A Special Day At Machan
For me, Machan will always be special. The all-day dining restaurant in Delhi’s iconic five-star hotel, Taj Mahal has been known for its legendary hospitality and stellar food. It was during college days that Sam and I spent hours at the diner, dreaming and talking about our future together. The décor sashaying a wildlife theme enveloped us in its charm. A cup of coffee and Bull’s eye, the sinful dessert, kept our conversation rolling on for hours with the mellow serenade from the pianist at the lounge. It was during one of our dates where we sat gazing into each other’s eyes, that he finally popped the “Will you marry me?” question. The epic moment of my life at a place that offers the essence of timelessness and heritage.
Machan 3.0 Version
Just like things evolve with time while they retain their core characteristics, Machan has changed with time yet retained its ethos of impeccable service and outstanding food in an ambience that takes you closer to nature. The much-loved rendezvous and legendary Machan, Taj Mansingh has re-emerged in a contemporary avatar after renovation and a shutdown induced by the pandemic. The iconic hotel now also showcases a sparkling new lobby that triumphs in elegance and regality.
The stunning cane tree canopies branch out to the ceiling and give a feel of dining under a Machan.
On entry, the first thing that catches the eye are the stunning tree canopies that have the semblance to the supertrees in “Gardens by the Bay”, Singapore. The wallpapers recreate the grasslands of a jungle. The assortment of terracotta animal masks made by the local artists, brush a rustic stroke while the cylindrical lanterns add a contemporary touch to the ambience. A sweep of the eye over the restaurant has a tranquilising effect. The colours used are soft and the aesthetics are quite a contrast to the earlier version which had a busy look.
Do ask for the window seat. The large windows provide vistas of the fauna outside and enhance the experience further. Also, the appeal of the restaurant with the two cane tree trunks in the centre, makes one feel that they are literally sitting under a treetop post. The staff wears a spiffy forest green uniform with a tiger print scarf that gels well with the vibe.
Menu Inspired From The Forests Of The World
Flavours both old and new find their way in the menu. Forests of the world and India have been the inspiration to create an eclectic menu that rejoices the flavours and colours of the jungle. Local and foraged ingredients along with plenty of meat and seafood are transformed into artistically presented dishes that are replete with flavours.
The fresh repertoire of beverages and cocktails in the menu draws inspiration from nostalgia and nature. We started off with The Number One cocktail, and the Titicaca Greens – quinoa, beet, baby spinach topped with soy onion chilli dressing and inspired from the wilderness in Peru. Named after the address as well as the popular discotheque by the same name, the Number One cocktail is. a unique blend of gin, guava, red apple, elderflower and is absolutely delicious. The double cooked Xishuangbanna lamb and the cute tiger “Pug marks” made with chilli chipotle and mushrooms made for pre-delicacies.
The novel presentation by Executive Chef, Arun Sundararaj, doesn’t detract from the depth of flavour on every plate – each more effortlessly balanced and delectable than the next one. The Ocean turns Purple is a wondrous dish robust with flavours. Butter poached sea bass with a smattering of microgreens is served with quenelles of mashed potato and surround a bed of warm mushrooms. The Black Forest in Germany gets its name from its canopy of evergreens. Named after the thick woodlands, the Black Forest tails is shortbread with rocket lettuce and sun-dried tomatoes.
Bull’s eye has been the star in the dessert menu of the restaurant from the start. The sinfully warm cake with ice-cold ice cream and an exact dollop of chocolate sauce nestle within a chocolate eye. You just can’t beat the satisfaction of eating a spoonful of the gooey chocolate mixed with vanilla ice cream.
The pandemic still rules the headlines and one cannot brush away the safety aspect of eating out. At Machan, they have installed a state-of-the-art purification system to control the spread of microbes and to maintain indoor air quality. At the restaurant the hygiene and safety protocols are met to make the guests safe.
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