With classical music flowing through its warm spaces bedecked in velveteen shades of purple and crystals and gentle golden light, Jamavar – at first glance – could be mistaken for the dining hall of some Eastern potentate. Taking advantage of this setting, the restaurant is offering a limited-edition menu and inviting you to ‘dine like royalty’ their Maharaja Dinners.
Spread over several courses, the menu by Indian MasterChef Vinod Saini visits all point of the compass to pick up both vegetarian and meaty delicacies from the country’s myriad royal kitchens in a meal that scores highly on all parameters, including cost.
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If the first course of Makai and Tomato Shorba, piping hot and piquant, helps you combat the oncoming winter chill, kebabs in three ways take care of the subsequent hunger pangs. For non-vegetarians it’s a gladiatorial taste test between the Tandoori Lamb, a Chicken Chop and Ajwaini Prawn and Salmon Tikka, with the former walking away with the spoils, in our humble opinion.
A Sandalwood and Kokum sorbet acts as a reprieve before you dive into the mains. While vegetarians can dig into dishes such as Khazana-e Zameen (a glorious melange of four types of mushrooms with the earthy bouquet of a drenching of truffle oil) and the Subzee Panchamel, non-vegetarians can find sustenance in dishes such as Raan-e Mastaan – comprising a lamb shank basted with ayurvedic spices slow-cooked over charcoal for 12 hours and then flambéed with rum – and Lobster Nerulli – a gentle muddling of lobster, shallots and tomatoes – a dish which was created by the hotel group chairman’s wife, Leela Nair, who was also the inspiration behind the brand.
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Dessert is pretty as a postcard from India and just as colourful, packed with all the favourites from your mithaiwalla. So expect a dreamy kulfi falooda, sandesh which is almost coquettish with its lightness and other sweets from around the country. It’ll probably be midnight by the time you finish eating so make sure to leave before your uber turns back into a pumpkin (not on the menu).
Meal per person is Rs 10,000, plus taxes, at Jamavar, The Leela Palace, Chanakyapuri
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