Bistro is housed in the beautiful and luxury St James Court at the Taj hotel and this month Bistro is offering a limited edition vegetarian thali menu. An almost tasting menu style collection of Indian flavours in honour of the celebration of light, Diwali. And a celebration or flavours it was.
To start, we received a glossy, almost amuse bouche-esque shot of the smoothest mango lassi. Not too light to be forgotten but not too heavy and overbearing to ruin the following dishes. Sweet? Yes of course but far from sickly and garnished with an edible flower.
The main consisted of five individual pots of Raita, Malai Kofta, Kasmiri Dum Aloo, Lasooni Palak Paneer and a Dal Kandhari, all rich, creamy and bursting with flavour. This was served with a dried fruit pulao rice and a methi thepla (a kind of paratha) to mop up the sauces. Finishing the dish was a Raj Kachori, a kind of dumpling with a crisp flaky exterior concealing a light and fluffy centre and a small cube of Tikka Paneer.
All dishes had their own voice in this perfect orchestrated choir. The tenors being the bold, deep green lasooni and tomato-soup esque Dum aloo. These heavy notes were nicely balanced by the baritone smoothness of the vegetarian kofta and fresh Raita. All had their own alto level of spice to punctuate through the creaminess.
The evenings show stopper for me was a sweet, warm carrot based dessert, marbled with the crunch of peanut and explosions of dried fruit. This was accompanied by a small dark chocolate cup containing an exquisite small coconut ball ignited by 2 trails of tart and sweet mango and berry sauces. The plate was evened out by a smoother, less punchy rose ice cream.
For those who haven’t a clue what each dish is about, the waiting staff were always on hand to talk through the dishes, and even introduced the chef to explain his creations. We will certainly be back to test out future menus on one condition, a little more of that methi thepla please. “
The limited edition menu is on now, and runs until 6th November 2019 and is priced at £45 per person.
Address: St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel, 54 Buckingham Gate,
London, SW1E 6AF
Written by Rick Hartley