Shamiana, Taj Mahal palace Colaba , mumbai

This is a review of Taj autograph collection – a bouquet of signature dishes at Taj hotels across the globe
In a nutshell:

A culinary marvel which needs to b discovered – an obvious idea of having an autograph collection, that strangely is not followed by most restaurants.

Address & other details: Shamiana

Meal for 2: 3000 onwards

Cuisine type : vegetarian & nonvegetarian

Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.

I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short description- in case u r in a hurry:

‘Shamiana is the coffee shop at the Taj Mahal palace which serves the usual coffee shop fare’ – with that assumption we never bothered to try the restaurant.

However once we heard of this autograph collection, we got interested and decided to try it out

The restaurant is fairly crowded always and the boys are always running around. The ratio of serving staff to guests is probably sub optimal. So inspite of working very hard, the boys are unable to pay attention when a guest wants to say something. There were several instances in the two days when we wanted to call someone but it was difficult to catch their attention. Then we Wud hv to wave at them like travellers stuck on a highway!!!!

Loved the food in general – though the standard deviation was pretty high.
Detailed description- in case u hv the tie to njoy reading:
Day 1:
Lampraise – Sri Lankan specialty of yellow rice, lampara chicken curry, vegetable curry (raw banana curry), boiled egg fritter, fish cake, all wrapped in a banana leaf and served. This dish was shockingly good. Unbelievable. We had to pinch ourselves to believe that we were not dreaming!!!

The whole thing came wrapped in banana soon as we unwrapped it, the aroma of the food hit the senses. Wow.

The vegetable curry I assume changes from time to time. We had the one with raw bananas. Loved it. The sheer taste was excellent, leave apart the texture and the flavours. Very difficult to make such a nice curry from this humble veggie. Rate it 4.5/5

Boiled egg fritter was deep fried boiled eggs cooked in a curry, served half. Good organic eggs. As good as they could get. Rate it 4.5/5

Fish cake was crumb fried. I Wud suggest to eat this towards the beginning as the stinger flavours of the curry and rice might make this seem bland, which it was not. Loved it. Rate it 3.5/5

Lampara chicken curry was finger licking good. We finished the gravy to the last drop. The aroma of the curry, the richness and robustness of the gravy, the flavours of spices were memorable. The chicken pieces were good but besides the point. Wud not hv missed anything without the pieces. Rate it 4.75/5

Rice was thick and sticky. The aroma was great. The flavours of cloves and other spices were stunning. What a balanced taste. RAte it 4.95/5

Overall rating of the dish is 4.5/5

Fish exotica – fish and prawn coconut curry with tomato and aubergine sambol , lemongrass and fresh turmeric- from Taj Maldives

Once again the gravy was so good that we finished it till the last drop. Medium thick gravy, full of flavours of spices , coconut and seafood. The prawns were huge and soft and super fresh and tasty. Not over cooked. The fish was very good too. Would have preferred fish with skin coz that would have bettered the texture of fish on outer side. Rate this dish 4.75/5

Day 2:

We started with prawn nasi goreng, a specialty of Vivanta by Taj, rebak island, lankawi. It was one of the best nasi goreng I have ever had in india. The thick round, almost sticky rice had a great flavour of spices and prawns infused in it, it was enjoyably chewy. Loved the way the flavours played with each other, the texture of rice and the taste of course. Prawns were super fresh and awesome. Rate the dish 4.5/5

We moved on to chicken bunny chow – a traditional South African street food – hollowed out soft bread bun filled with Durban style chicken and vegetable curry, a specialty of Taj Capetian, South Africa. It was indeed an interesting dish. Loved the bread which seemed to be baked inhouse. The chicken curry was good to taste but nothing extraordinary. The chicken pieces were good but nothing great. Rate this dish 3.75/5.

The last dish for the evening was not from the autograph collection but it was a British classic – shepherds pie. Mutton mince at the bottom, mashed potato at the top. Baked. Loved the mashed potato – the creaminess and the taste. The meat mince was good but I would have expected it to be much better, in terms of much more meaty flavour, more uneven , lumpy , juicy mince. The taste of the meat mince was good though. Overall it tasted good. Rate it 3.75/5

For dessert we had baked almond cake with vanilla ice cream and almond milk sauce. The cake was outstanding – moist, soft, fluffy, full of almond flavour, old school and very very enjoyable – just as it is as well as with the sauce. Super enjoyed the intense, YUMM & thick sauce. The ice cream was out of place and seemed force fitted. It was low on vanilla flavour, sweeter than optimal and less thick and intense than expected. Rate the ice cream 3/5. Quite ordinary for an extraordinary hotel. Rate the dessert 4.75/5, ignoring the ice cream. Average rating of the dish is 3.9/5

Overall rating of food at shamiana averages out to 4.2/5
Look forward to revisiting and trying the other dishes

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