Shamiana at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai is synonymous with all day dining, being one of the first to launch this concept in the city way back in 1973. Ask any uncle or aunty and they’ll all have a story to share about this iconic eatery. They revamped, refurbished and relaunched the entire space in August last year after a small break and I’ve been meaning to go dine at Shamiana ever since.
The entire space exudes ‘Tajness’ and welcomes you like an old friend with open arms. The white canopies on the ceiling above your table pays homage to the restaurant’s name, with the entire space done up in a minimal chic style. The outdoor section with it’s intricate jaali work can get stifling hot during the day, but is perfect for a balmy winter evening. (Wish Mumbai had more of those. Sigh!)
The menu covers all day dining options, a ‘Bombay’ section featuring the city’s best, a nostalgic Shamiana section featuring old school dishes and comfort mains. What deserves a mention is their Taj Autograph Collection featuring signature dishes curated by Taj chefs across the globe.
We picked the Double Baked Camembert Cheese Soufflé (Rs. 785/-) to start with – regulars will remember this dish from the days of ‘Zodiac Grill’. Extremely rich and indulgent, with warm gooey cheese that melts in your mouth, this one’s every cheese lover’s dream. Another old school favourite is the Classic Prawn Cocktail (Rs. 850/-) – butterflied prawns come delicately arranged around a martini glass with lettuce and a ‘cocktail’ sauce within. Though the dish is farely ho-hum to taste, it screams old school dining. Let’s raise our hats to that!
The Fish Exotica (Rs. 985/-), a signature dish from Taj Exotica Maldives, was a mildly spiced, silky coconut based curry with immense flavor percolating into the curry via the fish. The Sri Lankan Lampraise (Rs. 985/-) was a mish mash of yellow rice, chicken curry and vegetable served with assorted condiments in a steamed banana leaf. There were too many elements here, each complimenting the other, making this a confusing yet delicious dish to eat.
I picked We Didn’t Break Our Lemon Tart (Rs. 685/-) from their impressive dessert menu purely because of the cheeky name, an ode to Massimo Bottura’s ‘Oops, I Dropped The Lemon Tart.’ Dropped or not, this lemon tart was stuff dreams are made of. A beautiful lemon curd with the right amount of tartness, sits atop a crumbly tart base with shards of meringue on top to give it that ‘deconstructed’ edge. The mini Raspberry float on the side was redundant and adds nothing to the dish. The VSOP Chocolate Mousse (Rs. 685/-) fell flat comparatively even though the mousse was decadent with a mild hit of brandy on top.
(The author dined anonymously and paid for her own meals. As always, the views are unbiased and entirely her own.)
Shamiana, The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Apollo Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai.