Dining On Top Of The Taj

(This is Paul doing a guest post – Holly is doing another site visit and the kids are passed out after being up since 2:00 AM with screwed up sleep schedules)

So after our not so successful attempt to go to Wasabi, I decided to try talking to the concierge for more recommendations.  Initially he was polite but very hesitant since his first question was what room we were staying in and I had to confess that we were not guests at the hotel.  But I explained to him that my wife, Dr. S., was a guest of the Tata Institute for Social Sciences and we were staying in their guest quarters.   That led to a brief discussion of how long we were in India and where else we were visiting in the country.  And I will confess that I may have implied that we were contemplating returning to the Taj and the end of our month before returning home…

Eventually the concierge warmed up considerably and we discussed a wide of variety of the fabulous restaurants there at the hotel (Indian, Chinese, Japanese, etc.) but nothing quite seemed to resonate with me.   So I asked what he recommended for a family with children and specifically stated that I’d prefer to dine earlier so as to be the least disruptive to the other guests (lunch  is usually taken late from anywhere around 1:30 to 3:00 it seems).   I emphasized that I really wanted something memorable for my children since it was the trip of a life time for them and, of course, as all parents believe: my children are perfect little angels.

That must have struck a chord as he got a twinkle in his eye and made a quick phone call consisting of a completely unintelligible (to me) but obviously playful conversation.   Once he was off the phone, he proceed to tell me that we had reservations at 12:30 (when the restaurant opens) on the top floor of the hotel.  It was a Mediterranean restaurant called “Souk” which means marketplace in Arabic.

So at 12:30 we took the elevator to the roof and we’re greeted by a phenomenal view of the city…

…and of the Gateway of India:

The restaurant itself was beautifully done in a sparse manner so as not to detract from the views and Will grabbed a camera and started taking pictures at all the windows.  Since we were the only ones dining and all of the staff kept smiling we let him have free reign.

That’s Will, Kate and I at our window side table.

Aside from the breathtaking views, the rest of our lunch was equally delightful.  The wait staff was incredibly friendly and engaged with the kids.   They even brought pillows for the chairs so that kids could sit better or, as Kate put it, “Just like a princess!”  Our waiter’s recommendations for the kids’ lunch were spot on: a grilled chicken breast dish that was not too spicy and a virgin mango mimosa that was heavenly.  At their recommendation, Holly and I both tried their special appetizer buffet which let us eat our fill from a huge variety of appetizers ranging from roasted lamb in tomato cream to the best hummus either of us had ever had in our lives.

The picture above is the vegetarian side of the buffet and below are the non-veg options.

Everything was exquisitely prepared and presented.  The chefs obviously took great pride in their craft and even tolerated the tourists snapping their pictures.

We each had our favorites though both Will and Kate kept begging for more shrimp like true NoLa kids!

The kids were an absolutely delight for the meal but by the end of a leisurely lunch, it was obvious that they were showing signs of crashing.  The messed up sleep schedules and the heat meant that it was pretty obvious a huge nap was due so we decided not to push our luck with a dessert course.

By the end of our meal the restaurant was full of people but most notable was an obvious bridal party in the most beautiful sari’s and salwar kameez ‘s that I have ever seen.   Second to that group was a young American man with his Indian girlfriend that appeared to be meeting her family for the first time.  It could have been a scene right out of a Bollywood movie!

So after wrapping up lunch we walked back to the car and driver that was waiting for us.  He took us for a quick stop on a section of the coastal road known as the Queen’s Necklace and that final bit of exposure to the heat and intense sun was enough to lull Will and Kate into a nap for the remainder of the drive back to campus.