July 10th, 2017
Going to Varq on a Monday, has a far more pleasant connotation, when it means that you are one of the chosen few to have been invited to be a part of the preview that is showcasing the work of Varq at the Taj West End.
Bangalore has been favored to get a glimpse of Varq, the award winning restaurant from the Taj Mahal Hotel, Delhi and Chef Rajesh Singh and his team will be gracing the kitchen at the Masala Club, Taj West End for the next few days, ably assisted by the host Chef Sandip Narag.
This is a part of the Culinary Trails by Taj, which brings hand picked dishes of Taj restaurants from one city to another, thus enabling diners to experience the fare from various Taj restaurants across the country, in the comfort of their own city.
Our experience involved tasting of a specially curated menu that was paired with white and red wine, at an enchantingly laid out table in the charming environs of the restaurant.
We began with the Varqui duet of Ambedi fish and Gandheri kebab. The fish was a chunk of River Sole in a mildly tangy raw mango sauce and the kebab was of minced chicken on a stick of sugarcane, of melt in the mouth texture and the flavor of cane that left us yearning for more … a ghanna ki tamanna, if you will !!!
The vegetarian duet had the Corn kebab and Subz gandheri.
This was followed by the Kale channe ki cappuccino, that I would have named CappuChanna … a brilliantly spiced broth from boiled and pureed black chickpeas and served cappuccino style, complete with the accompanying froth. They did not divulge the secret behind the foam, most likely wanting us to believe that they had magically commanded forth the broth with a ‘May the Froth be with you’ but the baker in me recognized the Aqua Faba which was probably used 😀
This is the water in which the channa is boiled and has the potential to be whipped to an obedient peak.
Before embarking on the main course, the palate was cleansed with a raw mango sorbet with hints of dry ginger, sweet, tangy and spicy at the same time.
There was a choice of lamb, chicken or vegetarian, for the main course but of course we cleverly managed to taste all three
The Martabaan ka meat with lamb cooked tender with pickled chillis in an earthen pot, was served out of mini Martabaans (jars) and was wonderful in texture and flavor. So also, was the the Murg sirka pyaaz, the succulent chicken tikka in pickled onion and tomato gravy, served in a rich casing of pastry.
The Nadru and anjeer ke kofte, the lotus stem dumpling with figs, was not too distinct in textures and tastes though and I would have liked it to be less stodgy. The accompanying sauce however, was excellent, as was the garnish of the single lotus stem crisp.
The accompaniments to the above were a silky smooth Dal methi, that was as laden with ghee as we were with guilt, aloo lal mirch with its perfectly done, spiced baby potatoes, a classy Burnt chilly mustard rice and Parathas so soft that they provided no resistance to the teeth, ably lubricated as they were, with stuffing of molten Camembert cheese !!!
We ended the meal with the trio of Apple kheer, with grated Granny Smith apples and topped with an apple crisp, Crispy jalebi embedded in kalakand and finally the Crispy kalakand with blueberry filling. The latter two, a tad too sweet for my palate but the accompanying signature Varq tea, ably foiled that sensation.
This special Rose tea was made by merely steeping the petals of Wild roses (Van Gulab) in boiling water … and the resulting infusion with its subtle aftertaste of rose, was the best way to end this rich meal along with the complimentary pouch of the dried petals of the Van Gulab !!!
The creations of Varq will be available from July 12th to 16th, 2017, at both lunch and dinner, with around 40 choices to delight yourself from.
Go … stop and smell the roses !!!
All inclusive Price factor – (all meals for two, without alcohol)
A la carte – around Rs 4000
Set vegetarian menu – Rs 3500
Set N vegetarian menu – Rs 5500
July 10th, 2017
For more pictures see My Facebook – Taj West End-Varq