For once it was not raining, and the evening drive to Greystone Park for our long awaited dinner-date at Dehli Palace was easy.
By Le connoisseur
My very proud daughter was driving the two of us in the car she had bought that very day.
We marvelled at how smoothly it ran, how nippy it was, at the same being delighted at the prospect of some lovely Indian cuisine.
My daughter parked her compact car in a parking slot, and we made our way to the entrance. I had tried several times over the previous few days to book a table, but had been unable to get through.
Luckily the restaurant was not full, and finding us a table for two was easily done.
When I enquired, it appeared that the reservation phone number on the websites that mentioned Dehli Palace was somehow not functioning well, not relaying its ringtone to the reception desk. That explained it.
We ordered something to drink and studied the menu. In my menu there were the classical starters such as samoosas, chicken cubes etc., but also more appetising looking dishes such as beef mishka (beef marinated and grilled on a stick) and prawn savouries, (prawns in a batter with a spicy sauce).
We commented to each other about the rather attractive decor at the Dehli Palace, creating a pleasant if understated Indian feel.
The girls were dressed in beautiful silky tops and the male waiters were well-attired in black trousers and a white shirt. It was pleasant to feel that the waiters were keeping an eye on us and were ready to serve us in any way possible.
We decided to go for the more exciting starters: the beef mishka and the prawns in batter. For the main course, my daughter went for the chicken kurma, while I opted for the lamb kurma. We asked for the roti that would normally come with the dishes to be replaced by naan, and ordered some extra naan, as I just love to munch my curry inside a nice torn-off piece of naan. We also ordered a dish of dhal to share.
We chatted about my daughter’s new job, and whiled away the time. After some delay the starters were brought.
They were both very tasty and nicely done. Perhaps the prawns were covered in somewhat too thick a layer of batter, but the sauce and the spices were good. We shared our starters and enjoyed them both very much.
The main course was brought soon after our starters had been gobbled up, and we were lucky to still get the roti, as well as the naan.
The curries were served in an attractive looking cast-iron oval dish, the dhal in a nicely hot mini-wok. There was a goodly sized bowl of tomato and onion sambal as well; but the promised popadums were missing as they had run out.
We delved into the food, enjoying the differently spiced dishes, and the taste-lifting, mixing with the sambal. The buttered naan was good (but I have had better in Harare), the curries were well-spiced and nicely tempered with yoghurt. The roti was a welcome addition, and I enjoyed many a mouthful of naan or roti with lamb curry, alternated with the lovely dish of soft red dhal.
The lamb curry was a bit too full of bones, alas, and the generous pile of bones left on my plate when I had finished the curry betrayed the fact of a more-bones-than-meat curry rather ostentatiously. The rice was well-cooked and fluffy and light and fragrant, but with our surfeit of naan and roti, we did not manage to do it justice.
We did not feel like dessert, nor coffee and being quite replete we asked for the bill. Dehli Palace is a bit on the pricey side.
Particularly when considering my “well-boned” lamb curry, I thought the price and food were not quite commensurate with each other within the normal Zimbabwean restaurant context. However, the food is a real treat, the service is very pleasant and the total experience is certainly worth it.
Expect to spend US$35 – US$50 per head
Greystone Park Shops, Gaydon Road, Harare