoor oven.
I will return, as I could see there was room for improvement here, and hopefully next time all will be better. But based on this visit, I’d rate the Delhi Grill as an above average modern Indian restaurant. 


Delhi Grill on Urbanspoon

6 comments:

buzzarfood said...

Not to take away anything from the food, but agreed that they are doing a good PR job at the moment.

I welcomed Delhi Grill as a good local Indian that offers proper Indian and local free delivery, but it's probably not what I would call a destination restaurant.

Mzungu said...

I think I just got spoilt on that mad trip I did through India. Now nothing here can satisfy me.

Delhi Grill said...

I'm sorry you didn't have the best experience at our dhaba.

We are trying very very hard not to be just another Indian restaurant by taking the time to cook every single dish properly rather than just stir frying or smothering in pastes.

It's a hard balancing act between how we eat the dishes at home and the full on spices you would find in India - which would be too much for some palates.

Clearly from your feedback we haven't got the balance right for you. So we'll keep refining. Perhaps you'd like to come in, do some tastings and let us know how it would work better for you. I'll drop you an email.

Mzungu said...

As I said before I really got spoilt on that trip I did in India. Eating at 5 star hotels, Haveii's and Palaces has really made me expect more form Indian restaurants here in the UK. So I am always disappointed.
Your dhal tasted excellent, but my preference is for more of a thicker dish, rather than a soup. I know people who like it like that. Each to his own.
We were disappointed with the chicken. The chilli overpowered everything around it.
I said I will be back, and I will, but not as a guest. I will let you know afterwards how it went.

Delhi Grill said...

Thanks for giving us another try. We have slow-cooked dal makhani and chicken on the bone on specials at the moment - so maybe you'll like those.

We don't really compare to 5 star hotels and palaces though. We are cooking the food that Panjabis eat at home - much more subtly spiced and less oil/butter. I fear that we may not be what you are looking for.

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