Taj Palace

“Cuisine is the tactile connection we have to breathing history.History and culture offer us a vibrant living society that we taste through cuisine.All cuisine is a reflection of the society from which it emanates … in the end cuisine is the result of culture”
Clifford Wright

Blue GingerIt’s been a while that the Bloggers Table got together and what could have been a better, more beautiful place than Blue Ginger at the Taj Palace, New Delhi. A beautiful hotel, steeped in culture, a landmark among Delhi hotels. The interiors are enchanting, and the Private Dining Room which hosted the boisterous and chatty group of us, stunning.

Taj Palace, New DelhiBlue Ginger takes its’ design cue from the influence of the French-Colonial aesthetics that still suffuse Vietnamese society. A private dining room seating 12 is located off the main hall. The center-piece is a mother-of-pearl inlayed dining table and a beaded chandelier- amazing works of hand-crafted art in them.

Bento BoxIt was an invite to sample a Business Bento Box Lunch, at the Blue Ginger, the Delhi handle of a series of Vietnamese restaurants the Taj runs in India. A call to experience the brand new culinary journey of the unexplored land of Vietnam at ‘Blue Ginger’, the capitals contemporary Vietnamese restaurant.

Blue Ginger  Executive Chef Rajesh Wadhwa joined us briefly to introduce us to a lessor known cuisine. He spoke about the influences on the cuisine, local, Thai, Burmese and French of course as Vietnam was a French colony. He also spoke about the challenge of incorporating vegetarian food into the menu in India as the concept of vegetarian food is practically non existent in Vietnam.

Blue Ginger The lunch was FABULOUS … though I definitely over ate. We expected to eat out of bento boxes, and that the portions would be controllable! However, the management decided to spoil us and took it upon themselves to have us sample everything the menu had on offer.

Blue Ginger, Taj Palace, New DelhiWe ate non stop, we talked non stop, sometimes guffawing loudly, enjoying the company and the ambiance of the beautiful interiors. Just as well that we were in our own private room which meant we didn’t disturb other patrons with our incessant chatter. First to appear was the amuse bouche, a sweet little bite laced with sriracha that gladdened the heart.Blue Ginger 2 I chose the vegetarian first course as I am a very partial vegetarian! It was brilliant!!  Fried tofu, tangy well balance fresh mango salad and spring rolls. Individual helpings of dipping sauces, lime and a chili mix were on hand and the first course went down in a second.

MenuWe reached out and dug into Sangeetas‘ peppered lamb morsels, served again in salad leaves. It was nice! The salad was common to both courses; maybe the spring rolls too. The grilled chicken was really nice, seasoned delicately and succulent. Never easy to get it so perfect, and Ruchira next to me made neat wraps of it in the lettuce it was served with, expertly dipping into the sauces … making a delicious meal of it.

Blue GingerThe palette cleanser made us swoon … a neat soft melt-in-the-mouth sweet tamarind sorbet! Who would have thought? It was refreshing, teased the palette  and was outstanding! A beautiful new sorbet flavour to consider if you ever have the opportunity. … We marched on to the main course!

Blue Ginger The crispy lotus root was ‘pièce de résistance’ ! It stood out and how. Very close to a well made ‘aloo ki tikki’, it was reminiscent of Delhi’s street food. A crisp outer coating, finger licking good flavours and a sticky sweet and sour sauce that clung on to it! Excellent and worth going for seconds! 

Blue Ginger Then came more food, and more. Lemongrass scented braised lamb shanks, a reflection of the French culinary influence, and were succulent and falling off the bone good! Then, along came stir fried lobster, edamame beans, sticky rice, noodles, spicy vegetable red cari {really nice}.

Blue Ginger It’s never easy to develop a parallel vegetarian course from a cuisine that doesn’t offer anything ‘vegetarian’ but the chef and his team achieved it. A challenge no less, and a result quite remarkable. I think I forgot to mention the baguette! That was excellent too, one of the best I’ve eaten, and once again a reflection of the French touch!

Blue GingerThe dessert brought forward a loud cheer, as we were served petite portions of 3 different desserts. Chocolate Bombe with Coffee Mousse with Amaretto Chocolate SauceLemograss Ice-cream, and Ginger Coconut Caramel Custard. The coffee mousse was really light as air and was dug into first, and then left for the end.

Blue GingerI enjoyed the lemongrass ice cream too … refreshingly different and connecting well to the flavours of the far east. The caramel custard was slightly overbaked as it wasn’t wobbly and light. It was my least favourite of the three. I was happy to return to the coffee mousse.

Blue GingerI have always liked the concept of a bento box. I think it’s a brilliant way to offer a business lunch. With such a varied and well balanced menu, there is enough and more on offer for both vegetarians and non vegetarians at Blue Ginger. The flavours delicate, lilting, caressing and beautifully understated, yet quite intense,  my first ever Vietnamese meal couldn’t have been better. Thank you Blue Ginger for hosting us.

The other bloggers at the Taj Palace that afternoon were
Sid @ Chef at Large
Rekha @ My Tasty Curry
Himanshu @ White Ramekins
Parul @ Shirazine
Sangeeta Khanna @ Banaras ka Khana
Ruchira @ Cookaroo
Mukta @ Bake-a-mania

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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