There's good food, then there's Bazaar. I'm paying tribute to the alfresco restaurant at Zone By The Park Jaipur, with its kitsch interiors, live kitchens, smoothie stand, street cart and hi-fashion auto that doubles up as a souvenir shop! On entering, I took a table by the window instead of the outdoors space as it was raining hard! Talking to the restaurant team was fun, as they were charming with smiling eyes; I got the impression that they were the keeper of a culinary secret that they would love to share… and share they did!
While perusing the menu and discussing it with their waitstaff, I was impressed to observe that the interiors team had made use of all nooks and crannies to create conversation points. The ambiance was casual elegance with a bazaar wall designed to showcase a Jaipur marketplace with jars of spice, colourful glass bottles, books and more. At the furthest end were interactive kitchens; street cart that offered chaat; pizzeria and smoothie bar — add to this an a la carte menu and buffet. Whew! There was a nip as rain lashed at the windows and that called for something exotique so I ordered 'Jaipuri Zone Pizza' with 'Oreo Chocolate Banana Smoothie'. Sipping on the thick smoothie served in a mug, the aroma of freshly baked pizza taunted me as the server brought it . It was a new experience for me, and this pizza I don't think I would've chosen myself, but Chef was confident it'd be a winner! It was well prepared, balancing rich maas ke soole, spiced onion and mint chutney. Yeah, Bazaar's oven makes a thin crust you won't forget… and it was consumed quickly with pizza lover's zeal! Satiated, I promised Chef I would be back for dinner the following eve as I was staying there, and he said he would curate a bespoke thalli to give me a flavour of Rajasthan. Purr—fect!
The next evening, I reserved a table at the open space with mist fans making it cool. The Chef had curated a thali with laal maas and gulab jamun ki sabji with miss roti. The main event was laal maas… something you'd have to taste to believe! It was prepared to a fork cutting tenderness... the meat curry was bursting with infused flavours of red chilli and onion. This is one dish I will be back for… on each trip to the pink city!! I tried the gulab jamun ki sabji next, which was well-cooked with rich cashewnut gravy blended masterfully. I use the word "fresh" a lot… each dish was prepared after the order and it was fresh and flavourful! These folks know what they're doing! Just when I thought I'd maxed out my palate and belly, I was coaxed into trying Bazaar's dessert, Ghevar. The Rajasthani sweet traditionally associated with Teej was sinfully decadent!
Thinking back to my culinary experience at Bazaar during my two—day trip to Jaipur, credit must be given to the interiors team for creating such a colourful, positive, lively restaurant and of course Bazaar's Chef de Cusine who has made entree a fine dining experience instead of just another dish. Masterful! You know I'll be back! Bravo, Bazaar!
— JASMEEN DUGAL
BAZAAR, ZONE BY THE PARK, BANI PARK, JAIPUR