June 4, 2014

Delhi Darbar now open in Morrisville

Veteran Indian restaurant owner takes over a challenging space behind a gas station in Morrisville.

Veteran restaurateur Dharmender “Raj” Rai has opened Delhi Darbar in Morrisville, in a building hidden behind a Mobil gas station on Airport Road. The challenging location has seen a string of Indian restaurants come and go, but Rai is confident that he will succeed where others have failed.

That confidence is born of more than 20 years’ experience as a restaurant owner and manager in Virginia and North Carolina - including Saffron in Morrisville, before he sold his interest a few years ago. This time around, Rai isn’t looking to recreate the fusion menu that won Saffron early raves. Instead, he’s focusing on traditional northern Indian fare with an emphasis on the regional cuisines of the Punjab and his native Delhi. He’s especially proud of his signature Raj’s Darbar chicken, which he describes as a homestyle Delhi dish made with bone-in chicken “because it’s more delicious on the bone.”

A lunchtime buffet ($8.99 weekdays, $10.99 for the weekend “champagne brunch” including a mango lassi) offers a selection of at least seven vegetarian and three meat entrees, as well as three desserts and all the usual accompaniments. In the evenings, vegetarian and non-vegetarian thali samplers (each including your choice of three entrees from the entire menu) offer an alternative way to explore.

Delhi Darbar (962-B Airport Blvd.; 919-460-3339; is open for lunch and dinner daily.

Greg Cox, the longtime N&O restaurant critic, also covers restaurant news. Tune in to hear his radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF. Reach him at

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This blog's focus is all things food in the Triangle: where to dine, where to shop, what to eat, what to cook. Food writer Andrea Weigl maintains this blog.

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