When and where
Varq | 29 April – 29 May, 2015 | Chef’s special menu with Royal Salute 21YO | INR 4500 plus taxes
I do not have stories to share on TAJ as I came to Delhi in early 2000 and then moved to other cities. However I do have fond memories of Sunday brunches at Machan, where I happily gorged on grilled pork and Mediterranean section.
Sunday afternoons were always special! I can’t forget my enjoyable lunch at Café Fontana and House of Ming, especially at HOM, where I would pick up the cashenuts that were served post meal. We were on an event where we relished heart-warming stories from chefs and service staff about their guests at Taj. A hotel with a dynasty of 35 years definitely has its share of stories and memories that sets trends in the city – be it Madichi, which was Delhi’s first fine dining Italian place or be it Chambers, membership club.
Tapas Bhattacharya– Chef Manager Machan since 1978 shared an interesting story, on how his life changed at Machan, after working for six months and contributing towards chopping of onion and garlic. One fine day he was asked to make a sandwich for guests at Machan and since then there was no looking back. He also shared that, post renovation, when Machan reopened, there were more than 200 people waiting outside for Club Sandwich, Pork Chops and Thai Curry – Alltime favourites at Machan. Another interesting story was that one of their steaks was named as Lavleen Sharma steak as she would always order steak at Machan. Down the memory lane, he shared that he had served tori soup to German Chancellor and he was delighted. As Taj always stands to delight their customers with their service – special yogurt was being brought from a farm house in New Jersey for one of their clients!
Lakshay Nirula – Chief Concierge, Taj Mahal, New Delhi too shared that prince Charles visited India with his 222 luggage and paid around 100000 pound as duty! Hospitality at its best – A guest requested for a diamond necklace at 4:00 AM as it was his girlfriends’ birthday the same day and whoa – Taj staff did arrange the same!
Interesting piece of this event was that, it was curated by Mr. Sandeep Arora, whisky ambassador and lunch was paired with royal salute 21yo to celebrate in style. After being mesmerized with many such interesting stories on Taj’s hospitality, we moved to Varq for the specially curated lunch. Varq serves the finest modern Indian cuisine and is known for its taste and authenticity.
Bhatti prawns (huge) served on grilled pineapple had excellent Smokey flavor. Gandheri kebabs on sugarcane sticks too tasted excellent – chicken kebabs were super succulent! Pan seared Chilean sea bas served with mango and coconut, was the star dish and we couldn’t stop asking for repeat servings of the curry. Murga sirka pyaz was delightful and added to our taste buds as we enjoyed it with Olive naan.
We finished our meal with delicious apple kheer (I ate it for the first time and simply loved it)., I equally enjoyed jalebi that was crispy, the way I like and kulfi, eminded me of my college days of Allahabad.
Indeed, this was an event, beautifully conceptualized by Sandeep Arora, the whisky man and Taj seems to be the perfect place for it!
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Disclaimer – This review was done on an invitation from the establishment. Views expressed in the review is entirely ours and without any bias. Pictures of the dishes are not the standard portions, they are sample portions.