In a NUtshell:
A series of three memorable meals sitting in an alcove of a beautiful restaurant, situated inside a 270 year old palace (now converted to a heritage hotel) that is situated in the middle of a huge lake, tajness all over in the warm yet professional service and generally good food with some ups and downs.
Address & other details: jharokha
Meal for 2: ₹3000 onwards
Cuisine type : vegetarian & non vegetarian
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We paid for the restaurant bill for 2 lunches along with hotel bill. Breakfast was a la carte, as a part of stay
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
This restaurant is located inside taj lake palace hotel, a luxury heritage hotel of taj group. The 270 year old heritage hotel is situated in the middle of lake pichola and one can reach the hotel only thru private transport provided by hotel.
The restaurant serves as the coffee shop of the hotel. Breakfast is also served here. We chose to have lunch here on 2 occasions and a breakfast. We also got some food packed for the airport, on our way back.
The restaurant is beautiful, has marble walls and flooring. I stood in front of a beautiful painting for quite some time in the restaurant. The best part of the restaurant were the two alcoves on two corners – our friend Ankita had told us to try to get a seat there. Luckily we got to sit in the alcoves in all our meals.
With waves of water and Udaipur city palace across the water as background, the alcoves r just too good places to sot , chat, eat, drink and create good memories …..
People at the restaurant were super warm and treated us as their personal guests. Cant forget the elderly gentleman who served us lunch on day 1 and breakfast the following day, the cool kid in traditional attire who served us breakfast on day 2, the lady who saw us clicking each other’s pic offered to click some pics and of course the manager who took immense care.
I am always impressed by the feedback mechanism at taj properties and how people make an effort to make good a suboptimal experience. It happened a few times at taj Falaknuma.
It again happened here. We found our day 1 lunch at jharokha restaurant good but the dinner miles ahead. We mentioned this casually to the restaurant manager of neelkamal when he cane for feedback post dinner. He said he will convey to his counterpart. Next day when we were back to jharokha for breakfast, the restaurant manager spoke about our previous day experience and he said that if we come again for lunch, he would serve us a great dish. We did vidit for lunch and it was outstanding. Memorable of course.
Food varied from average to excellent. Bold flavours and taste of some Indian dishes were watered down on several occasions, I think to adjust to western travellers. This was not the case in their Indian speciality restaurant neel kamal.
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
Day 1 Lunch
We ordered Fish and seafood curry. We asked what fish. We were told pomfret. That sounded good. We started asking this question ever since basa emerged.
The curry was served in a deep dish with a bed of seafood (mainly prawn) in the Center of the plate like a round shaped island. On top of it was placed slices of pomfret.
Gravy was floating around the island but not touching the fish.
Super loved the coconutty gravy, its creaminess and the flavours of spices, coconut milk, seafood , all complementing each other.
The prawns were great to munch on.
The pomfret was murdered!!! They skinned it and it became strange to taste and also hardened up. The most sought after fish in mumbai was reduced to an ordinary ‘fish’ …..
Rate the gravy 4.5/5, rate the prawns 4.5/5, rate the pomfret 2.5/5. Overall rating of the dish averages out to 3.8/5
Home style mutton curry with pulao cooked in meat stock came next. We ordered this after reading the description of pulao ‘cooked in mutton stock’. We imagined a very aromatic , biryani like soft rice, with robust flavours of the meat and richness of texture coming from cooking in stock. Nothing of that kind happened. The rice was sub optimally soft, it had no flavours – we highly regretted our choice. We eat normal texture rice – not that we were expecting it softer than others do.
The meat curry was good but not memorable. It Was made from boneless mutton. The pieces were soft and tasty. The gravy was good.
Rate the meat curry 3/5 and rice 2/5. Overall rating averages out to 2.5/5.
We did not order any dessert. We were given some lovely chocolates on the house.
Day 2 Breakfast –
Eggs benedict was very good. Loved it in every way – texture, taste … rate it 4.5/5
Pyaz Kachori was very good. These were thankfully smaller than the usual size available in Udaipur sweet shops. The outer layer was very crisp and we cud understand the layers. It was nicely khasta. The filling was not too sour (like in some of the sweet shops) but sour enough to give it a twist and b enjoyable. Rate it 4.25/5
Mirchi vada was very good. It retained the full flavours of mirchi and yet overall tasted very good. Rate it 4/5
Keema paratha was a big miss. We regretted ordering it as it was filling, not worth the stomach space it took. The keema was over minced (machine minced) and hence lost its character. I guess, to make the filling less oily and robust, to meet the taste expectations of expats, the filling was severely compromised. The filling did not have a character, no boldness, mild flavours of meat, mild flavours of spices and it was dry. The layer of mince was also thin. So every bite tasted a lot if atta with a hint if mince meat. Rate it 1/5.
Mango served to us was the best we had in the season. It was just mango – cut and served. Best we have had this season with the second best a mile away. Usually I wud not rate this as the kitchen did not add value. However the restaurant gets 100% credit as their sourcing team rocked. The sweetness matched beautifully with the sourness and they constantly Drew attention, yet the tango was super enjoyable. The mangoes were just so juicy and were bursting out with flavours. Rate it 4.95/5.
I asked for black Coffee – it was worse than the worst coffee I have ever had at Starbucks India (same parent company). I asked for a strong black coffee. What came was medium brew (not strong), had a burnt smell feel (usually when the coffee powder is not properly filled in the machine) and watery. I guess a restaurant of this repute might as well get the head barista of Starbucks to pay a visit, check the ingredients, the process being followed and train the team. Rate the coffee 1/5.
Day 2 Lunch
As mentioned in ‘short description’ , the restaurant manager offered us Jharokha special mutton curry. It was Finger licking good. Unlike the previous lunch, this mutton curry was cooked with bones and hence the gravy was richer , with the bone narrow and juices mixing with the gravy. Infant it was so good that we finished the gravy off till the last drop. The meat was falling off the bones at the slightest nudge, yet retaining its texture and structure. The neat was super soft and full of meaty flavours , rustic gravy with a unusual smokiness. Rate it 4.95/5
Laccha paratha was flaky, crisp on the outer side, had flavours of ghee and was just excellent. Rate it 4.5/5
Mint julep was recommended by our server and it turned out to b excellent as well – tangy, sharp, refreshing. Rate it 4.5/5
We also got Masala khichadi packed for the airport on the way back. It was very good. The veggies retained their texture, the masalas were not on the face, taste was very good. Rate it 4/5
Overall rating of food at jharokha averages out to 3.7/5
I guess we will try non Indian food on the menu next time.