A Royal Repast

Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the Taj Falaknuma Palace has held a series of events to commemorate this momentous occasion. From an evening with live jazz music to the launch of The Grill – a new restaurant open on Friday through Sunday for dinner only – at the awe inspiring Coronation Hall,  the management is doing everything in keeping with the grandeur this palace commands.

Every wall, every artefact, every chair and table, have a story to tell. One of the last grand palaces in India, this jewel of the Nizam’s crown has been lovingly restored to its original glory. The Sixth Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Pasha, quite a connoisseur of all things beautiful is the one responsible for the Coronation Hall at the Palace. The Delhi Durbar was organised in 1903 to celebrate the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra as Emperor and Empress of India. The Nizam, an invitee to the coronation, was present with his entourage. On display at the Durbar was wooden architectural art from various regions. He was so impressed with the beautiful furniture and artistry that he purchased all of it since no one else present could afford it. He  had them transported from Delhi and installed at what is called the Coronation Hall.

The Coronation Hall is a resplendent corridor fragrant with the sandalwood used for the carvings displaying Buddhism. The Hall displays furniture which has depictions of Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhist  faiths with Thai and Chinese influences. Intricate woodwork, arches with elaborate  designs and  motifs are a testament to the skilled artisans of that era.

And… right outside the Coronation Hall, in an alfresco seating arrangement in the balcony around it, is where you can enjoy a grill and barbecue dinner on the weekend. We sampled a Grilled Asparagus Cappuccino — a fresh green soup that was creamy in texture. This was followed by a Mezze Platter with Hummous, Babaganoush, Taboulleh and a Fattoush Salad. Mains included options  like the Duet of Lamb Chop and Chicken served with a Truffle Mash, Wild Mushroom and Spinach Provencale Sauce; or you could have a Duet of Korameena nd Achari Prawns that included South Indian style Korameen and tangy prawns; or a simpler Saffron Chicken served with grilled asparagus, broccoli and Sumac mash. For the vegetarians, the options were Grilled Vegetables served with Oriental style Mushroom Fried Rice or Courgette and Halloumi Skewers served with Teriyaki Sweet potatoes and Oriental Greens.

The desserts were the piece de resistance, as  Executive Chef Sajesh Nair and his team had outdone themselves with the selection. Crepes Flambe, a Wildberry Pannacotta and a Belgian  Chocolate Mousse were the scene stealers that evening. I only wish I had saved some more of my appetite to truly appreciate their taste as they were a gastronomic delight.

Saffron Chicken

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