The interiors are a throwback to our colonial past, the dishes a mix of what the maharajas and the sahibs loved. And the bar, named after Rudyard Kipling, serves heady cocktails. The Sahib Room and Kipling Bar, which opens at the Palladium tomorrow, is the best thing to happen to Mumbai’s food scene in a while
The Palladium hotel is fast becoming a go-to place for world cuisine. Come June 30 and the hotel will add another feather to its cap with the opening of the Sahib Room & Kipling Bar a restaurant and bar that opens up to a verandah and serves food and drinks that were ostensibly favourites with the colonial rulers and the Indian royalty food in other words that the pucca sahibs loved.
Kacche Gosht ki Biryani is an Awadhi preparation
We were intrigued with the invite that welcomed ‘Dhiman Sahib’ and family for a meal, so we stepped in to the yet-to-open-to-the-public restaurant for a preview, in suitably ‘pucca sahib’ attire, minus of course the monocles and the pipe. The Kipling Bar, which seats over 60 people, opens on to the verandah overlooking the Piano Lounge. We loved the cocktails on the menu and opted for the Mowgli (Rs 800).
Sasranga Meat is a Kashmiri delicacy
Most cocktail names here are inspired by Kipling’s books or poems and Mowgli, a wild concoction made of Whisky, spiced tea, apple, orange and Indian spices did not disappoint. Nor did Gunga-Din (Rs 900) named after the character from one of Kipling’s poems. This mix of vodka, saffron, sherry, mace, grapes and wine was potent and soothing.
The Sahib Room & Kipling Bar at the Palladium Hotel
Thus having restored our spirits on a particularly warm day, we stepped into the vast (and suitably chilled) restaurant to feast. We suspect Chef Angad Rai made us taste almost the entire menu, but thankfully, we asked for small tasting portions, and survived the delightful experience.
For starters, we had the Subzani Paneer Tikka (Rs 650) a ginger-green chilli marinated, spiced prune chutney-stuffed cottage cheese, followed by Lucknowi Seekh, (hand-ground lamb mince infused with fresh mint and spices, Rs 700) Vilayati Adraki Jheenga (grilled jumbo prawns rubbed with young galangal and kaffir lime, Rs 1350) and the Lahori Chaampein (lamb chops marinated in fennel for 12 hours, served with tandoori potato wedges Rs 750).
The garlic naan was good but the Warqi Malai Paratha (Rs 125) stood out with its softness and mildly sweet taste. The chef arrived with the Kacche Gosht ki Biryani (Rs 900), a traditional Awadhi biryani that smelt like heaven. Ah! The aroma. We dug into the biryani, served with raita. Bliss! Another standout main course was the Sasranga Meat, a Kashmiri hand-pulled lamb with garlic, cardamom and mace (Rs 750).
In the vegetarian selection, the Purvanchal Ka Saag, a ‘tawa’ cooked puree of fresh organic greens (Rs 650) was good, but the revelation was the Khaas Kofte, made from dumplings of cottage cheese stuffed with fig and bottle gourd, house gravy and fresh organic greens (Rs 700). We ended our meal with Paan-Rasgullas a fitting finale to a superb lunch.
The Sahib Room and Kipling Bar opens on June 30
Food: Fit for kings
Price: Rs 4,000 for two
At: Level 9M, Palladium Hotel