Translation from English

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Darbar Grill-- Indian Cuisine in Midtown

Well, again this is a new on to me but it struck me I have never reported on an Indian restaurant in Midtown...there are a good number to choose from, hope this one has good reviews..let us see..well, looks like a "thumbs up" for this place--ESPECIALLY in terms of ambiance..not all raves about the food, but no terrible complaints that I could see

Darbar Grill

172 reviews Rating Details
Categories: Indian, Buffets, Bars  [Edit]
157 E 55th St
(between Lexington Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10022
Neighborhood: Midtown East
(212) 751-4600
Inappropriate? Announcement
Happy Hour Midtown NYC
5 pm - 8 pm
Top Shelf Cocktails $6
Glass of wine $4
Beers $4
(Includes 1st round of Free Appetizers)
(Bar area only)
Nearest Transit Station:
Lexington Av/53 St (E, M)
51 St (4, 6, 6X)
59 St (4, 5, 6, 6X)
Mon-Thu, Sun 11:30 am - 10:30 pm
Fri-Sat 11:30 am - 11 pm
Good for Groups:
Accepts Credit Cards:
Price Range:
Good for Kids:
Waiter Service:
Outdoor Seating:
Good For:
Lunch, Dinner
Coat Check:
Noise Level:
Good For Dancing:
Casual, Romantic, Classy
Has TV:
Wheelchair Accessible:

Review Highlights   What's this?

  • "Definitely try the chicken tikka masala and the reshmi kebab." In 22 reviews
  • "The Mango Mousse was amazingly light yet creamy." In 11 reviews
  • "Hot glistening naan bread to top it all off." In 40 reviews
Rating Distribution | Trend
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172 reviews in English

  • Review from

    • 0 friends
    • 3 reviews
    Darbar Grill is probably my 1 of 2 favorite Indian buffet places in Manhattan. As my brown friends have told me, if you want to go Indian, GO LUNCH BUFFET. You get a variety of flavour profiles, textures, meat vs veggies, etc. Here are the reasons Darbar remains one of my top 2 GO TO Indian places in Manhattan (I've been here 12+ times):

    (A) The flavors/spices aren't dulled. As one of my culinary friends recently said: you can TASTE the freshness of the spices. Doesn't mean the food is necessarily HOT spicy, just not dulled down by salt, sugar, fat, etc.

    (B) I guess the word that comes to mind is "excellent". A good number of the dishes are staple dishes, but they just manage to do it better than everyone else.

    (C) Nice variety of meat, veggie, etc. dishes

    (D) They bring out fresh naan (a sign of a good buffet)

    (E) Convenient location, friendly staff.

    (F) Exceptional food for reasonable price (Indian lunch buffet prices are all within that 10-15 dollar range, pre tax, pre tip)

    (G) More dessert choices than any buffet I've been.

    If you're in the east/mid 60s during mid day, go to Darbar Grill.
  • Review from

    • 7 friends
    • 4 reviews
    6/30/2013 1 check-in here
    This place is worth writing home about. The food here was spectacular. Some of the best Indian food we've tried in the city, and we've had some in Curry Hill, Prospect Heights, and elsewhere.

    The service here was outstanding. And it's always a good sign to walk into an ethnic restaurant and see multiple families of that ethnicity dining and enjoying their time there.

    The free dessert via checking in with yelp was delicious! Some form of pistachio rice pudding. Take a friend!
  • Review from

    6/13/2013 Seated via OpenTable
    We had the Okra Crunch as an appetizer, I have had it before at other Indian Restaurants and have come to enjoy it.  Darbar's take on it we did not like.  They slice the okra up into strings.  It was flavorful but difficult to eat.  Too small to use your hands and too cumbersome to eat with a fork.

    The food was good but nothing that will pull you away from your usual place.  I did like that they offered to "tune" the heat for you.  I like mine a little spicy and they accommodated nicely.  I have received strange looks when I requested changes at other places.  Our server asked me if I would like it spicier when I ordered.  It was a welcomed surprise.

    The service was not that good.  I was at a business dinner so maybe they were trying to give us our space.  Seemed like I needed to cal them over for every need.  They did fill up the complimentary beverages without us asking but our main server was invisible most of the time.

    Darbar won't impress anyone but if you want a good meal at a good price it will fill the bill.  Not anyplace I would go out of my way to get to.
  • Review from

    6/12/2013 1 check-in here
    It was ok.  I went for the lunch buffet.  good variation of options.  But the palek paneer was gross!  The worst I have ever tasted.  It tasted like old spinach and the cheese tasted like it had gone bad.  The naan was the best part of the meal.  I only had a plateful so I don't think it was worth the whole buffet part.
    Service was weird.  I felt like they wanted us out asap and kept clearing our plates before we were done.  At one point the waiter hovered while I ate my last spoonful.
  • Review from

    • 5 friends
    • 29 reviews
    5/22/2013 1 check-in here
    Went here a couple nights ago with the wife, it was our first midtown east indian restaurant. They sat us pretty much instantly. We ordered garlic naan, which was nice a fluffy, but was kinda crisp in the middle. I know not everyone likes that, but I didn't mind. For our entrees we had chicken vindaloo, chicken tikka masala, and some sort of lamb chops. The chicken vindaloo and chicken tikka masala were both very good, and spicy (like we ordered). Not the best chicken tikka masala in NYC but still very good.

    Only negatives were that the server didn't know anything about the happy hour; even though there was a sign outside. When we got our second server (they switched because i believe the other was new.) it was fine from then on.
  • Review from

    6/21/2013 1 check-in here
    We had dinner with 3 of us and all 3 ordered something completely different and shared it. All food was great, Both the starters and the entrees. We are super full now although the freshly made mango lassis also helped filling us up. We skipped deserts! The atmosphere (furniture and music) is great, waiting staff is very elegant, almost upscale with a very decent price. Nothing we can think off to improve.
  • Review from

    Nice Indian restaurant in midtown.  I enjoy their food and decor.  Decent place that you can bring your date since it is soooo dark in there.

    I will recommend that you def need to order garlic naan there.  It could be a lil greasy for some people, but hey, all bad food tastes awesome, right?!

    I also recommend Chicken or Lamb Masala if you can take some spicy into your stomach.  Decent service overall.

    The only reason that I wouldnt give 5 stars is because the price.  I usually go there with a coupon, but the price is still steep though you shouldnt expect dirt cheap food in Midtown.
  • Review from

    Had to choose a place to have lunch with my girlfriend, her brother and his wife. It had to be inexpensive and in midtown. My girlfriend said that her brother would be OK with Indian provided there would be less spicy options. Read the reviews of Darbar and decided to give it a try.

    Absolutely no regrets. Everything was great and most dishes were very flavourful without being too hot. Starters comprised a nice selection of salad items, pickles and tandoori chicken and there were chicken, goat, fish and vegetable dishes for a main course. The waiters were attentive with copious refills of our water glasses and for those of us who still had room there were 4 or 5 dessert options - more than I am used to in other buffets. If I had to levy any criticisms we were not offered more nan, though I feel sure that it would have been forthcoming had we asked. Also it would have been nice if there had been some small dishes for the dall.

    The standard of the cuisine was high - really as good as it gets for a lunch buffet - and I would definitely go back.
  • Review from

    When I come home from school and I crave indian food Darbar is so conveniently located for me that it's my go to place.  Service is just alright but to me doesn't really matter.  The servers don't speak good english, but I'm not there to talk to the waiters. As long as the food is served and they understand what I want it's all that matters. Great place to check out if you're looking for some indian and in the area.
  • Review from

    • 2 friends
    • 4 reviews
    Found thru Yelp while spending one night on Lex and 49th

    Very good food and excellent service. Must have filled my water a dozen times without me asking. Very informative and helpful while we asked questions on the menu. We asked that one entree ( mirch Bhuna) be substituted with white meat chicken and they did so w/o addl charge. Chicken tikka masala was great. Basmati rice was also great and is included with entree.  Best Indian food I've had, other than in Toronto, which I feel is the best.

    Highly recommend. Prices reasonable, especially for NYC.