Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur sums it up well — 'The City Palace is an integral part of the rich legacy of Jaipur. While one takes pride in the history of these grand structures, one also understands how important it is to move with the times. I wanted Baradari to be an impressive space with a visual language that was both contemporary and traditional. It was important to retain the original structures and work within that framework to make it relevant in the present day.'
Using ancient artisanal techniques, Studio Lotus helmed by architect Ambrish Arora transformed the cafe at City Palace Jaipur into Baradari — 14,000 sq ft alfresco restaurant where traditional craftsmanship meets sleek, modern design. Walking in, my friend and I were in awe of Baradari — a fine example of living heritage and how conservation is looked at through fresh lens. An island bar and fountain is the focal point of the courtyard, from where a path leads into the pavilion. Though it was a hot weekday, it was packed to capacity with foreigners and we were glad to have a reserved table! Perusing the menu, we observed that though Rajasthani cuisine is the mainstay, the kitchen has accounted for overseas travellers with lighter dishes like charcoal grilled chicken, steamed fish with sesame soy, pasta, pizza, sandwiches.
After some deliberation, we ordered sangria. For lunch, I went with 'Baradari Penne Pesto' while my friend chose 'Spaghetti Aglio Olio Pepperoncino'. Our dishes arrived quickly and my expectation was righteously met when I had my first bite of the penne pesto with Parmesan, coriander and walnuts. It was fabulous! Although my preference is a thick creamy sauce, and this was a dry dish, it was light, fresh and flavourful. My friend mentioned her spaghetti sautéed in olive oil, with dry red chilli, sliced garlic and parsley was delightful. Though the dessert menu was appealing with specialties like 'Apple Jalebi With Rose Petal and Ice Cream' and 'Honey Sea Salt Creme Brulee', we were satiated and preomised ourselves we would be back for it on our next trip to Jaipur.
Reminiscing about the luncheon, there's a reason why Baradari is packed through the day. The ambience is charming and the team caters to tourists' culinary preferences with both traditional regional cuisine and a lighter International selection — the growing number of guests each day is proving it. The only thing I found lacking is the slow service. We had to wait twenty minutes for the bill even though there were several unoccupied servers!! Sigh. That said, Baradari is a must-visit when you're in the mood for relaxed cocktails and cuisine in a historical palace restaurant.
— JASMEEN DUGAL
Baradari, City Palace, Jaipur.