In the incomparable Taj Lake Palace hotel (the most oft photographed property in the world and where Octopussy was shot) is Neel Kamal, the hotel’s nod to traditional Rajathastani cooking.
From the Versace plates, patrons dripping in jewels to the relaxing live music you know you have entered a special place indeed.
The amuse bouche is lamb on a millet spread with accompaniment. Once again The Monster breaks his no lamb policy but in this case is left disappointed. The dish is served too cold and the flavors get lost amidst each other.
As for the order:
Sarson ke Phool – Golden glazed broccoli florets baked in mustard and herb enriched yoghurt marinade. Amazing. A new spin on an old favorite.
Kacchri bhutta – Crispy baby corn tossed with Kachri and a myriad of aromatic spices. Delightful. Indian cooking does wonders with vegetables.
Tandoori chicken – In chili paste with garlic roasted in the tandoor. Perfect. Simple yet delicious.
Paperwali Machali – Fish filet with mustard, garlic and cracked pepper corn sealed and cooked over charcoal. Lovely.
Dum subz biryani – Melange of garden vegetables sprinkled with fresh herbs and saffron, sealed in a pot and cooked on a “dum.” Wonderful.
The amuse was the last questionable bite of the evening and this meal rivals all as the best so far in India.
The Monster would write more but at what is widely considered one of the most romantic hotels in the world he has other things at hand.
Why go? Romance.
Monster rating: 4½/5 Monsters
P.O. Box 5, Udaipur 313001, India