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Varq. Taj Mahal Hotel. Blogger's Table

It's awesome being a part of a group where food is the focal point each time. And the last year, has been one meal to another - good or bad - together. And I'm going to miss this immensely.

And as it happened my final meal with the Blogger's Table was at Varq at The Taj Mahal Hotel. A little bit of bullying and we ran full house (well almost, Aishwarya was the only one who'd rain checked) and that was the most exciting part of the meal. The truth was I was looking forward to this meal for another reason, Varq is often compared to my favourite restaurant - Indian Accent - and I have been dying to see how they match up.

As we all sat down to talk to each other, in a seemingly private dining area at Varq, (I say seemingly only because I KNOW how loud we were), the mocktails / cocktails were brought out. Pineapple basil and a tamarind orange, both gorgeous, but I took to the tamarind orange mocktail like fish to water. Must have downed atleast four glasses of this delicious drink if not more.

The menu placed before us was extensive, and fortunately apart the drinks, we weren't really allowed to nibble at anything else. As the chef made his introductions and we had the chance to choose what we'd like to eat as our mains and entrees and hand over our choices to the maitre de.

It all began with an amuse bouche of fruit chaat. A chunky piece of fruit with a twist of lime and a bit of chaat masala. Supposed to have whet the appetite, I suppose it did its job as I waited for the next course to show up.

Varqui Khumbh - Mushrooms in rather spicy south Indian curry. While it tasted meaty, I found it much too hot on the palate and felt that one of two of the spices could have easily been reduced. The Varqui crab the non vegetarian option was received with a lot of enthusiasm.

Photo Courtesy: Deeba Rajpal

Haleem plus gandheri kebab and the galouti on a beautifully platted was laid out next. The haleem was excellent, I wish I could have had a lot more of it as was the galouti which was served with the sheermal. The gandheri kebab paired well with the sauce which was sweet and spicy at the same time. This is quite the star of the evening.

Photo Courtesy: Deeba Rajpal 

I skipped the next course of soup - since I have no particular love for either lobsters or kala chana / horse grams - and asked for the vegetarian appetiser which was the palak patte ki chaat. And am glad that I decided to change things around, because while the soup was mellow and nice, it really wasn't my favourite. The palak patte ki chaat however, was lovely, I loved the tamarind chutney it came with, but I just wish there was a bit of yogurt on the side to go with it.

Before the main course was brought out, the palate cleanser arrived. Gari/ pink ginger sorbet which was well not soothing at all. Gimme a lemon/tamarind/fruit sorbet anyday, ginger is way too overpowering.

Next up was the Sea bass with potato dauphinoise in allepy curry. And I am glad I chose that from the range of entrees - which included chicken and paneer. The curry was beautiful, nice coconutty and the fish perfect. It reminded me of this John Dory with Meen Moilee at Indian Accent. The potatoes dauphinose were done well and I thought rounded off the dish quite well.

By now we were really quite full, but the dish of the day or the martaban ka meat was still to come. It was being served with a pulao. I had great expectations from this dish, especially since it was a Hemant Oberoi special. Unfortunately it did nothing for me. While the mutton was super tender, the spices didn't particularly stand out. I wish I'd skipped it entirely.

After what seemed like a loooong wait, the dessert was brought out  - Jalebi, apple kheer and malpua - of the three I really liked the apple kheer and while the jalebi was super crisp it was a bit too sweet for me. Odd I thought that.

Paan, some lovely rose tea and three-and-a-half-hours later, we were done. And it was time to say goodbye.

Now here's the thing, I expected greatness. I got well, fair. Such a fall. I wanted a meal like that at Indian Accent, this gave me heartburn all night instead. :(.

But... having said that. I had a lovely time. I was sad, but happy that I'd be welcomed back whenever I return. I'm miss going to miss you guys. SO. VERY. MUCH.

See what the others had to say

Deeba at Passionate About Baking
Sangeeta at Banaras Ka Khana
Charis at Culinary Storm
Sushmita at My Unfinished Life
Himanshu at The White Ramekins
Parul at The Shirazine
Mukta at Bake-a-mania
Rekha at My Tasty Curry
Sid at Chef at Large
Nachiketa at Crazy over Desserts

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  1. we loved varq experience most for you and the symbolic dinner it was :)

  2. You are going to be missed. So so much :(

  3. You will be missed so so much :(

  4. Wanted to stop by and yet didn't want to read this. Such a well balanced review . You don't have any idea how much you will be missed! Come back soooooooooooooon!! I am so glad I was there at Varq! That was a special dinner.

  5. Hey Ruchira, this is a really nice post you've added, been exploring for hotel reviews I found your post about Taj hotel. Food is looking incredibly delicious, and well served too! Feeling so much in love with the service. Was is just for the dinner or there is facility for staying also, Coz I'd love too spend some time visiting Indian places. Thanks for sharing a beautiful post. My last trip was in Norther Ireland and I liked the stay. here is a link if you ever have plan to visit Ireland.


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