Jamavar Delhi

Leela Palace Hotel, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, Delhi, India

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The Jamavar is on the ground floor of the Leela Palace hotel, open only for dinner. The room is smart and modern, a little gloomily decorated with its dark brown carpet and walls, but with a remarkably high ceiling giving a distinct sense of space. The tables are well spaced and although the room lighting is low, the tables themselves are illuminated well by directed spot lamps.

The menu was lengthy and drew on dishes from across the regions of India. Popadoms were unusually thin and delicate, served with a range of chutneys. Adrak mattar seekh (INR 900) was essentially pea kebab, three cylinders cooked in the tandoor and having plenty of pea flavour, laced with ginger and with a spicy kick - an unusual and enjoyable dish, although the overall effect was a little dry: a sauce or chutney would have been beneficial (13/20). Malai tikka (INR 1300) comprised five large chicken pieces that had been marinated with cheese and spices prior to being cooked in the tandoor. The chicken was tender and the portion wildly generous in size (14/20).

Prawn curry in the form of jingha lazeez (INR 2200 had large, good quality prawns that were tender and had plenty of flavour, cooked with a good tomato based curry sauce (14/20). Sole (INR 1,500) was also very good, the fish pieces carefully cooked and retaining their texture, the sauce tasting of its distinct spices (14/20). Cauliflower was stir-fried and pleasant enough, though cooked a touch longer than I would have preferred (12/20). Dal makhani was too watery in texture, the lentils indistinct (11/20). Breads were a let down. Romani roti was much too thick, and a naan bread was too firm in texture, almost crisp when it should be soft and pliable (12/20).

Service was very attentive. The bill was INR 11,019 for two (£54 per head) with beer, water and lassi to drink. Although a perfectly pleasant meal, this did not compare well to meals that I have eaten at other Jamavar restaurants in the Leela group, especially the one in Bangalore. 

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