Mughal Darbar occupies the old location of Taj Mahal, one of the city's original Indian restaurants on High Street in the middle of campus. One member of the family took over from the other, and the new operation offers the full bar, buffet and Indian fare that made its predecessor famous.
The menu focuses on Mughalai cusine, a North Indian regional fare rooted in the 350+ year rule of the Mughal emperors. It is related to Persian food, and like any other Indian menu, it has plenty of options for vegetarians. Vegans can also have dishes made without dairy upon request. There is a vegetarian combo platter as well as a lunch buffet for those who can't choose only one item.
The restaurant kept the multiple room format from Taj Mahal. The decor is subtle and welcoming.
At a recent visit, there was a Gujarati street food addition to the buffet because of a holiday. The bhel puri, a puffed rice dish made with onion, potato, tamarind and mint chutneys, should be consumed by the bucketful.
The other classics, chana masala and saag paneer in particular, are full of fresh ingredients and a rich spice level. The samosa has a nice thick exterior that allows the potato and pea filling to support a variety of Indian condiments.
The veggie kebabs and oven-roasted paneer entrees look great. There are many common Indian dishes on the menu, but some of the items like kadhai paneer, a hot onion sauce bathing cubed cheese, and dum aloo, cheese and nut stuffed potatoes in creamy sauce, are not found on many menus around town. There are breads from many flavors of naan to fluffier paratha and crispy roti.