My first interaction with Chef Arun was couple of months ago when he laid out Hyderabadi delicacy for media and was introduced as new executive chef of Taj Mahal. This was one of the best Hyderabadi cuisines I have had, outside Hyderabad. I still can reminiscence the flavour of Haleem. You can read my story here
You must be aware of the fact that Taj Mahal is the first five star hotel in Delhi that launched Saturday brunch. The idea behind Saturday brunch is that people prefer being at home on Sundays and hence the concept of Saturday brunch. Well, it true! When we get a weekend for ourselves, after days long of tiring week, we prefer going out on Saturdays and keeping the Sundays for ourselves, to be at home! While I was at Taj Mahal for the review, it was a packed house for Saturday brunch.
Machan at Taj Mahal is hosting Goan food festival that started in September and ends in October. This is specially curated by Chef Arun Sundararaj, Executive Chef, Taj Mahal Hotel. We had been invited for the special lunch at Machan and relished Goan food. I was really excited as after enjoying Hyderabadi cuisine on my previous visit; I was looking forward for amazing Goan food.
My experience with Goan food in Delhi has been very disappointing; however this festival satiated all my cravings for Goan cuisine.
Chef Arun has spent considerable time in Goa and has immense knowledge on Goan cuisine. Goan cuisine can be divided mainly into catholic coastal cuisine and hindu saraswat. Goan Hindu cuisine is mainly based on preparation of fish and not meat. With changing times and taste, people preferred meant over fish, yest restricted themselves to beef and pork. Goan hindu cuisine is less spicy. Onion and garlic too are used less for preparations and the food is cokked in coconut oil. Catholic cuisine is inspired from Portuguese and they were the ones to use red chilli.
The masala fried fish and prawn balchao(sweet and sour) from live grill section shouldn’t be missed. In the buffet I enjoyed chorizo pulao. You will not find such pulao in Delhi. Spicy goan fish curry, marinated to perfection and the evergreen mutton xacuti – all the dishes were prepared keeping in mind the preference and palette of Delhilites. For vegetarians, bhindi bardez, a goan speciality cooked in grated coconut and the exotic goan vegetable stew Vegetable Khatkhate tastes amazing.
The concept of dessert was not just interesting, but tasted heavenly! Rick’s bar was seven cardinal sins and had different colours that represented greed, envy, gluttony, sloth, wrath, lust and pride. (Pride: violet Envy: green; Wrath: orange; Sloth: light blue; Greed: yellow; Gluttony: pink; Lust: red).
If you love Goan cuisine, you should head to Machan every Saturday as the festival ends this month!
Date: September 2015 – October2015
Price: INR 2600 plus taxes per person for adults, INR 2100 plus taxes per person for kids(6 -12 years);INR 3000 plus taxes for Goan Buffet with Pork
Venue: Machan, The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, Number One, Mansingh Road
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.