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THE SAHIB ROOM, HOTEL PALLADIUM

Have you ever eaten dinner when everything you ate was "excellent"? When your attempts to be objective fail as you succumb to the enchanting spell of culinary perfection? Well that's what occurred at Hotel Palladium's The Sahib Room. The restaurant and bar with verandah seating draws inspiration from the British rule and Rudyard Kipling's writing. The ambiance is vintage elegance with well-curated Seventeenth century water-colour paintings and Venetian mirrors.. Ossler chandeliers and a gramophone.  

 

Waiting for my friends, I couldn't help admiring the elegant crockery on crisp white linen evoking images of an era when oil lamps and silver cutlery were a common feature on dinner tables. As I sipped on their signature cocktail 'The Phantom Rickshaw' bar chef Prashant revealed it was named after Kipling's love for a woman!! And no wonder it was a stimulating mix of rum with coconut and curry leaves. Once my friends arrived, we were served a shot of the signature 'Gosht Yakhni' lamb soup was which was surprisingly light and intensely flavored. It was both refreshing and zesty! We then ordered aggressively as we were tired and hungry after a day packed with fashion shows. Our waiter answered queries about the specials and made knowledgeable suggestions so pretty soon we started out with 'Broccoli Dak Bangla'. The broccoli grilled in mustard marinade and slathered with Philadelphia cream cheese making it utterly delicious—and unlike anything I've ever had! Up next was 'Gilawati Kebab'. The flavor of these melt-in-the-mouth lamb kebabs were heightened by the citrus-mango chutney. 'Vilayati Adraki Jheenga' was perhaps my favorite! The grilled jumbo prawns rubbed with galangal and kaffir lime was fresh and flavorsome. And the fourth and last appetizer 'Lahori Chaampein' was magnificent. The 12-hour fennel marinated lamb chops with a side of tandoori potatoes satiated all hunger pangs and murmurs of satisfaction were involuntary elicited. 

 

For entrées we passed up the signatures 'Kacche Ghost Ki Biryani' and 'Sahib Room Nalli Nihari' and instead ordered 'Sasranga Meat'. The Kashmiri hand-pulled lamb melted in the mouth with each forkful ending in an explosion of garlic and cardamom. Another dish worthy of mention is 'Jaipuri Aloo'. The unassuming potatoes were transcended to a culinary masterpiece with roasted cashew nuts- pine nuts- cilantro. Hmm I have used the words "fresh" and "flavorsome" a lot during this night's feast! Each of the dishes were marvellous creations: rich and imaginative. As conversation and camaraderie flowed into the night it was time for dessert. Just when I thought I had maxed out the palates I was coaxed into trying the paan ice-cream… a sweet ending to a decadent dinner embellished with attentive service. You know we'll be back Chef Paul Kinny! Bon Appetite.

— JASMEEN DUGAL

 
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The Sahib Room and Kipling Bar. Level 9M. Palladium Hotel. Lower Parel. Mumbai

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