Blueberry, an Indian restaurant in Nyarutarama with an ever-so-odd name, opened several years ago and slowly climbed to the top of many people’s ‘best Indian in Kigali’ list (and trust me, everyone has a list). Since then the name has changed to Delhi Darbar but the food is just as amazing as always! I’ve been a passionate supporter of Zaaffran for years, and I poo poo those who belong to ‘Camp Khazana‘, but Delhi Darbar upset everything I thought I knew, and has caused me to question all things Indian-food-in-Kigali related.
I think it might be my new favourite and I’m not sure about how this makes me feel… it’s a confusing time, my friends. Please know that I don’t change my Indian food loyalties on a whim. I’m stubborn that way. But Delhi Darbar really is a cut above the rest and has several dishes that stand out as some of the best food I’ve ever eaten, Indian or otherwise, Kigali or globally. A bold statement, perhaps, but try them and if you don’t agree, I’ll eat my hat! No, I won’t really. I’ve just always wanted to use that expression.
So lets dive in to the wonders of Delhi Darbar! There are several dishes that I might actually be in love with. The first is the ‘Malai Broccoli’ (Rwf 7,000) which is, you guessed it, broccoli that’s coated in some mysterious and yet amazingly delicious substance made of cheese curd, cashew nut paste, and masala spice and then grilled. It’s incredible and it’s one of the dishes that every Delhi Darbar regular will order without fail. The serving you get at the restaurant is enormous! If you get takeaway I’m not sure how they’d fit it all into the container so, top tip, if you want value for money make sure to dine in at the restaurant.
Another very famous and much talked-about dish at Delhi Darbar is the ‘Murgh Hariyali Pahadi Tikka’ (Rwf 7,000), more popularly referred to as ‘green chicken’ by in-the-know customers. It’s a dry dish similar to tandoori chicken but with different spices. I’d guess the green colour comes from the fresh mint, coriander, and a spinach-falvoured masala. It’s grilled in a tandoor and it really is amazing. Both of these dishes alone are reason to come to Delhi Darbar… but wait, there’s more!
The paneer at Delhi Darbar is another of their stand-outs and you can expect that any of their paneer-related dishes will be excellent. I’m in a bit of a pickle because there’s one paneer dish that I love above all others and I’ve forgotten what it’s called. It’s a saucy one and I’ll know it when I taste it, but so far I keep choosing the wrong ones. Fortunately, the ‘wrong’ paneer dishes are still exceptional so it’s not that big of a deal, but I’m forever in search of this elusive and glorious dish.
I’m a big fan of their paneer tikka masala (Rwf 6,500) and palak paneer (Rwf 6,000) but those aren’t it. I’ve also recently tried the paneer Handi (Rwf 6,000) and that’s not the one, either. I suspect it’s the paneer Kalimirch (Rwf 6,000) but, alas, I’ll have to wait until my next trip there to give it a try. I’m not even sure what the dish in the above photo is called… I’ve lost track! But it’s also amazing. It’s a confusing but wonderful smorgasbord of paneer excitement at Delhi Darbar, I tell you!
Delhi Darbar has an amazing selection of different types of bread. Their naan is some of the best in the city but that seems a bit dull when compared to their amazingly flaky paratha (Rwf 1,500) and something I’d never heard of before – kulcha. The last time I was at Delhi Darbar I was boring and ordered butter naan (Rwf 1,300) while my friend implored me to try the kulcha. Since I love Dalhi Darbar’s naan so damned much I was stubborn and stuck to what I know, but I was a damned fool! A fool, I tell you! Luckily my friend is kind and decided to share his paneer kulcha (Rwf 2,500) and now it’s possibly one of my favourite things in Kigali.
Delihi Darbar have a full menu of drinks including all of the booze your heart could possibly desire (small Skol Rwf 1,500, glass of wine Rwf 4,000, tot of Jameson Rwf 4,000), a selection of tea and coffee including masala tea (Rwf 2,500), salt, sweet, and mango lassi (Rwf 1,800 – 2,500), and an impressive selection of 10 different fresh juices including beetroot (Rwf 3,000) which is something I haven’t seen in many places. They also have a pretty decent menu of Chinese food but the idea of going to Delhi Darbar and not eating Indian food is absurd to me, so I’m going to ignore its existence.
I usually order takeaway but I’ve been to the restaurant a few times and there are some things they could improve upon. The hotel looks like it could use a bit of a spruce up and the outside toilets down near the bottom of the restaurant didn’t have working lights the last time I was there which was slightly terrifying. But the restaurant itself is spacious and comfortable enough and there’s a bar up at the top bit and a cool table off on its own under a little hut that I like.
The service here is usually very good and they even give out buzzers for each table to call the waiter. I always feel a bit obnoxious using these but in Kigali it’s a nice and necessary addition, especially for a place like this that’s set across different levels. The food can sometimes take awhile but it’s always well worth the wait! The hot hand towels before you start your meal are a nice added touch.
Give Delhi Darbar a call and they’ll arrange delivery but I think they have limits to how far they’ll travel. Sadly, they’re not willing to make the epic trek all the way from Nyarutarama to my friend’s house on the side of Mount Kigali but, oh well, it just gives me an excuse to go in person, say hi to Ganesh, and enjoy the gigantic portions you get when you dine in.
I’m sure it’s clear how much I love the food at Delhi Darbar! I do have one issue though, and that’s the sheer size of their menu! It’s easy to get lost in its awesomeness but I guess it’s better to have too much choice than not enough. This is why knowing which dish to order is key. If you have a favourite Delhi Darbar dish, please let us all know in the comments and I’ll be sure to try it out on my next visit!