Spirit of Old Delhi
Restaurant: Bara Darhi
Reviewer: Shivendu Mittal | 4th April 2018 | Reviewer Rating (Out of 5) 3.88

Please note: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant to taste their food, and no bill was presented to the author. While the author assures you of objectivity, the review may be influenced by the personalized attention the author got.

When I was invited to review Bara Darhi, the Old Delhi cuisine based restaurant at Westin, Gurgaon, I was extremely sceptical. 5 stars are famous for dumbing down food to make it more palatable to expats, and Old Delhi cuisine thrives on masalas and oil. But I was curious to see what they had to offer, so I readily agreed. Bara Darhi is situated on a terrace over-looking the Gurgaon skyline on one side and the hotel pool on the other, and sure makes for a pretty setting. I was greeted by the team very warmly and was introduced to Chef Javed, whose family owns a popular eatery in the Jama Masjid area. The chef knew his masalas well and was well versed with the origin of various dishes they are serving. The tiny menu added to my excitement.

The meal began with the Mutton Seekh Kebab, which was different from the regular ones available in the market in the way they had tried to recreate what Qureshi and the others serve at Urdu Bazaar. The taste was sublime and the texture, literally off the seekh kind, was so soft that I struggled to use my fork to eat it. Next up was an interesting dish called the paneer kebab. Delicate homemade paneer, very subtly spiced, rolled into a kebab and grilled.  Very unique, but that’s where the novelty ended. The taste was nothing to write home about. Maybe this dish was, in fact, created for expats. Or kids. Can be safely avoided, unless you’re a big fan of paneer.


                Mutton Seekh                                        Paneer Seekh

Next up was Old Delhi Butter Chicken, the chef’s ode to the famous Aslam Chicken. Tender, succulent pieces of chicken garnished with melted butter, cream and spices, this was good. The Mutton Barra was brilliant! Well cooked meat, but not burnt at all, probably done on a sigri, marinated in a flavoursome but basic marinade. A fine example of how meat is to be grilled.


            Old Delhi Butter Chicken                               Mutton Barra

Just when I thought I’ll just have bite of Nihari and Khameeri after all this gluttony, the chef announced he’s getting almost everything on the main course menu for me to taste. The Biryani was just what it threatened to be. The typical Old Delhi Biryani. No congruity between rice and meat. But since they are serving Old Delhi food, I’m not complaining about it, because that’s what an authentic Old Delhi Biryani is - meat chaawal. I tried only the curry from the Chicken Korma, and sure enough I was reminded the daanedaar gravy from Old Jawahar, albeit a tad milder in terms of spices.


               Old Delhi Biryani                                 Chicken Korma

The Mutton stew was nice, mild and comforting, as it’s supposed to be. The Nihari, the primary reason for me to be there, did not disappoint. Unlike the Old Delhi Nihari, which is boneless, this was on the bone, but taste and texture wise it was the same. They did admit to skimming off the roghan a little before serving it to me, but honestly, I don’t agree with people who complain about oil while having mutton.


              Mutton Stew                                           Mutton Nihari

The breads served to me, Khameeri, Sheermal, Tandoori and Rumali were all competent.

I finished off the meal with a phirni, which was okayish.


All in all, it was an enjoyable experience for me, but it will be interesting to see if they can find clientele who want to have this kind of cuisine and are willing to pay these kind of prices. Having said that, I was happy to note that the restaurant had a fair amount of tables occupied on that Monday night.

Ratings (Out of 5)

Food: 4.0  | Ambience: 4.5 | Service: 4.0 | Value: 3.0 | Overall: 4.0

Meal for two: Rs 3000 | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Wheel chair friendly: Yes

Address: The Westin Hotel, Sector 29, Gurgaon  Tel: 0124 4977860, 0124 4977862

About the Author
Shivendu Mittal Shivendu Mittal
Restaurant Information
Bara Darhi Bara Darhi
The Westin Hotel, Sector 29, Gurgaon
Telephone: 0124 4977860, 0124 4977862 view on a map
Opening Hours: 7PM to 2AM
Average Price: Rs. 2500 - 3000