Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Taj Mahal Restaurant at Secunderabad

Years since I have been to the Taj Mahal restaurant and therefore went to the place today at its Secunderabad outlet.
I believe the restaurant is around 50 years old.The parking was in their quaint courtyard...a reminder of the old times.The ambiance also reminded you of old times. Neat and practical with good space betwen the tables.
I wasnt sure of what to eat at around 12.30 as I hadn't had breakfast by then. Ordered for what Taj is known for, the South Indian tiffin, a Rava Dosa. The Rava Dosa was awesome, thin and rightly crisp, very well made especially as compared to the Chutneys'. The let down was the coconut chutney which had no taste at all...too bland. My request for allam chutney was turned down saying that it is available only when idli is served in the morning. Earlier a dosa would be sufficient to fill you up. But the common tactics adopted by many restaurants these days is to cut down on the portion size. Taj too followed the same and I was still not full after eating one.
I ordered for a Paner tikka and was told that it would take half hour to prepare. I said I'd wait. When it arrived, 8 to a plate, my mouth watered at the sight of the grilled paneer. The paneer was soft but there was nothing outstanding about this dish which cost me 217/- .There was no accompaniment of the mandatory mint chutney. Instead, green chilli, red chilli, soya sauces which normally go with the Chinese dishes, were served.
Upon asking for the mint chutney, the waiter looked like he had never heard of it. A senior waiter came and asked me what I wanted. He told that mint chutney was something that's not prepared here and that he'd check and let me know what best he could do. He disappeared into the kitchen and came back with four small bowls containing a cutlet chutney, raita, nuvvulu pachadi and lo and behold! the allam chutney which I was earlier told was not there. Sighing deeply I took the red chilli and green chilli sauces and ate my Paneer Tikka with a mix of the two. Well, I ate this with my fingers. At the end, my fingers were a bright orange. The color from the paneer got transferred to my hand.
Well, lesson learned...when you go to the Taj Mahal, order only for what it is famous for...the South Indian tiffins.
As they said they'd accept meal coupons, I was counting and trying to combine the coupons of different denominations so that it could add up to the total. And this takes time. Meanwhile the waiter came thrice to take the coupons, once almost grabbing them from my hands!
I went there also to check if it was feasible to host a samll gathering there. When I went into the washroom, the place was stinking, the floors wet and no niceties like toilet paper. And the toilet door opens directly to the only space where they joined tables to allow seating of 20+ people. No way am I going to host here I thought.
The saving grace was the only 5% charged as VAT and no service charges. The bill came to a total of 313/-
Am I likely to go back here? Maybe...just for the awesome Rava Dosa.

Taj Bill