Food and flavours

Rasheeda Bhagat | Updated on: Jul 08, 2011




With greater access to international travel, the wine and food section in luxury hotels is getting very important. People are becoming more discerning and demanding on this front, says Sanjay Sood, General Manager of The Taj West End. “Earlier only women knew something about the cuisine, but now the men know a lot too; they not only travel more, they're also reading on food. But our chefs are exposed to the latest and best trends, and geared to meet this challenge.”

At both Masala Klub, the Indian restaurant, and Blue Ginger, where I dined, this was evident. The former, located beside the 120-year-old tamarind tree, from which the tamarind is used for its spectacular and signature Tamarind Sorbet, is an elegantly designed 108-seater. Here at the teppanyaki grill, Chef Shubham Dhar treated us to the most delicious and soft Galoti Kebab that came close to the famous Tunde ka kebab in Lucknow. Next came the Lasoony Lobster, Ambi Jhinga (marinated in mango!), tangy Sea Bass marinated in chilli and fennel to blend the sharpness of chilli with a little sweetness of fennel and salmon. These grills were done in olive oil mixed with a little refined oil. After cleaning our palates with his tamarind sorbet, he served a delectable prawn curry cooked in dried pomegranate powder and garnished with pomegranate ariels and a lamb pulao , done once again in front of us, on the grill.

The Chiku Kulfi, that formed part of the dessert was so delicious it had to be licked up to the last bit, while I chose to give a go-by to the gulab jamun .

At Blue Ginger, the dining experience was exceptional. A delicious raw mango salad with sliced apple and poached shrimps; scallops tossed in garlic, pepper and oyster, followed by an unbelievable butter garlic soft shell crab (where you can chew on and swallow the shell), and rice paper rolls with shrimp and chicken.

For the dinner under the stars, Executive Chef Sanjeev Kachroo had pulled out all the stops. The smoked salmon filled with lime custard, salad of mizuna greens, fennel, pears, asparagus and jalapeno and sevruga caviar was hugely appetising and surprisingly light on the stomach. But not the Porcini Risotto, which followed nothing less than a sorbet made with Champagne; it was scrumptious but the portion was too generous. Chef Kachroo, who joined us, and would have only a Diet Pepsi, encouraged me to finish it saying: “I've not used any cream”.

But what about cheese? “Ah, how can you make a risotto without cheese,” he said helplessly. The Warm Chocolate Fondant, a Mynt signature dessert, was the perfect thing to end a fairytale stay at one of India's most charming properties.

Published on July 07, 2011
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