We actually intended to visit the restaurant next door, Five Beans, as it had pictures of Chinese and Thai food outside, and wife fancied some rice. When we sat down, they brought us a menu with lots of pictures, but no prices. Smelling a rat, wife asked how much a prawn biryani would be. 30USD. About ten times as much as we would pay at home. No thanks. We remembered seeing a curry house next door, so thought we might give that a go. Inside Bombay Darbar we went and looked at the menu… same curry pictures!

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Interior, Bombay Darbar, Hulhumale

It seems as if the Five Beans place has ‘borrowed’ a menu, and if people order curry from them, they go next door and order – and charge you for the privilege! To be honest, it did seem a little like most of the restaurants on Hulhumale served every type of food imaginable except vegetarian. Perhaps they all quickly bring in food from other nearby restaurants rather than try to cook it themselves.

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Curries, Bombay Darbar, Hulhumale

Back to Bombay Darbar, which seemed quite like a British Indian restaurant in style. Situated on the main road of this artificial island servicing Male Airport, it’s on the right as you travel north. It has two areas, one with air conditioning and one with fans. We opted for the former as it was roastingly hot! The staff were OK, and even spoke a little Chinese (60% of groups of customers were Chinese while we were there).

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Naan, Bombay Darbar, Hulhumale

We ordered masala omelette, rice and cheese chilli naan to have with our curries. The omelette was tasty, with chilli, tomato, and onion; the naan (which looked terrible in comparison with its picture!) was light, thin, and rather good, being stuffed with cheese and not just topped with a Dairylea single as at first we worried. Rice was fine.

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Omelette, Bombay Darbar, Hulhumale

Wife loved her chicken curry which was creamy and savoury, with lots of cumin and a little heat; my house speciality dhal was similarly rich with butter, tomato and onions, and excellently spiced. The combination of black lentils and kidney beans meant the texture wasn’t too smooth, too.

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Sign, Bombay Darbar, Hulhumale

We couldn’t really fault the food then, so why not a full 5 points? First, the food took a very long time to come, despite the restaurant not really being busy. Second, the toilets smelled very bad, and every now and then it wafted across. I was perhaps a little more sensitive to it than my wife (who has currently lost her sense of smell), but it was enough to put me off a little. An unfortunate family ended up sitting next to the toilet door – I would have had to have left. So you should sit by the window!

Address: Lot 10488 Nirolhu Magu, Hulhumale 23000

Telephone: 9948696

Website: http://newtowninn.com/facilities/