After a socially and curry starved couple of months, the UK branch were back. July saw the OCC sample Gurkha Durbaar, in the heart of Peterborough City Centre for the first time since they opened their doors in 2019.
Set in the former old library building on Peterborough’s broadway, this stunning Victorian venue was a breath of fresh air in comparison to your typical ‘curry house’. Which can, at the best of times, feel like you’re dining in somebody else’s living room.
With the group not being able to share a table as they usually would (in line with social distance rules) the restaurant showed consideration and care, which for a venue of this size made it easier than probably most when it comes to adhering to social distancing rules. Despite said distance, once the meet commenced and was in full flow, it felt intimate and engaged as any ‘normal’ meets would. Many members commented on the branded Gurkha Durbaar sanitisers, which were placed upon each of our tables as a nice touch… and that it was.
Once all members were sat down there was little to no wait at all for members to be offered and receive drinks. Whilst strange and quieter times made it perhaps more difficult to rate our usual points on ‘atmosphere’ the service and overall customer care did not go unnoticed with scores of 8.43 & 8.36 out of 10 respectively. By comparison, the overall atmosphere received a score 6.92, which is still respectable given that it felt like it was just us in the restaurant. One member said he ‘felt harsh giving atmosphere a 5 when the wider public do not probably feel ready to dine out yet’. That certainly didn’t stop the OCC tucking into a wide and generous menu list and we were also ready to sample some of the specials this Nepalese/indian restaurant had to offer. But not before a serving of ‘crispy’ & ‘fresh’ poppadoms with sauces were served, albeit, a little on the small side but the waiting staff were more than happy to bring out more sauces when asked.
We opted for a variety of different starters amongst the 12 members and there certainly wasn’t much overlap, probably due to how much there was on offer. One particular dish, however, that was enjoyed by one member and another table as a shared dish was the chicken momo. Perfectly cooked, sensitively seasoned and spiced with a delicious sauce to accompany what was a faultless dish. The lamb chops were also noted by two individual members as being particularly excellent.
For the main dishes each separate table ordered an additional curry to their usual choice to enjoy from the signature dish section of the menu. These included the Himalayan Goat Curry, Spicy Chicken Tikka Masala & Battakh Mughlai. These were all well received by all members to sample some of the more Nepalese flavours, which is becoming an ever more popular cuisine in the UK. In addition to the signature dishes, some of the classics included, Vindaloo, Butter Chicken & Tikka Masala. Those members who enjoy spice complemented this and they certainly delivered on well-rounded flavour and overall quality. Naan breads accompanied the main dishes and selection of rice dishes and whilst enjoyed by most, one member commented that the naan was particularly dry although this wasn’t the feeling of the rest of the group.
The quality of the food was described by one member as ‘faultless’ and for what is arguably one of the most important categories Gurkha Durbaar scored an amazing 8.53 for this with the words ‘flavoursome, succulent and juicy’ all being used to describe the food that was on offer. Members also scored well for ‘value’ at 7.83 and to finish the evening, a delicious lemon sorbet was served which helped with those consuming chilli’s at the time!
A true delight for all members on what has been a long break away for the OCC.
As their website states ‘If you crave to be a god (and who doesn’t) then Gurkha Durbaar has that experience ready and waiting for you…
With all of the above and the scores as below, the Gurkha Durbaar in Peterborough fully deserves full OCC approval, with an amazing overall score of 8.02.
Customer Care 8.36
Quality 8.53 🔥
Total score 8.02/10