(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Wed 29 Mar 2023, 4:54 PM
Last updated: Wed 29 Mar 2023, 5:15 PM
They say a journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step. And when it is a culinary expedition of 4000 miles along the famed ancient Silk Route, one bite is but a prelude to a gastronomic adventure.
Taj Dubai's Bombay Brasserie's 4-course set Iftar menu is so extensive it will set you on a path of no return as far as your diet is concerned for sure. But for a true epicurean, the carefully curated menu inspired by the royal kitchens of the Mughal empire is one to be savoured and not undertaken on a whim.
An assortment of dates and a refreshing trio of traditional Iftar beverages including the sweetened tamarind drink, Tamer Hindi, the apricot-infused Qamardeen and a hibiscus based Kharkade see us off on our delectable adventure. The first stop is the mighty starter platter with the most succulent, soft as butter, cardamom infused Murgh Malai Kebab and a wholesome spiced lamb mince with egg, Babari Seekh. But it is the humble onion fritters, Pyaz Pakora, that showcases the depth of Chef De Cuisine Ajay Negi's expertise; crisp and perfectly spiced with nary a hint of the oil that has gone into its genesis. Even the Ajwani Fish Tikka with its signature carom seed flavour pales in comparison. The Taftan - sweetened flat bread with an appealing nutty flavor - that comes along is testimony to the thought that has gone behind the starter platter. Each of the kebabs have their own distinctive flavour and a back story and yet it all comes together for a perfect start to the meal.
By now we've sampled an assortment of meats and fish and the chef has even managed to sneak in a pillowy soft Angara Paneer Tikka and Tandoori Soya Chap (part of the Vegetarian Iftar set menu), the latter a true game changer for plant-based palates.
But a journey of 4000 miles, cannot be deserted midway through, so we soldier on. To encounter bowls of Murgh Changezi - roast chicken in a rich flavourful tomato gravy - and a Nawabi fish curry which sadly we had no stomach for. The star in the main course is the Panchmela Dal - a melange of five lentils that we learn later is inspired from the kitchens of Queen Jodha Bai. What's good enough for Akbar, is more than good for us. The Hyderabadi Haleem, a nutritious dish that can trace its roots to Iran and Afghanistan, we learn, is the melt-in-your mouth variety with the slow cooked lamb infused with broken wheat till we cannot make out one from the other. The crunchy fried onion garnish takes this dish up a notch.
An assortment of rotis and Qubooli Pulao, a favourite of the vegetarian-loving Aurangzeb (another lesson in history), studded generously with Bengal gram, apricot and almond offsets the heavy curries.
By this stage, satiated with all the Mughal inspired dishes, we are more than ready to give up on our intrepid travel. But our affable hosts for the evening, Bharat and Raneesh, are not ready to let us go so easily. The Gulab Phirni - a simple and delicious aromatic rose infused rice pudding, and a refreshing Badam Kulfi Falooda finally brings us to our knees.
Food, they say, connects the past with the present and Bombay Brasserie's carefully curated historical Iftar set is testimony to that sentiment. And though the journey may seem overwhelming, it sure is a delicious one.
Journey Across the Silk Route Iftar at Taj Dubai's Bombay Brasserie is on from sunset to 9pm, priced at Dh195 per person; Suhoor is from 9pm-11:30pm for Dh225 per person.